Caring about the future

Francisco José Riso da Costa Coelho

Francisco José Riso da Costa Coelho

Assistant Researcher

  • Author Name : Coelho F.J.R.C.

  • Researcher ID: M-3561-2018
  • ORCID: 0000-0001-7638-8628
  • Ciencia ID: 2119-2C29-3E33
  • Department: Biology
  • Research Group: Coastal and Deep-Ocean Ecology & Conservation (CDEC)
  • ISI Web of KnowledgeSM search factor: Author: (Coelho FJRC) OR Author: (Coelho F.J.R.C.) OR Author: (Coelho F) AND Address: (CESAM)

Research interests

My research interests broadly focus environmental microbiology and microbial ecology; characterizing the structural and functional composition of complex microbial communities under changing environmental conditions and in several habitats (e.g. estuarine sediment, deep-sea, marine sponges and aquacultures) and their impacts in ecosystem service or host physiology.

Other interests

1.Technological entrepreneurship
2.Inovation in Biotechnology

Academic degrees

2013 – PhD in Biology, Specialization in Microbiology by the University of Aveiro.
2008 – Master in Microbiology by the University of Aveiro
2007 – Degree in Biology by the University of Aveiro

Scientific activities

March 2019 - Present. Junior Researcher. Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Department of Biology, University of Aveiro (UA), Aveiro, Portugal. Funded by national funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P., under the Scientific Employment Stimulus - Individual Call - reference (CEECIND/00070/2017).

November 2014 - December 2018. Postdoctoral Researcher. Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Department of Biology, University of Aveiro (UA), Aveiro, Portugal. Funded by FCT (SFRH/BPD/92366/2013).


November - 2013 to October 2014. Promoter Biotechnology project - “DNA for products authentication – - DNAprove”. Financed by IAPMEI “Passaporte para o Empreendedorismo” program (Project number 942).



BlueComposite See more

ConTribuT - Conversion of dietary tributyrin in rainbow trout See more

MAXIMUS.PT - Research and development for the production of larvae and juveniles of turbot in maternity See more

Symbioreactor - Sustainable Production of Bioactive Metabolites from Microbial Symbionts of Marine Sponges and Corals See more

4D-REEF-Past, present, and future of coral reefs in the Coral Triangle See more

AquaHeal - Microbial modulation in aquacultures with recirculation system: towards a production system suppressor of diseases See more

EcoTech-SPONGE- Assessing the ECOlogical functions and potential bioTECHnological applications of plasmid assemblages from microbial symbionts of marine SPONGEs See more

AQUASAFE - Development of new technologies to anticipate and diagnose disease outbreaks in aquaculture See more

Global climate change and pollution: a synergy designed for disaster? See more

Scientific Supervision

Master (Main Supervisor): Hélder Alexandre Campos Gomes (not a CESAM member)

PhD (Co-supervisor): Letícia Novaes Duarte (ex-CESAM member)

Featured Publications

Cleary D.F.R., Swierts T., Coelho F.J.R.C., Polónia A.R.M., Huang Y.M., Ferreira M.R.S., Putchakarn S., Carvalheiro L., van der Ent E., Ueng J-P., Gomes N.C.M., de Voogd N.J. (2019) The sponge microbiome within the greater coral reef microbial metacommunity. Nature Communications. 10, 1644. 

Coelho F.J.R.C., Cleary D.F.R., Costa R., Ferreira M., Polonia A.R.M., Silva A.M.S., Simoes M.M.Q., Oliveira V., Gomes N.C.M. (2016) Multitaxon activity profiling reveals differential microbial response to reduced seawater pH and oil pollution. Molecular Ecology. 25, 4645-4659.

Coelho F.J.R.C., Cleary D.F.R., Rocha R.J.M., Calado R., Castanheira J.M., Rocha S.M., Silva A.M.S., Simões M.M.Q., Oliveira V., Lillebø A., Almeida A., Cunha Â., Lopes I., Ribeiro R., Moreira-Santos M., Marques C.R., Costa R., Pereira R. and Gomes N.C.M. (2015) Unraveling the interactive effects of climate change and oil contamination on laboratory simulated estuarine benthic communities. Global Change Biology. 5, 1871-1886. 

Coelho F.J.R.C., Rocha R. J.M., Pires A.C.C., Ladeiro B., Castanheira J.M., Costa R., Almeida A., Cunha Â., Lillebø A.I., Ribeiro R., Pereira R., Lopes I., Marques C., Moreira-Santos M., Calado R., Cleary D.F.R., Gomes N.C.M. (2013) Development and validation of an experimental life support system for assessing the effects of global climate change and environmental contamination on estuarine and coastal marine benthic communities. Global Change Biology. 19, 8, 2584–2595. 

Technological entrepreneurship activities

2020 - Present - Co-Founder and promoter of InnerCore a spin-off company of the University of Aveiro. The company aims to support the development of technologies and products based on microbiome knowledge and empower organizations to explore the potential of the microbiome for scientific discovery and business performance.

2016-2018 Co-Founder of DNA TRUSTAG a spin-off company of University of Aveiro.

July 2017 – For the second time DNA TRUSTAG was awarded with the Seal of Excellence by the European Commission within the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The proposal was scored as a high-quality project in a highly competitive evaluation process during the SME instrument phase 2 call. The company reached the 3º best score in Portugal and 9º place for all projects in the Topic: Engaging SMEs in security research and development. 

October 2016 - DNA TRUSTAG receives Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1 funding. The SME instrument is a funding program of the European Union, which aims to transform disruptive ideas into concrete innovative solutions with an European and global impact.

June 2016 - The company was awarded with the Seal of Excellence by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 (EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation). The seal certifies the innovative character and commercialization potential of the technology developed by our group (LEMAM) at CESAM.


2015 - 2022. ISME young ambassador - between 2015 and 2022 I served as young ambassador for the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) in Portugal. ISME is the principal scientific society for the field of Microbial Ecology. 

2014 - Prototype awarded (Team member) - I Transfrontier Contest for Prototypes Oriented to the Market (Prototransfer). INESPO II - Innovation Network Spain-Portugal.

2014 - PROVE IT (Team member) - Financial award for development of a prototype “Use of chimeric DNA molecules for development of molecular barcode labels”. Technology Transfer Unit of the University of Aveiro (UATEC) and project GAPI 3.


  • Coelho, FJRC, Gomes, NCM, Ferreira, MRS, Vieira, FYM. "Method and device for stabilizing and storing DNA at room temperature and uses thereof". International application number: PCT/IB2021/054206. International Publication Number: WO2021229549A1. Priority date 15.05.2020. International Publication Date 18.11.2021. Worldwide applications (PT and WO). Granted in Portugal 2022.06.27 (Nacional patent number 116392 - “Método e composição para estabilizar ADN à temperatura ambiente e utilização dos mesmos”).

  • Gomes, NCM, Oliveira, VJ, Coelho, FJRC, dos Santos, ARL. "A portable device, a method to read authentication labels and their uses". International application number: PCT/ IB2017/052570. International Publication Number: WO2017191575A1. Priority date: 03.05.2016. International Publication Date 09.11.2017. Worldwide applications (PT and WO).

Invited talks

Entrepreneurship week 2021. From academy to business. Portrait of the university spin-offs (round table). University of Aveiro. 2021/11/10.

1st Microbiome PT Summit 2021From marine ecology to biotechnological entrepreneurship. Portuguese Microbiome Community (ELIXIR, the European Infrastructure for Biological Data). (Portugal) 2021/02/04.

1st Advanced Seminars in Microbial Ecology. Symbioses, biotechnology and industry in a changing climate. An event sponsored by the ISME Ambassador Programme. Lisbon, December 16, 2016. – “Studying microbial responses to the combined effects of global climate changes and pollution in marine environments.” 

 AtUAliza-te 2015, Aveiro University. ActUAliza-te is a conference that mainly targets marketing professionals. My talk was integrated in the innovation panel. 

Brokerage Event INESPOII 2015, Conselho Empresarial do Centro, Coimbra. Discussing the role of universities in entrepreneurship development (round table).

Bioremediation of oil-contaminated environments, Braga, May 11, 2015 - "Response of sediment archaeal communities to ocean acidification and oil pollution". In this presentation I described part of my work as a Post-Doc. 

News and Media appearance

  • The DNA authentication technology originally  idealized by Newton Gomes and implemented by Francisco Coelho has been feature in the main Portuguese media (e.g. RTP, SIC, TVI).





  • The European Comission service news "Science for Environmental Policy" issue a press release highlighting the results of the article "Unraveling the interactive effects of climate change and oil contamination on laboratory-simulated estuarine benthic communities" . Science for Environemntal Policy reaches more than 18000 readers (policymakers, academics and business people)

CESAM Funding: UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020 + LA/P/0094/2020