Building the future by doing more together

Francisco José Riso da Costa Coelho

Francisco José Riso da Costa Coelho

Assistant Researcher

  • Researcher ID: M-3561-2018
  • ORCID: 0000-0001-7638-8628
  • Ciencia ID: 2119-2C29-3E33
  • Department: Biology
  • Research Group: Marine & Estuarine Ecology
  • 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

1.Environmental Microbiology; Microbial Ecology; Molecular Biology
2.Bioinformatics, metagenomic and metatranscriptomic based analysis
3.Effects of climate change in microbial community structure and function
4.Interactions between microbial communities and oil hydrocarbon

Other interests

1.Technological entrepreneurship
2.Inovation in Biotechnology

Academic degrees

2013 – PhD in Biology, Specialization in Microbiology by the Aveiro University.
2008 – Master in Microbiology by the University of Aveiro
2007 – 5 years 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. Financed by CEEC 2017 - Individual Call to Scientific Employment Stimulus.

2014 -2018. Postdoctoral Researcher. Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Department of Biology, University of Aveiro (UA), Aveiro, Portugal.



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. (IF 12.35)

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. (IF 6.08)

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. (IF 8.99)

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. (IF 8.99)

Technological entrepreneurship activities

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 (H2020-SMEInst-2016-2017). 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.


2019 - Organizing committee of the Bacterial and Genetics and Ecology (BAGEGO) Symposium, a leading European conference in prokaryotic genetics and ecology.

2015 - ISME young ambassador - since 2015 I serve 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 - I Transfrontier Contest for Prototypes Oriented to the Market (Prototransfer). INESPO II - Innovation Network Spain-Portugal.

2014 - PROVE IT - 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.

2013 – 2014 - Funded project: Labels for DNA authentication products – DNAprove. Funded by the Portuguese Programme "Passport for Entrepreneurship" (



Gomes, NCM, Oliveira, VJ, Coelho, FJRC, dos Santos, ARL. "A portable device, a method to read authentication labels and their uses”. International Patent: PCT/ IB2017/052570. Date of request: 28.04.2017.

Invited talks

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.

Oral presentation in international symposium - 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.

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.” 


News and Media appearance

  • The DNA authentication technology originally  idealized by Newton Gomes and implemented by Francisco Coelho has been feature in more than 25 paper and online journals, and in all main Portuguese channels (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)

Juri participation

  • Principal Jury of the internship of the Degree in Biology (2019) of Eduardo Miguel Freire Gomes. Department of Biology, Aveiro University.

  • Principal Jury of  Degree project (2018) by Ana Rita Carvalho at the Department of Biology, Aveiro University.

  • Principal Jury of Master in Microbiology (2017). Master Thesis Defense by Sofia Maria de Albuquerque Cruzeiro at the Department of Biology, Aveiro University.  

  • Principal Jury of Master in Molecular and Cellular Biology (2016). Master Thesis Defense by Pedro Miguel Pinheiro Saraiva at the Department of Biology, Aveiro University.

  • Principal Jury of Master in Microbiology (2016). Master Thesis Defense by Ana Rita da Rochas Alves at the Department of Biology, Aveiro University. 

  • Principal Jury of Master in Marine Biology (2014). Master Thesis Defense by Fernando José Duarte Fernandes at the Department of Biology, Aveiro University.

Teaching and scientific supervision

From 2009 to 2012 I have  participated in the scientific supervision of several students:

 - Letícia Novais (Master student)

 - José Medeiros (Master student)

 - Sara Sousa (final degree project)

 - João Simões (final degree project)

 - Daniela Framegas (final degree project)

Scientific monitor in Aveiro University summer academy from 2010-2012

Reviewer in International Journals

Microbial Ecology

Plos One (2014 list of reviewers - doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121093.s001)

Plos One (2015 list of reviewers - doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150341.s001)

Plos One (2016 list of reviewers - doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0174259)

Environmental Science and Pollution Research


CESAM Funding: