Full programme available here

Abstract book available here

Keynote speakers | Invited Seminars | Workshops | Talks and Posters | Awards

Keynote speakers

Marie Charpentier

CNRS, Montpellier, France

Marie Charpentier works on the evolution of sociality in primate societies, using long-term individual data. Her current research focuses 1) kin selection theory, 2) host-parasite relationships and dynamics and 3) sleep ecology. Marie employs a multidisciplinary approach, integrating empirical methodologies such as AI, behavioral analysis, biologging, genetics, chemistry, and hormonal analysis. Since 2012, she has been running a field station in southern Gabon (Parc de la Lékédi, Bakoumba), to study the only natural population of mandrills habituated to humans. Within this unique setting, her research explores drivers of social relationships, including pairing dynamics and parasite status, while also examining proximal factors that regulate these intricate relationships.


Elise Huchard

CNRS, Montpellier, France

Elise Huchard is a behavioural ecologist working on the the social, reproductive and life history strategies of males and females in mammalian societies from an evolutionary perspective. Using a combination of observational and experimental data, in the context of long-term individually-based studies and also comparative studies, Elise’s current work focuses on the evolution of reproductive seasonality, on sexual conflict and social hierarchies, as well as on social influences on development in both sexes. She has conducted research in various natural mammal populations, and co-directs the Tsaobis Baboon Project, a long-term study of chacma baboons' ecology, demography, and behavior in Namibia's Namib desert since 2000.


Rui Oliveira

Instituto Gulbenkian Ciência & ISPA, Portugal

Rui Oliveira is a Professor of Behavioural Biology (ISPA), Principal Investigator at the Gulbenkian Science Institute (IGC, Oeiras) and Adjunct Faculty of the Champalimaud Neuroscience Program. During the last years he has been involved in research within the field of behavioural neuroendocrinology and behavioural genomics. Main fields of interests are (1) the neuroendocrinology and genomics of social behaviour, (2) the evolution and mechanisms underlying behavioural plasticity (including alternative mating tactics), and (3) comparative social cognition.


Miguel Carretero

Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources CIBIO, Portugal

Miguel Carretero is an integrative biologist who uses reptiles as primary model organisms, although not exclusively. His interests span across various domains, including ecology, physiology, behavior, morphology, life history, biogeography, interspecific relationships, and conservation. His research focus on functional aspects, employing experimental methodologies and working within an evolutionary framework.


Invited seminars

Pedro Dias
Open plenary / CIBIO Seminar

Pedro Dias is a primatologist and researcher at the Instituto de Neuro-etología, Universidad Veracruzana (México), where he leads the Primate Behavioral Ecology Lab. Over the past 25 years, he has dedicated his expertise to exploring the intricate mechanisms and functions of the behavior of Mexican primates, both in their natural habitats and within captive environments. His research has covered diverse subjects such as social behavior, communication patterns, endocrinology, and genetics within the realm of primate studies.


Peter McGregor
Closing Plenary

Peter McGregor is a visiting professor at ISPA - Instituto Universitário, Lisbon and the Chief Editor of SPE’s journal acta ethologica. Animal communication has been his main research interest following a thesis on bird song. Research topics have included communication networks, social cognition and cultural transmission, with study species from fiddler crabs and weakly electric fish to birds and cetaceans. The applications and implications of research findings, including anthropogenic environmental impacts (e.g., noise, invasive non-native species and light pollution), have always been of interest and his is currently a member of the UNEP CMS Expert Working Group on culture & conservation. He has been involved with acta ethologica in many roles since its founding in 1997, from author and referee to Associate Editor, and became Chief Editor in 2014.



Workshop 1 - Data visualisation using R (WORKSHOP FULL)

Dr. Raquel Ponti, CIBIO & Universidad del País Vasco

The ability to communicate scientific discoveries with appeal, precision, and clarity hinges on the essential skill of visualization. This workshop is designed to delve into the interpretation of data through visual tools, with a particular focus on basic and ggplot2 packages in R environment. Participants will gain insights into most commonly used plots and best practices for effectively presenting their data.

Duration: 3 hours (presential, in the morning)
Max. participants: 20 - FULL
Info and Requirements: Basic knowledge of R coding is required. Attendants need to bring their own laptops.


Raquel Ponti is a Marie Curie Postdoctoral researcher, working on evolutionary biology and macroecology, with a primary focus on avian models. Her research centers around unravelling trends in the evolution of morphological and ecological attributes within island-endemic bird populations. Additionally, she investigates the intricacies of bird migration mechanisms.

Workshop 2 - An outlook on the scientific publication process (with an eye on behavior)

Dr. Pedro Dias, Instituto de Neuro-etología, Universidad Veracruzana

Publishing research articles (RAs) remains the primary method of sharing scientific knowledge. However, this process is particularly challenging for early-career scientists due to factors like inexperience and lack of mentorship. This workshop aids those on the brink of writing or recently finishing their first RA by equipping them with tools for navigating the publication process—from drafting and editing to submission and revision. The workshop consists of three parts: (i) understanding RAs, (ii) introducing a method for drafting, and (iii) post-writing publication steps. The workshop employs group discussions, exercises, and presentations as its primary teaching methods.

Duration: 3 hours (presential, in the morning)
Max. participants: 15


Pedro Dias is primatologist and heads the Primate Behavioral Ecology Lab, where he studies the behaviour of Mexican primates. His research delves into social behavior, communication patterns, endocrinology, and genetics within the field of primate studies.

Workshop 3 - Introduction to Artificial Intelligence applied to Ecology and Behavioural studies (WORKSHOP FULL)

Dr. André Ferreira, University of Zurich

This workshop aims to familiarize participants with the concepts of Artificial Intelligence, with a specific focus on deep learning, and how it can be used to tackle relevant questions in ecology and behavioral studies. Attendees will receive a concise overview of the fundamental principles of deep learning and its broad applications. Additionally, the workshop will briefly guide participants through the process of employing deep learning models, from collecting training datasets to model training and performance evaluation when addressing real-world challenges faced by researchers working with large animal based datasets.

Duration: 3 hours (online and presential, in the afternoon)
Max. participants: 15 - FULL
Info and Requirements: Basic knowledge of R coding or other programming language is desired. Attendants need to bring their own laptops.


André Ferreira is an evolutionary biologist and a postdoc researcher. His primary research centers around using Artificial Intelligence, particularly deep learning, to automate behavioural data collection in the wild. More recently he has been developing deep learning based methods for the individual recognition of various animals, through images and videos captured in their natural habitats.

Workshop 4 - Photo-ID: studying cetaceans by their fins

Dra. Joana Castro, AIMM Portugal - Marine Environment Research Association

This workshop provides an introduction to photo-identification, one of the most commonly used methodologies in the study of whales and dolphins. Our primary goal is to offer participants a hands-on approach, giving them the opportunity to process photographs and develop a photo-ID catalog for individual identification.

Duration: 2 hours (presential, in the afternoon)
Max. participants: 20
Info and Requirements: Attendants need to bring their own laptops.

Joana holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Lisbon and her area of expertise focuses on the social organization and behaviour of dolphins. Joana has been working with marine mammals and environmental education for more than two decades and is the founder and executive director of AIMM. She's currently leading several studies regarding the biology, ecology and conservation of marine mammals in the south coast of Portugal.

Talks and Poster schedule

Selected Talks

Day 2

Session 1 - Physiology and Health



Bianca Fusani

Oxytocin modulation of socially driven adult neurogenesis in zebrafish



Joaquim Filipe Faria

Impact of haemogregarine infections in the behaviour of male Podarcis lizards from Northern Portugal

Session 2 - Climate change and Behaviour



Beatriz Palinhos Pereira

Disruption of cleaner wrasse cognition and brain morphology under marine heatwaves



Patrícia Beltrão

Multiple effects of weather on collective behavior



João Almeida

Effects of warming on metabolism, risk-assessment and agonistic behaviors in early life stages of gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata



Mariana Sousa

How does a catastrophic event influence demography and social associations in a colonial cooperative bird?

Session 3 - Social Behaviour and Welfare



João Pacheco

Dealing with strangers: unidirectional redirected aggression from unfamiliar to familiar individuals in common waxbills



Shai Markman

“Hey!”: Wild birds use intentional attention-getters to initiate cooperative interactions.



Ana Isabel Ferreira

Parturition behaviour of laboratory mice



Maílis da Silva Carrilho

The influence of caging conditions on the behaviour of captive wild-caught wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus

Day 3


Session 4 – Genes and Brain



Mohammad Ameri

Genetic and non-genetic parental effects in an orb-web spider, Argiope radon



Marta Liber

Artificial selection for sociality changes the brain transcriptome in zebrafish



Pol Sorigue

Molecular evolution of the genes involved in social behaviour across Lake Tanganyika's cichlids adaptive radiation

Session 5 – Cognition and Cooperation



José Ricardo Paula

Cleaner fish presence provides a ‘safe-haven’ from predation



Andrea Frascotti

Evidence of social learning in a gregarious bird, the Serin



Inês Cacela Rodrigues

The Colour of Cooperation: Client Preference for Vivid Colours



Raúl Oliveira

Using supervised machine learning to quantify cleaning behaviour

Session 6 – Communication and sexual behaviour



Maria Joana Ferreira da Silva

Sex-biased dispersal patterns of grayfoot baboons (Papio ursinus griseipes) in the ecologically diverse Gorongosa National Park



Anne-Maria Fehn

Talking space - a pilot study on spatial reference among the peoples of the Okavango Delta



Sara Capas Peneda

Detection of Vocalizations during Parturition in C57BL/6J Breeding Females Using DeepSqueak



Manuel Vieira

Invasive and native sciaenid fish in the Tagus estuary: Is there an overlap in temporal and spatial patterns of chorusing behaviour?



Eva de la Peña

The dark ventral patch on male red deer: implications for mate competition



Genes and Brain and Cognition


Susana A. M. Varela

Artificial selection for sociality drives rapid divergences in social cognition, forebrain neuromolecular states and neuronal response to social stimuli in zebrafish


Maddalena Ranucci

Cleaner gobies’ cognitive abilities are strictly related to their ecology


Methods in Behaviour


Amalia de la Torre Herrera

Automated Monitoring of Pair Bonds in a Gregarious Bird


Noelia Ríos

Characterizing the behaviour of bait-attracted Prionace glauca using pelagic drift video


Noelia Ríos

Assessment of spatial and temporal patterns of nearshore fish communities through passive acoustic monitoring in a Marine Protected Area


Marta Marmelo

How to measure mobbing behaviour in a highly social bird?


João Soares Carrola

Behaviour assays to evaluate the impacts of psychoactive substances in adult zebrafish


Social Behaviour


Luana Rodrigues

Association patterns of resident bottlenose dolphins in the Sado region


Carolina Benvegnú

Does the number of dolphin-watching boats impact the cohesion of common (Delphinus delphis) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in southern Portugal?


Maud Czerwinski

Infant non-mother interactions in mantled howler monkeys


Human Impact and Welfare


Iolanda Silva

Let’s keep moving! Effects of vessel traffic on common dolphins’ behaviour in Tagus estuary, Portugal


Gonçalo Brito

Body tactile stimulation and fish welfare: effects on the behavioural response and stress of captive native and invasive freshwater fish species




Raquel Ponti

Birds follow the island rule in absence of predator pressure


Ruthvik S. Pallagatti

Evolution of plumage and body size in cooperative breeding birds


Animal Communication


Claudia Erber

Whistles production of bottlenose dolphins during specific behavioral contexts in the Algarve region (Portugal).


João Saldanha da Gama

Acoustic communication during mating interactions in two-spotted goby, Pomatoschistus flavescens


Behavioral Ecology


Nádia Jesus

Vacation in Lisbon? Occurrence and habitat use of Delphinus delphis in the Tagus Estuary, Portugal.


Ana Mota Cerveira

Know your food: Cyrba algerina (Araneae, Salticidae) requires previous experience with prey to respond to its cues


Marcus Frazão

Feeding behaviour of Hippotragus niger variani


Mafalda Albuquerque

Sei whale feeding and transiting behaviour in the Azores


Marta Luiz

Behavioural trade-offs between native and invasive fish species


Physiology and Behavioural syndromes


Pedro Oliveira

Sex differences in coping with stress in Common waxbills, Estrilda astrild


Alexandra Tyers

Flexible microbiome and plastic pace-of-life strategy among and within desert adapted species


Ondina Isabel Martins Ribeiro

Effects of amphetamine racemic and its enantiomers on zebrafish avoidance behaviour



Vitor Almada award

The Vítor Almada Award, conferred by the Portuguese Society of Ethology, is presented to the top student oral presentation at each National Congress. It includes support for the student's participation in an international ethology conference.

This award pays tribute to one of Portugal's most eminent ethologists, renowned for his substantial contributions to the advancement of Ethology in the country. Vítor Almada, a founding member of the SPE and its President for several years, acted as the guiding scientific influence for a generation of animal behavior researchers, and his passion and expertise in the field were truly inspiring.

Springer award

Springer will be presenting awards for outstanding communications delivered by a SPE members and students. 

Springer is a publishing company specializing in books, e-books, and peer-reviewed journals across various fields, including science, humanities, technical, and medical publishing. They are the publisher of the society's journal, acta ethologica.