Manuel Eduardo dos Santos

Manuel Eduardo dos Santos

Associate Professor 



Phone: + 351 21 8811788

Fax: + 351 21 8860954



:: Research interests


- The behaviour of dolphins and other aquatic mammals

- Underwater acoustic communication, echolocation and acoustic ecology of dolphins

- Life of the bottlenose dolphins resident in the Sado estuary

- The ecology of the Sado estuary and adjacent Atlantic waters



:: An interest in bioacoustics


Bioacoustics is a complex interdisciplinary endeavour, particularly interesting if one works with aquatic mammals (my main target group). It brings together zoology and animal behaviour, physics, signal analysis and communication theory. It thus requires the inputs and collaboration of field, lab and theoretical biologists, engineers, technicians, mathematicians and other experts. I would like to contribute, even in a small measure, to this vast enterprise of describing the sounds that animals produce and understanding their roles in ecology and social life. 



:: Current research projects


Monitoring and research on the population of resident bottlenose dolphins in the Sado estuary

- study of its social and demographic structure

- study of dolphin movements using remote acoustic detection devices (T-PODs) and GIS

- study of feeding hotspots and core areas using a ROV

- analysis of acoustic signals and effects of noise

- monitoring of underwater explosions planned for the Sado estuary (funding Port of Setúbal)


Clarification of the acoustic repertoire of the Amazon river dolphin and

study of signal variations


Collaboration in psycho-acoustic studies with captive dolphins at Zoomarine



:: Publications


Mestre, F., Bragança, M. P., Nunes, A. & dos Santos, M. E. (2014) Satellite tracking of sea turtles released after prolonged captivity periods. Marine Biology Research, 10 (10): 996-1006. DOI: 10.1080/17451000.2013.872801 


Augusto, J., Rachinas-Lopes, P. & dos Santos, M. E. (2012). Golfinhos-Roazes do Sado: Passado, Presente e Cenários para o Futuro. In Brito, C. & Carvalho, I. (Eds.) Cetáceos de Portugal: Passado, Presente e Futuro, pp. 89-101. Lisboa: Edições Escola de Mar. pdf


Salgueiro, E., Nunes, L., Barros, A., Maroco, J., Salgueiro, A. I., dos Santos, M. E. (2012) Effects of a dolphin interaction program on children with autism spectrum disorders - an exploratory research. BMC Research Notes, 5:199. doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-199


Carvalho, I., Brito,C., dos Santos, M.E. & Rosenbaum, H.C. (2011). The waters of São Tomé: a calving ground for West African humpback whales? African Journal of Marine Science, 33(1): 91-97.


dos Santos, M. E., Couchinho, M. N., Luís, A. R. & Gonçalves, E. J. (2010). Monitoring underwater explosions in the habitat of resident bottlenose dolphins. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 128(6):3805-3808.  


Luís, A. R., Silva, C., Andrade, F. & dos Santos, M. E. (2008). Influence zones of pile-drive noise on a resident population of bottlenose dolphins in the Sado estuary, Portugal. Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics, 30 (5): 43-51. 


dos Santos, M. E., Coniglione, C. & Louro, S. (2007). Feeding behaviour of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821) in the Sado estuary, Portugal, and a review of its prey species. Revista Brasileira de Zoociências, 9(1), 31-40. 


"A eutanásia e o bem-estar animal"


"A conservação da Natureza e o bem-estar animal"


"Policy on Sound and Marine Mammals - An International Workshop


dos Santos, M.E., Louro, S., Couchinho, M. & Brito, C. (2005). Whistles of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Sado Estuary, Portugal: characteristics, production rates and long-term contour stability. Aquatic Mammals, 31: 453-462. 


Herzing, D. L. & dos Santos, M.E. (2004). Functional Aspects of Echolocation in Dolphins. In: Echolocation in Bats and Dolphins (J. Thomas, C. Moss & M. Vater, Eds.), pp. 386-393. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press. 


dos Santos, M.E. & Almada, V.C. (2004). A Case for Passive Sonar: Analysis of Click Train Production Patterns by Bottlenose Dolphins. In: Echolocation in Bats and Dolphins (J. Thomas, C. Moss & M. Vater, Eds.), pp. 400-403. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press. 


dos Santos, M.E., Modesto, T., Matos, R.J., Grober, M.S., Oliveira, R.F. & Canário, A. (2000). Sound production by the Lusitanian toadfish (Halobatrachus didactylus). Bioacoustics, 10:309-321. 


Reiner, F., dos Santos, M.E. & Wenzel, F. (1996). Cetaceans of the Cape Verde Archipelago. Marine Mammal Science, 12(3):434-443. 


Galhardo, L., Appleby, M.C., Waran, N.K. & dos Santos, M.E. (1996). Spontaneous activities of captive performing bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Animal Welfare, 5:373-389.


dos Santos, M.E., Ferreira, A.J. & Harzen, S. (1995). Rhythmic sound sequences emitted by aroused bottlenose dolphins in the Sado estuary, Portugal. In Sensory Systems of Aquatic Mammals (R. A. Kastelein, J. A. Thomas & P. E.Nachtigall, Eds.), pp. 325-334. Woerden, the Netherlands: De Spil Publishers. 




:: Partnerships


- University of Aberdeen, UK - Study of dolphin movements using remote acoustic detection devices (T-PODs) and GIS ­ Prof. Paul Thompson.

- Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil ­ Bioacoustical study of the Amazon river dolphin ­ Prof. Artur Andriolo, Prof. Fábio Prezoto.

- Projeto Boto, Mamirauá, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Amazônicas, Manaus, Brazil ­ Bioacoustical study of the Amazon river dolphin ­ Dr. Vera da Silva.

- University of Southern Mississipi, USA ­ Psychoacoustic studies of captive bottlenose dolphins at Zoomarine ­ Prof. Stan Kuczaj.

- Scientific advisor to Zoomarine. 



last update: 3-7-2012



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