RADseq @ Finse

Restriction site associated DNA (RADSeq) is a popular method to study population genomics. It is particularly interesting to study non-model organisms and hence I am using it for one of my thesis’ projects.

I completed a FORBIO course with Stacks with Julian Catchen and Nicolas Rochette on RADSeq!

Learning my way through bioinformatics, privileged to have the support of a research school!

Snakemake @ Trondheim [En/Pt]

This week I took a Snakemake course in Trondheim. Met really nice people and learnt a lot … Snakemake will be a valuable skill in my tool set!

From the website:

“Snakemake is an MIT-licensed workflow management system that aims to reduce the complexity of creating workflows by providing a fast and comfortable execution environment, together with a clean and modern specification language in python style. ”

Esta semana desloquei-me a Trondheim para aprender Snakemake! Conheci pessoas formidáveis e adquiri mais uma ferramenta para poder optimizar e reproduzir linhas de comando 🙂


Field work // Época de campo!

This year I am doing fieldwork around Nordland and Tromsø. I got to visit some of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. — Nesta época de campo estou por Nordland e Tromsø. Tive a sorte de visitar alguns dos locais mais bonitos que jamais havia visto!

Just google Lofoten, or Sommarøya, or Henningsær (check out Henningsær’s football field), or Svolvær, or Moskenes … — pesquisem no google por Lofoten, ou Sommarøya, ou Henningsær (então o campo de futebol … campo de Henningsær), ou Svolvær, ou Moskenes

I did an attempt to science-communicate my endeavours at Instagram: Here follow the links where I (briefly & very plainly) explain what I have been doing! — No processo, tentei fazer comunicação de ciência no instagram, vejam algumas das fotos!


Day 14 — Post 16 —

Day 13 — Post 15 —

Day 11 — Post 14 —

Day 9 — Post 13 —

Day 9 — Post 12 —

Day 8 — Post 11 —

Day 7 — Post 10 —

Day 6 — Post 9 —

Day 5 — Post 8 —

Day 4 — Post 7 —

Day 4 — Post 6 —

Day 3 — Post 5 —

Day 3 — Post 4 —

Day 2 — Post 3 —

Day 1 — Post 2 —

(presentation) — Post 1 —


View this post on Instagram

When I am asked what I do for living, I usually say I am a #marine #biologist. #People gaze at me, and wonder if I #study something exhiting such as #whales or #dolphins.. and they often get disapointed when I tell them I study #worms 🙂 Worms are interesting too! The species I am studying, Stygocapitella subterranea, lives inside the #sand. It is a very interesting species for two reasons: 1. Because it has a worldwide distribution.. Despite being ~2 milimeters long and not being able to move around so much. 2. It is an aberrant worm! It lost its #adultform … And it looks like a small, juvenile (#baby) worm during its entire #life. We think this is an adaptation to live in between sand grains … Where there is very little space available. Today we visited Svolvær and looked for specimens around this area. The photo is along the way. #phdlifeMN

A post shared by José Cerca (@evolvecerca) on

ForBio conference 2017 // Conferência Forbio 2017!

I participated in this years’ Forbio conference. Forbio is the Scandinavian Research School in Biosystematics, lead by my friend Hugo de Boer. Norwegian Research Schools organise courses and events aimed to train and support PhD students. Forbio has been central to my PhD – so far I have participated in two conferences, received a travel grant and signed up/participated in two courses. We are privileged to have such infrastructures – we get to learn, network, mature and enjoy from its friendly atmosphere. Here is a photo of the conference, with a Clove – the symbol of the 25 de Abril – the Portuguese anti-facist revolution … and its most important song “In every corner, a friend! In every face, equality.”

Participei na última edição da conferência da Forbio – a escola de investigação em Biosistemática da Escandinávia. A ForBio é liderada por um amigo – e pessoa que respeito – o Hugo de Boer. As escolas de investigação são um conceito deveras interessante pois ajudam-me, enquanto estudante de doutoramento a conhecer novas pessoas, adquirir conhecimento específico e na disseminação dos meus trabalhos em conferências. Aqui segue uma foto da conferência, tirada no 25 de Abril – “Em cada esquina um amigo! Em cada rosto, igualdade.”


Programming for Evolutionary Biology 2017 / Programação para Biologia Evolutiva

This March I participated in the Programming for Evolutionary Biology – a renown course in … Programming for Evol Biol as the name says!

I learnt a lot – it is a great course for starters! Additionally, I met terrific people and, we’re still in touch with eachother, expanding a project we started together in this course! We will see where it takes us 🙂


Em Março participei no Programming for Evolutionary Biology, um curso renomeado em programação para Biólogos evolutivos! É um bom curso para quem começa nesta área. Ademais, conheci pessoas fantásticas e estamos a tentar levar a cabo um projecto que surgiu de uma ideia que tivemos neste curso!

Labwork with a broken arm! Trabalho laboratorial com um braço partido

I broke my arm [while attemption to do some] snowboarding! That has not stoped me from setting 20+ PCRs (4x 96 plates in one day!) and I sent  14 plates off to sequence this tuesday. That is definitely an experience I do not wish to repeat!


Parti o meu braço enquanto fazia (tentava fazer) snowboard. Isso não me impediu de fazer trabalho laboratorial – consegui colocar 4 placas de 96 poços para amplificação degenes específicos e enviei 14 placas para sequenciar! Esforço Herculano :p

Science communication! Comunicação científica

As previously announced I started blogging for DeRerumNatura! I will publish here every now and then a compiled list of the blog posts I have been doing! Sorry but they are in Portuguese, but if you use google translator ( ) you will be able to read them.

Aqui seguem as minhas primeiras contribuições no De Rerum Natura 🙂

[Darwin Day, Fev 2017]
[Women in Science, Fev 2017]
[Espécies crípticas, Jan2017]
[Elaina_Pardalde4sexos, Jan2017]
[EvoKE2017, Jan2017]
[Crypticspecies, Jan2017]

De Rerum Natura [EN/PT]

I decided to actively engage with science communication and will, from now onwards, (try to) publish regularly on the biggest Portuguese Science blog. Here’s the link

Decidi dedicar-me um pouco à comunicação de ciência e portanto colocarei uns textos regularmente no maior blog de ciência Portuguesa – o De Rerum Natura! Aqui fica a hiperligação:

Our science-communication note is now out both in Norsk and Português! A nossa pequena nota de comunicação para a ciência foi publicada em Norueguês e em Português [EN/PT].

Me and three colleagues from the Natural History Museum have published a public-audience oriented note on cryptic species. While unfortunately it is still not in English, we have published in our native languages.

Eu e três colegas do Museu publicámos uma pequena nota onde explicamos o que são espécies crípticas! Fica o link para a nota aqui!