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Catarina Casanova

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Research Interests
anthropogenic landscapes
Multispecies Anthropology
Human-Animal Studies
Primate Evolution
Environmental anthropology

Catarina Casanova is a tenure track associate professor at the School of Social and Political Sciences (ISCSP), University of Lisbon. She conducts research in both biological (primate behaviour and conservation) and environmental anthropology (humans/non-humans interface and multi-species anthropology). C. Casanova is a researcher at CIAS (Centre for Research in Anthropology and Health, Coimbra University).She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge (UK) in Biological Anthropology. Since 2008 she is the coordinator of the post-graduation programme in Biological and Forensic Anthropology.

She conducts field works in Guinea-Bissau since 2003 where she founded the Dari Project with C. Sousa to give Portuguese and Guinean- Bissau students for field work in Primatology, in the interface wildlife-humans. She also works in São Tomé & Príncipe Islands. She is author/co-author of more than 60 research articles in journals with peer reviewing system, books chapters and she is also the author of 2 books. She also conducts field-work in São Tomé & Príncipe.

She got financial research projects awarded in competitive contexts (6) as a PI member or as Principal investigator. She supervised almost 30 MSc dissertations and supervised and/or co-supervised 5 PhD dissertations and she is currently supervising and/or co-supervising 3 more. She was responsible for the programme of 7 post-doc researchers.

She is a founding member of the  Portuguese Primatological Society and a member of the International Primatological Society, APA and SPAE.


Casanova teaches or has taught for more than 20 years subjects connect with biological anthropology (human ecology and adaptation, paleoprimatology and human evolution, primatology), ethology and primate social behaviour. She also teaches environmental anthropology (relationship between nature/ecosystems and human communities seen as part of those ecosystems which are co-constructed and studied in a co-evolutionary perspective), especially in what regards human-wildlife relations in Guinea-Bissau and more recently, São Tomé and Príncipe. She teaches multispecies anthropology in different co-constructed contexts. Local knowledge is valued, especially as part of human-wildlife relations. She is also responsible for several subjects on methodology (project design, quantitative methods in Anthropology, amongst many other.). She teaches at BA, Master and PhD classes levels.

Main Publications

Casanova, C. (in press). [Introduction to Biological Anthropology: Evolutionary Principles, Genetics, Primatology and Human Evolution]. Lisbon: ISCSP – Universidade de Lisboa.

Filho RF, de Castro CSS, CASANOVA C et al. 2021. Uses of nonhuman primates by humans in northeastern Brazil, PRIMATES, 62:777:88. http://doi.org/10.10007/s10329-021-00919-5. (Factor de Impacto: 2,163) Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10329-021-00919-5.

Vasconcelos S, Azevedo J, CASANOVA C et al. 2021. Can the Visits of Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) Influence the Mental Health (Anxiety and Depression) of Male Aging Patients Institutionalized with Dementia in Health Care Units? A Pilot Study of Madeira Island, Portugal, PEOPLE AND ANIMALS: THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH AND PRACTICE, 4 (1), Article 1. Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/paij/vol4/iss1/1

Pereira, AS; Rebelo, ID; CASANOVA, C; Lee, P and Louca, V. 2020. The multidimensionality of female mandrill sociality—A dynamic multiplex network approach”. PLoS ONE, 15 4. 2020: e0230942. (Factor de impacto: 3.240). Available at: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230942

Ferreira da Silva, M (…) CASANOVA, C; Lecoq, M; Silva, C; Burford, MW; Varanda, J & Minhós, T. 2020. Chasing a ghost: notes on the presente distribution and conservation of the sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys) In Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, Primates, 61: 357-63 (Último factor de impacto: 1.70).

Salvaterra, G. & CASANOVA, C 2020. “Cantanhez National Park: how people perceive lansdcapes”. In Modos de Fazer/Ways of Making, Oliveira Jorge, V (Ed.), Pp 183-195. Porto: editado por CITCEM – UNIVERSIDADE DO PORTO.

Pereira AS, Rebelo ID., CASANOVA C, Lee PC, Louca V. 2019. The dynamics of grooming interactions: maintenance of partner choice and the consequences of demographic variation for female mandrills. PEERJ 7:e6332 http://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6332 (Impact factor 2.379)

Ferreira da Silva, M; GH Koop; C CASANOVA, C; R Godinho, T. Minhos, R. Sá, D. Zinner and MW Bruford 2018. Disrupted dispersal and its genetic consequences: Comparing protected and threatened baboon populations (Papio papio) in West Africa, PLOS ONE, doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194189 Impact factor: 2.776

Costa, S; C. CASANOVA and PC Lee. 2017. What Does Conservation Mean for Women? The Case of the Cantanhez Forest National Park, CONSERVATION AND SOCIETY, 15(2): 168-178. (DOI:10.4103/cs.cs_14_91). Factor de impacto: 1.652

CASANOVA, C. 2016. [Are the non-humans the ultimate “others” in Anthropology? Representations on human superiority], TRABALHOS DE ANTROPOLOGIA E ETNOLOGIA, 56:106-134 (ISSN 2183-0266).

Minhós T, Chikhi L, Sousa C, Vicente L, Da Silva MJ, Heller R, CASANOVA C, Bruford M 2016. Genetic consequences of human forest exploitation in two colobus monkeys in Guinea Bissau, BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, 194:194-208. (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.12.019). Factor de impacto: 4.022

Sousa, MJ; L Vicente; S Gippoliti; C CASANOVA and C Sousa. 2014, Local knowledge and perceptions of chimpanzees in Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, 76(2):122-134. (DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22215). Factor de impacto: 2.435

Sousa, MJ; C. CASANOVA; AV Barata & C Sousa. 2014. The effect of canopy closure on chimpanzee nest abundance in Lagoas de Cufada National Park, Guinea-Bissau, PRIMATES, 55(2): 283-292. (DOI: 10.1007/s10329-013-0402-2). Factor de impacto: 1.337

Ferreira da Silva, MJ, R Godinho, C CASANOVA, T. Minhós, R. Sá & M. W.  Bruford. 2014. Assessing the impact of hunting pressure on population structure of Guinea baboons (Papio papio) in Guinea-Bissau. CONSERVATION GENETICS (DOI 10.1007/s10592-014-0621-0) Factor de impacto: 2.185

Sousa. J; L Vicente, S Gipolitti, C CASANOVA and C. Sousa. 2013. Local Knowledge and Perceptions of Chimpanzees in Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY (DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22215). Factor de impacto: 2.136

Ferreira da Silva; MJ; C CASANOVA & R Godinho 2013. On the western fringe of baboon distribution: mitochondrial D-loop diversity of Guinea Baboons (Papio papio Desmarest, 1820) (Primates: Cercopithecidae) in Coastal Guinea-Bissau, western Africa, JOURNAL OF THREATENED TAXA, 5(10): 4441-4450. (DOI: 10.11609/JoTT.o3216.4441-50).  (EBSCO, Index Copemicus, Scopus, NAAS rating 5.10).

Costa, S, CASANOVA C, Sousa C, Lee P 2013. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Perceptions of Wildlife In Tombali (Guinea-Bissau, West Africa). JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, 2: 110. (DOI: 10.4172/2167-6801.1000110).

Klailova M, CASANOVA C, Henschel, Lee, PC, Rovero, F and Todd, A. 2013. Non-human predator interactions with wild great apes in Africa and the use of camera traps to study their dynamics. FOLIA PRIMATOLOGICA, 83:312–328 (DOI:10.1159/000342143). Factor de impacto: 1.037

Sousa, J.; A Barata; C. Sousa; C CASANOVA E L Vicente. 2011. Chimpanzee oil-palm use in southern Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, 73:1-13 (DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20926). Factor de impacto: 2.221

CASANOVA, C. 2010. Evolution, Primates and Charles Darwin, ANTROPOLOGIA PORTUGUESA, Vol.26: 209-236. (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14195/2182-7982_27_12) Capítulos de livros

CASANOVA, C.; C. Sousa and S Costa. 2014. Are Animals and Forests Forever? Perceptions of Wildlife at Cantanhez Forest National Park, Guinea-Bissau Republic. In Casanova C. and S. Frias (Eds), MEMÓRIA (Special issue in Anthropology and Environment), Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa: Lisboa. Pp. 69-104.

Costa, S. and C. CASANOVA. 2014. God, Nature and the Sacralisation of Human Being: Perceptions of the Almada population, Portugal. In Casanova C. and S. Frias (Eds), MEMÓRIA (Special issue in Anthropology and Environment), Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa: Lisboa. Pp. 26-41.

CASANOVA, C. and C. Sousa 2013. “Can religious affiliation interfer with perceptions and attitudes towards wildlife? The case of Cantanhez Forest National Park, Guinea-Bissau Republic” in ATAS DO COLÓQUIO INTERNACIONAL CABO VERDE E GUINÉ-BISSAU: PERCURSOS DO SABER E DA CIÊNCIA LISBOA, ISBN 978-989-742-004- 7©Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Lisboa, 2013. Colóquio Internacional Cabo Verde e Guiné-Bissau, 21-23 de Junho de 2012. IICT – Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical e ISCSP-UTL – Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa. (e-Book)

CASANOVA, C. 2012. [ The role of Mendes Côrrea as a reference in Biological Anthropology in Portugal: Paths and trails]. In Martins, A. (org.) – A. E. MENDES CÔRREA (1888-1960), ENTRE A CIÊNCIA, A DOCÊNCIA E A POLÍTICA. Lisboa: CESP e ACD Editores. Pp: 85-127.

Research Projects

Projet: Human Perceptions of Animals: Application of the socio-zoological scale in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso, 042-2016. Fundação Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Mato Grosso. C Casanova foi investigadora (IP: Abonizio, J).

Project I&D (FCT): Compared landscape genomic in non-human primates in Western African: a contribution by biological anthropology to their conservation (PTDC/IVC-ANT/3058/2014 – Anthropology).
Casanova was a team member (CAPP/Universidade de Lisboa). Overall rating: Excellent. Recommendation of funding: 164.829.00 EUR. (IP: Minhós, T.). Project started in December 2016 and end in December 2019.

Project I&D (FCT): Genetic Conservation of the threatened Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) in Guinea-Bissau: a contribution from biological anthropology to the conservation of biodiversity (PTDC/CS-ANT/099184/2008 – Anthropology). Principal Research(IP)/Principal Research. The project ended in December 2013. Overall rating: 85/Excellent. Project concluded.

SOCIALITY, NETWORKING, POLYADICITY AND COGNITION IN CHIMPANZEES 2008 funded by ACÇÕES INTEGRADAS LUSO-ESPANHOLAS (Acção n.º E-58/08) between ISCSP e Universidade Complutense de Madrid, (Faculdade de Psicologia). PI. (com Prof. Doutor F. Colmenares). Project concluded.

Chimpanzee distribution and relation with local human communities in coastal area of Guinea-Bissau [POCTI/ANT/57434/2004 – Anthropology], Researcher. Rating: Excellent .Project concluded.

Chimpanzee Surveys in Guinea-Bissau to Develop a National Plan for Conservation. Preliminary Phase: Survey of Guinean-Costal Chimpanzee Population [GA -0155 – US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE/GREAT APE CONSERVATION FUND]. 2004. With C. Sousa e S. Gipolliti. Project concluded.

Coordinadotor of the project Enrichment Plan to the Non-Human Primates Living at Lisbon Zoo, in cooperation with: The University of Cambridge (Depart of Biological Anthropology), ISCSP (UL), FCSH (UNL) e Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa. 2003. Funding body: CRUP. Concluded.