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Manuela Alvarez

Orcid profile

Ciência Vitae profile

Research Interests
Human genetics and evolution
Gene-environment interaction

As a researcher, Manuela Alvarez has developed her activity at the Research Center for Anthropology and Health (CIAS) of the University of Coimbra, in the field of Biological Anthropology. Along her academical path she has sought to apply a multidisciplinary approach, more specifically, using the bio-cultural theoretical model in the analysis of several demographic and evolutionary events, ranging from population genetics to life expectancy.


In the last 5 years, she has taught: i) Dynamics of Human Populations and Evolutionary Genetics of Human Populations for the Degree in Anthropology; ii) Introduction to Biology for the Degree in Biochemistry; iii) Genes, Cultures, and Diseases, and Project in Medical Anthropology for the Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology and Global Health; iv) Evolution of the Human Genome for the Master’s degree in Evolution and Human Biology

Main Publications

Alvarez M. “A Saúde e a atividade física – quem vive mais tempo: escultores ou pintores?”In Aprender, envelhecer, Ser Agenda científica de gerontologia 2021, editado por Barradas, Sandra Paula; Oliveira, Albertina, Portugal: Alma Letra, 2021.

Alvarez M. “O envelhecimento e a saúde”. Envelhecimento – Escritos de Direito da Saúde. Portugal: CESXX, 2018ISBN: 978-989-99884-2-2

Manco, Licínio; Bento, Celeste; Relvas, Luís; Cunha, Elisabete; Pereira, Janet; Moreira, Valeria; Alvarez, Manuela; Maia, Tabita; Ribeiro, M. Letícia. “Multi-Locus Models to Address Hb F Variability in Portuguese ß-Thalassemia Carriers”. Hemoglobin (2020): 1-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03630269.2020.1753766. 10.1080/03630269.2020.1753766

Sousa, T; Ribeiro, R; Teixeira, Z; Cruz, R; Alvarez, M. “Life span disparities between rural and urban residents in the Portuguese district of Coimbra”. European Journal of Public Health 29 Supplement (2019): http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckz034.084. 10.1093/eurpub/ckz034.084

Palmeira, Lara; Cunha, Marina; Padez, Cristina; Alvarez, Manuela; Pinto-Gouveia, José; Manco, Licínio. “Association study of variants in genes FTO, SLC6A4, DRD2, BDNF and GHRL with binge eating disorder (BED) in Portuguese women”. Psychiatry Research 273 (2019): 309-311. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2019.01.047. 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.01.047

Research Projects

For the past 5 years, Manuela Alvarez has coordinated a research team aiming to understand how diverse people, and communities experience and respond to the ageing process. The team includes researchers from different fields, such as biological anthropology, social anthropology, psychology, and pharmacy. A wide range of data, from biomarkers of biological age to subjective well-being, was collected in the Region of Coimbra, one of the 72 reference sites for active and healthy ageing recognized by the European Union. The preliminary results were submitted to scientific meetings, and several papers are being prepared based on a deeper analysis of the data.