Ana Sofia Félix


email: afelix(at)

Short Bio

I graduated in Biological Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST, Lisboa). From 2008 until 2014 I worked as a research technician/lab manager at Rui Oliveira’s laboratory at ISPA – Instituto Universitário (Lisboa) and then I joined CCMAR (Centro de Ciências do Mar, Universidade do Algarve) as a Research Assistant.  During this period, I collaborated in the scope of an FCT project: ‘Neuroendocrine control of reproductive behavior in the Mozambique tilapia: mechanisms and effects of the social environments’ and the European Project COPEWELL: ‘A new integrative framework for the study of fish welfare based on the concepts of allostasis, appraisal and coping styles’. I obtained my PhD in Behavioural Biology (ISPA – Instituto Universitário) in 2019, studying the neuroendocrine regulation of social interactions using a cichlid fish as model species. In the same year, I started teaching Psychobiology and Neuroscience courses to Psychology undergraduate and Master students at ISPA. In 2021, I enrolled in a postdoc in Rui Oliveira’s group at Gulbenkian Science Institute to work in the FCT funded Portugal 2020 Project NEXTGEN: ‘Potential for multiGENerational acclimation of fishes to ocean warming and acidification’ in collaboration with Ana Faria’s lab (ISPA/MARE).

Research Interests

During the last years, I have been involved in research within the field of behavioural neuroendocrinology and behavioural genomics. Currently, I am interested in understanding how climate changes impact fish by studying the molecular consequences of exposure to ocean warming and ocean acidification on fish reproduction.


Cerqueira, M., Millot, S., Silva, T., Félix, A.S., Castanheira, M. F., Rey, S., MacKenzie, S., Oliveira, G., Oliveira, C., and Oliveira, R.F. (2021) Stressor controllability modulates the stress response in fish. BMC Neurosci. 22(48). (2021). doi:10.1186/s12868-021-00653-0.

Félix A.S., and Oliveira R.F. (2021) Integrative Neurobiology of Social Behavior in Cichlid Fish. In The Behavior, Ecology and Evolution of Cichlid Fishes: A Contemporary Modern Synthesis, eds. M. E. Abate and D.L.G. Noakes (Springer Academic). doi:10.1007/978-94-024-2080-7.

Félix, A.S., Roleira, A., and Oliveira, R.F. (2020) Rising to the challenge? Inter-individual variation of the androgen response to social interactions in cichlid fish. Horm. Behav. 124:104755. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2020.104755.

Félix, A.S., Cardoso, S.D., Roleira, A., and Oliveira, R.F. (2020). Forebrain Transcriptional Response to Transient Changes in Circulating Androgens in a Cichlid Fish. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, doi:10.1534/g3.119.400947.

Cerqueira, M., Millot, S., Félix, A., Silva, T., Oliveira, G.A., Oliveira, C.C., Rey, S., MacKenzie, S., Oliveira, R. F. 2020. Cognitive appraisal in fish: stressor predictability modulates the physiological and neurobehavioural stress response in sea bass. Proc. Royal Soc. B, 287(1923): 20192922. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.2922.

Almeida, O., Félix, A.S., Oliveira, G.A., Lopes, J.S., and Oliveira R.F. (2019) Fighting Assessment Triggers Rapid Changes in Activity of the Brain Social Decision-Making Network of Cichlid Fish. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 13, 1–11. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00229. (These authors share first authorship)

Gonçalves, D., Félix, A.S., and Oliveira, R.F. (2017) Neuroendocrinology of Social Behavior in Teleost Fish, in Hormones, Brain and Behavior, eds. D.W. Pfaff and M. Joëls (Oxford: Academic Press), 3–18. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-803592-4.00020-1.

Cerqueira, M., Millot, S., Castanheira, M. F., Félix, A.S., Silva, T., Oliveira, G.A., and Oliveira R.F. (2017) Cognitive appraisal of environmental stimuli induces emotion-like states in fish. Sci. Rep. 7, 13181. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13173-x

Félix, A.S., Faustino, A.I., Cabral, E.M. and Oliveira, R.F. (2013). Noninvasive measurement of steroid hormones in zebrafish holding-water. Zebrafish 10: 1-6.             doi:10.1089/zeb.2012.0792