Maria Victoria Alvarado

Photo_Victoria AlvaradoShort Bio

I’m a graduate in Marine Sciences from Universidad de Cádiz (UCA, Spain), and after this I started my scientific career with two internship grants at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-Cádiz, Spain) and at the Department of Biology of the UCA (Spain) from 2007 to 2009. This was my first contact with high-level research and it represented the starting point of my career in fish biology research. Later, in 2010, I was awarded a Predoctoral fellowship (FPI PreDoc) from the Spanish Government to complete my PhD in Fish Reproductive Physiology and Neuroendocrinology at the Institute of Aquaculture of Torre la Sal (IATS-CSIC, Spain). My PhD research focused on the study of neuroendocrinology and reproductive physiology in high-value fish and seasonal breeders, European sea bass, mainly characterising the molecular and neuroendocrine mechanism triggered by a neuropeptide namely kisspeptins, during gonadal development in male and female. My first postdoctoral opportunity gave me the opportunity to consolidate all the knowledge that I learnt during my PhD, specially in the field of hormonal regulation and animal husbandry through the effect of acidification conditions in the ocean in the IFREMER (Brest, France). During last two years (2017-2019), I was working in in CCMAR (Faro, Portugal) under supervision of Prof. Adelino Canário with a Curie postdoctoral fellowship (FISHODOR; Ref. 746509). This multidisciplinary project offered me the opportunity to acquire new knowledge on the regulation of reproductive processes, in particular the interrelationship between hormones and social and reproductive behaviour by olfactory information in Mozambique tilapia. Currently, I am working as part of the Integrative Behavioural Biology group at the IGC (Lisbon, Portugal), led by Prof. Rui Oliveira participating in FCT funded Portugal 2020 project “COGBIAS” under co-supervision of Prof. Rui Oliveira and Dr. Felipe Espigares.

Research interests

Currently, I am highly interested in the field of fish behaviour, and specifically in the study of the neural mechanisms involved in cognitive appraisal and the subsequent physiological responses. Therefore, COGBIAS (FCT Ref., 02/SAICT/2017; Curie Global Fellowship Ref., 795765) is a unique opportunity to continue developing my skills in the field of fish physiology and to foster new skills in the field of behaviour, with special emphasis in understanding the neural mechanisms and healthy consequences of cognitive bias along lifespan in zebrafish and European seabass.


  1. Pinto, P.I.S; Andrade, A.R.; Estêvão, M.D.; Alvarado, M.V.; Felip, A.; Power, D. M. (2018). Duplicated membrane estrogen receptors in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax): Phylogeny, expression and regulation throughout the reproductive cycle. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and molecular Biology; 178, 234-242 (doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.12.019).
  2. Pinto, P.I.S.; Velez, Z.; Sousa, C.; Santos, S.; Andrade, A.; Alvarado, M.V.; Felip, A; Zanuy, S.; Canário, A.V.M. (2017). Responsiveness of pituitary to galanin throughtout the reproductive cycle of male European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). General and Comparative Endocrinology; 250, 152-161 (doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2017.06.009).
  3. Alvarado, M.V.; Servili, A.; Molés, G.; Gueguen, M.M.; Carrillo, M.; Kah, O.; Felip, A. (2016). Actions of sex steroids on kisspeptin expression and other reproduction-related genes in the brain of the teleost fish European sea bass. Journal of Experimental Biology; 219, 3353-3365 (doi: 10.1242/jeb.137364).
  4. Alvarado, M.V.; Carrillo, M.; Felip, A. (2015). Melatonin-induced changes in kiss/gnrh gene expression patterns in the brain of male sea bass during spermatogenesis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology; 185: 69-79 (doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2015.03.010).
  5. Carrillo, M.; Espigares, F.; Felip, A.; Escobar, S.; Molés, G.; Rodríguez, R.; Alvarado, M.V.; Gómez, A.; Zanuy, S. (2015). Updating control of puberty in male European sea bass: a holistic approach. General and Comparative Endocrinology; 221: 42-53 (doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.06.019
  6. Alvarado, M.V.; Carrillo, M.; Felip, A. (2013). Expression of kisspeptins and their receptors, gnrh-1/gnrhr-II-1a, and gonadotropin genes in the brain of adult male and female European sea bass during different gonadal stages. General and Comparative Endocrinology; 187: 104-116 (doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.03.030).