Science Fair Program

During my postdoc in US, I had the opportunity to volunteer with the New Haven Science Fair Program, serving as a scientific judge and interacting with young students from public schools of the Greater New Haven area (CT). Although they were usually nervous, sometimes presenting for the first time or in their second language, I tried hard to provide a relaxed atmosphere to discuss the scientific method and their accomplishments, extending their learning process beyond the classroom. After my recent return to US, I decided to reconnect with the Program. I am currently serving as a mentor for the science project of first-grade students from Conte/West Hills Magnet School. But more than engaging the students in the project and assisting the teacher with its implementation, my general role there is to help them to understand the importance of science in general. Moreover, I am sure that in both experiences I have played an additional role as someone that young students with similar backgrounds could identify with and, hopefully, encouraging them to pursue a career in science.


Career Advisor/Consultant

I volunteered as a natural Sciences’ Career Advisor with students at the Lyman Hall High School (Wallingford, CT). The activity was directed towards sophomore students and we discussed the career path to become a researcher in Natural Sciences, including education, internship experiences, professional and personal requirements in terms of attitudes and abilities, the day-by-day routine of a scientist in the field, the frustrations, the excitements, the potential achievements. Although I presented some crucial aspects of the career, most of the activity was promoted by the students’ engagement and curiosity, asking specific questions and discussing their impressions on the expectations and concerns related to the profession. Due to my experience visiting and conducting research in several organizations (from research-driven to the more teaching-based colleges) from different countries, the perspectives on the career in Natural Sciences that we discussed were not only based on my own career history but also on different contexts and possibilities in the field.


Scientific Consultant

In 2014, the science journalist Lesley Evans contacted me about my work on male-only care in Tropical harvestmen for a piece she was writing to the New Scientist. It was a special feature about male parental care in nature to be released for Father’s Day. She did an amazing job interviewing several scientists in the field and put together a delightful article on the subject, filled with examples in frogs, fishes, and arthropods, but also incredible detail on the state-of-art understanding of its evolutionary causes. Due to the success of the article and her own interest in this theme, Lesley conceived a television documentary on male-only parental care and contacted me again in 2015 to gather additional information on the system and to make plans for filming the harvestmen in the field. For the next three years, I volunteered as a scientific consultant with Lesley and the team of Rotating Planet Productions to provide content for this documentary. I guided the film crew in the field site (in Brazil) for two weeks, highlighting interesting behaviors and features of that species. Moreover, I was regularly consulted during the production to share my experience, not only with the harvestmen system but also as a researcher working on the evolution of this distinct behavior. The documentary, entitled “Stay-at-Home Animal Dads”, aired on CBC on December-02-2018.


Presenter at Public Talk

I was invited by the non-profit New Haven Land Trust to participate in a special family event for 2018 Father’s Day, organized in collaboration with the start-up company Fixing Fathers Inc. The majority of the attendants was comprised by families and several dads were present in the audience. We watched a preview of the documentary Stay-at-Home Animal Dads (produced by Rotating Planet Productions), followed by a Q&A, when I answered questions about the science presented in the documentary and my experience collaborating with the film production company. Afterward, I mediated a brief discussion on fatherhood and the lessons we can learn from nature.


Guide in Public ‘Show & Tell’

 I was invited by the non-profit New Haven Land Trust to participate in the event “Bats & Bugs in the Meadows”, hosted at the Quinnipiac Meadows: Eugene B. Fargeorge Preserve. This was a public ‘show & tell’ where researchers engaged the audience in the exciting world of nighttime critters. We demonstrated the use of several methods to find, capture and study nocturnal animals. Despite our field experience, it is intrinsically unpredictable which particular species can be found in a field trip like that. Nevertheless, we shared our knowledge about interesting aspects of the natural history of the specimens found by the audience.


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