About the J

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Hey! I am João, a self-taught programmer from Coimbra, Portugal. Everyday I use most of my synapses to tackle problems that interest me in business and science. Currently I am doing a PhD at Oxford using machine learning and satellite imagery to automatically detect hominin fossil sites from space.

You can see my academic curriculum in Google Scholar.

Education and Training

DPhil in Anthropology (on-going)

Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology (Oxford, United Kingdom) | 08/10/2017 - Expected 2021

Doctoral project: Automated geospatial search for human ancestors in Mozambique: a computer vision and machine learning approach

Master’s Degree in Human Evolution and Biology

Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal) | 05/09/2013 – 15/09/2015

Dissertation: “Unwarping Heated Bones: A Quantitative Analysis of Heat-induced Skeletal Deformations Using 3D Geometric Morphometrics”

Graduation in Anthropology

Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal) | 15/09/2010 – 18/08/2013

Erasmus programme

Háskóli Íslands or University of Iceland (Reykjavík, Iceland) | 09/2012 – 05/2013

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)


  • Stanford University: Machine Learning (100%); Statistical Learning (100%);
  • Johns Hopkins University: The Data Scientist’s Toolbox (100%); R Programming (100%); Getting and Cleaning Data (100%); Exploratory Data Analysis (100%); Reproducible Research (100%); Regression Models (100%); Practical Machine Learning (100%); Developing Data Products (100%); Mathematical Biostatistics Boot Camp 1 (94%); Mathematical Biostatistics Boot Camp 2 (100%); Bioinformatics: Life Sciences on Your Computer (93.5%); Statistical Analysis of fMRI Data (100%);
  • University of Michigan: Model Thinking (98.2%); Programming for Everybody (Python) (100%);
  • The University of Edinburgh: Introduction to Philosophy (98.2%); Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life (97.8%);
  • The University of Melbourne: Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression (94.9%);
  • University of North Carolina: Metadata: Organizing and Discovering Information (99.2%);
  • University of Alberta: Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology (98.3%);
  • University of Minnesota: Introduction to Human Behavioral Genetics (98.6%);
  • Emory University: The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Nubia (99.4%);
  • Rice University: An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (98.3%).


  • Harvard University: PH525.1x Statistics and R for the Life Sciences (100%); PH525.2x Matrix Algebra and Linear Models (100%); PH525.3x Advanced Statistics for the Life Sciences (97%); PH525.4x Introduction to Bioconductor (94%); AT1x AnatomyX: Musculoskeletal Cases (98%);
  • MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MAS.S69x Big Data and Social Physics (100%);
  • The University of Queensland: World101x Anthropology of Current World Issues (98%);
  • Karolinska Institutet: KiexploRx Explore Statistics with R (90%);
  • The University of Texas at Austin: UT.7.01x Foundations of Data Analysis (93%);
  • University of California, Berkeley: Stat_2.3x Introduction to Statistics: Inference (88%).


  • University of Wollongong: Homo Floresiensis Uncovered (100%); Bioprinting: 3D Printing Body Parts (100%)
  • University of Basel: Statistical Shape Modelling (90%)
  • University of Southampton: Archaeology of Portus (100%)

Work Experience

Centre for Functional Ecology, Coimbra (Portugal)

12/2015 – Present


osteomics: bone products
osteomics: developing clinical and forensic decision support systems for human bone biology.

In this startup I’ve been worked extensively with Shiny for R, 3D printing technologies, virtual 3D modelling, complex morphometric analytics and web development.

Honours and Awards

  • Grant recipient: Boise Trust Fund 2018 (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford)
  • Grant recipient: Boise Trust Fund 2017 (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford)
  • PhD Studentship: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), 2017-2021
  • Finalist: “Best Business Plan” category at Arrisca-C 2014.
  • Grant recipient: Startup project through the “Passaporte para o Empreendedorismo” programme.
  • Finalist: “Best Business Idea” category at Arrisca-C 2013.
  • Grant: LLP/Erasmus Programme from August 2012 to June 2013 at Háskóli Íslands (University of Iceland).