Sofia Costa (PostGrad Organic Agriculture 2014, PhD Biological Sciences 2007, MSc Ecology 2002, Degree Biology 1998) is a nematode ecologist active in two main research lines: i) the use of nematode communities as bioindicators of soil-based ecosystem services; and ii) the ecology and control of crop-damaging plant-parasitic nematodes in agroecosystems. She is currently a contracted researcher at the Centre for Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA), University of Minho (DOI:10.54499/DL57/2016/CP1377/CT0047). She has participated in 5 EU-funded and 10 national projects, acting as coordinator (PI/Co-PI) in 5; these mainly concerned sustainable practices and management of agrifood systems, focusing on agroecology and nematode control, and also include projects on soil biodiversity and function as subjected to anthropogenic and climate change. She published 28 SCI papers in international peer-reviewed journals, including a paper in Nature that was highly influential in shaping soil ecology research. This resulted from close international collaboration, and projected the global distribution of nematode functional groups across biomes, elucidated the contributions of this faunal group to climate change, and gave an overview of the drivers and pressures of soil biodiversity and function. This research is expected to impact policies in the EU Soil Directive under deliberation. Her most impactful research relates to agroecosystem sustainability, aiming to exploit beneficial interactions among biodiversity components through adequate management, learning from model systems and drawing parallels between natural and agricultural systems. She co-authored 2 book chapters, has 10 other publications, and communicated her work as 56 oral presentations (22 invited) and 80 posters in scientific conferences. She currently supervises 2 PhD students with grants from FCT, and 5 MSc students. Since 2012 she has supervised 3 PhD and 13 MSc theses to completion. These documented the effects of natural alternatives to chemical control of nematodes, proposing sustainable methods to reduce the pressure of the most economically relevant soilborne parasites in agriculture, via: i) vegetable grafting and host resistance; ii) biological control by microorganisms and plant mutualists; iii) the exploitation of communication in the rhizosphere. These also covered topics of natural and agroecosystem resilience and natural regulation drivers, and promotion of sustainability by a combined above-belowground perspective. Sofia Costa leads the Nematology group at CBMA, the only laboratory working on nematode community analysis as bioindicators of soil health in Portugal. She is an internationally-recognised researcher in her field, giving invited talks and participating in the organization/scientific committee of conferences, and is a member of the editorial board of Frontiers in Plant Science (Frontiers), Nematology (Brill), and Plant and Soil (Springer). Because soil ecology, particularly nematode ecology, and agroecosystem sustainability are topics seldom covered by the media, she regularly contributes to knowledge transfer and science dissemination events, including the participation in public dissemination of science projects (2), radio interviews (3), technical publications (3), several talks, and other public engagement activities. She contributed to the hands-on exhibition 'the importance of being nematode', the best dissemination activity in the European Researchers' Night in Braga, 2021. She was co-founder and scientific coordinator of Fitolab, a phytosanitary services laboratory hosted by the Instituto Pedro Nunes, Coimbra (2012/13) and engages in knowledge transfer activities to help mitigate the effects of nematodes on crops.

Identificação pessoal

Nome completo
Sofia Costa

Nomes de citação

  • Costa, Sofia R

Identificadores de autor

Ciência ID
Researcher Id
Scopus Author Id


  • CBMA, Departamento de Biologia. Universidade do Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057, Braga, Braga, Portugal (Profissional)

Domínios de atuação

  • Ciências Naturais - Ciências Biológicas - Ecologia
  • Ciências Agrárias - Agricultura, Silvicultura e Pescas - Produção e Proteção de Plantas
  • Ciências Agrárias - Agricultura, Silvicultura e Pescas - Agronomia
  • Ciências Naturais - Ciências Biológicas - Conservação da Biodiversidade


Idioma Conversação Leitura Escrita Compreensão Peer-review
Português (Idioma materno)
Inglês Utilizador proficiente (C2) Utilizador proficiente (C2) Utilizador proficiente (C2) Utilizador proficiente (C2) Utilizador proficiente (C2)
Francês Utilizador elementar (A1) Utilizador independente (B1) Utilizador elementar (A1) Utilizador elementar (A1)
Espanhol; Castelhano Utilizador elementar (A1) Utilizador proficiente (C1) Utilizador elementar (A1) Utilizador elementar (A1)
Grau Classificação
Organic Agriculture (Postgraduate Certificate)
Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo Escola Superior Agrária, Portugal
Biological Sciences (Doctor of Philosophy)
Lancaster University, Reino Unido
aproved without corrections
Ecology (Master)
Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
"Interactions between the plant Artemisia vulgaris and the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne megadora" (TESE/DISSERTAÇÃO)
Very good (18/20)
Biology (Licenciatura)
Universidade de Coimbra Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia, Portugal
Bom (14/20)