Ricardo Nuno Alves

Research Group Staff

​Research Specialist



Building 2, Level 2, 2206-WS09 📞Tel: +966 (12) 808 2734


My main research interests focus on the molecular, cellular and physiological responses of marine fish to the climate changes and to environmental and anthropogenic stressors. I also focus my research on aspects related with the improvement of growth and quality traits in the promising aquaculture fish species in the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia. I am particularly interested on the immunomodulatory effects of ultraviolet radiation (UV) in fish at different development stages.

The main objective of our ongoing project in KAUST is to characterize the general mechanisms underlying the molecular and cellular changes related to the immunomodulatory effects of UV exposure in fish, particularly those with a potential for aquaculture along the Red Sea coast. In this study, we pretend to answer some of the following questions: What are the molecular mechanisms underlying the immunodulatory effects of UV-B exposure in fish? How these immunodulatory effects are related to physiological and metabolic changes, and how these affects the fish survival and growth? Does the resistance of fish to specific pathogens decreases after exposure to UV radiation? 

We also pretend to address the synergistic interaction between UV radiation and other environmental stressors. 

Research Interest

Fish immune system, fish endocrinology, UV-A and UV-B radiation, environmental and anthropogenic stressors, climate changes, aquaculture, biology, fish physiology

Selected Publications

  • Alves RN, Sundell KS, Anjos L, Sundh H, Harboe T, Norberg B, Power DM. Structural and functional maturation of skin during metamorphosis in the Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus). Cell Tissue Res. 372, 469-492 (2018)
  • F.H.S. Fogaça, C. S. M. Oliveira, Ricardo N. Alves, Ana L. Maulvault, Vera L. Barbosa, Patrícia Anacleto, João Avelar Magalhães, Narcisa M. Bandarra, Maria João Ramalho, Simone Morais, AntónioMarques, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons bioaccessibility in seafood: Culinary practices effects on dietary exposure, Environ Res, 164, 165-172 (2018)
  • Maulvault AL, Santos LHMLM, Paula JR, Camacho C, Pissarra V, Fogaça F, Barbosa V, Alves R, Ferreira PP, Barceló D, Rodriguez-Mozaz S, Marques A, Diniz M, Rosa R. Differential behavioural responses to venlafaxine exposure route, warming and acidification in juvenile fish (Argyrosomus regius), Sci Total Environ, 634, 1136-1147 (2018) 
  • Vera Barbosa, Ana Luísa Maulvault, Ricardo N. Alves, Christian Kwadijk, Michiel Kotterman, Alice Tediosi, Margarita Fernández Tejedor, Jens J. Sloth, Kit Granby, Rie R. Rasmussen, Johan Robbens, Bavo De Witte, Laura Trabalón, José O. Fernandes, Sara Cunha, António Marques. Effects of steaming on contaminants of emerging concern levels in seafood, Food Chem Toxic (2018).
  • Ana L, Ricardo N. Alves, Patricia Anacleto, Fabiola Fogaça,C.  Kwadijk, M. Kotterman, Sara Cunha,J. O. Fernandes, Rie Rasmussen, J. J. Sloth, Ò, Aznar-Alemany, E. Eljarrat, D. Barceló, A. Marques. Assessing the effects of seawater temperature and pH on the bioaccumulation of emerging chemical contaminants in marine bivalves, Environ Res, 161, 236-247 (2018).
  • Ricardo N. Alves, Ana L. Maulvault, Vera L. Barbosa, Margarita Fernande-Tejedor, Alice Tediosi, Michiel Kotterman, Fredericus H.M. van den Heuvel, Johan Robbens, José O. Fernandes, Rie Romme Rasmussen, Jens J. Sloth, António Marques. Oral bioaccessibility of toxic and essential elements in raw and cooked commercial seafood species available in European markets. Food Chemistry (2017).
  • Ricardo N. Alves, J.C.R. Cardoso, T. Harboe, R. Martins, B. Norberg, D.M. Power, Duplicate deiodinase 3 genes in teleost fish and their role during Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) metamorphosis. Mol Cell Endoc, 246, 279-293, (2017). 
  • Alves, Ana L. Maulvault, Vera L. Barbosa, Sara Cunha, Christiaan Kwadijk, Diana Alvarez, Òscar Aznar-Alemany, Margarita Fernandez-Tejedor, Alice Tediosi, António Marques. Preliminary assessment on the bioaccessibility of contaminants of emerging concern in raw and cooked seafood, Food Chem Tox, 104, 69-78 (2017).
  • Diana Manita, Ricardo N. Alves, Ana Catarina Braga, Fabiola H.S. Fogaça, António Marques, Pedro Reis Costa. In vitro bioaccessibility of the marine biotoxins okadaic acid, dinophysistoxin-2 and their 7-O-acyl fatty acid ester derivatives in raw and steamed shellfish. Food Chem Toxic, 101, 121-127 (2017).
  • Ana Luísa Maulvault, VeraBarbosa, Ricardo N. Alves, Ana Custódio, Patrícia Anacleto, Tiago Repolho, Pedro Pousão Ferreira, Rui Rosa, António Marques, Mário Diniz. Ecophysiological responses of juvenile seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) exposed to increased temperature and dietary methylmercury, Sci Total Envir, 15, 551-558 (2017).


  • Ph.D., Biological Sciences - Molecular Biology, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal, 2017 
  • M.Sc., Marine Biology - Marine Biotechnology, University of Algarve, Faro, 2008
  • B.Sc., Marine Biology, University of Algarve, Faro, 2006

Professional Profile

  • 2017 - Present: Research Specialist, Postdoc, Red Sea Research Center, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia 
  • 2017: Postdoctoral Fellow, Comparative Endocrinology and Integrative Biology Group (CEIB), Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal
  • 2015 - 2017: Research Fellow, Division of Aquaculture and Upgrading (DivAV), Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2011 - 2015: PhD Student Fellow, Comparative Endocrinology and Integrative Biology Group (CEIB), Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal 
  • 2009 - 2011: Research Fellow, Comparative Endocrinology and Integrative Biology Group (CEIB), Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal

Research Interests Keywords

Fish immune system Fish endocrinology UV-A, UV-B radiation