Photo of Paula Sofia Fonseca Nabais

Paula Sofia Fonseca Nabais

  • Portugal

  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
20162020

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Personal profile

Research interests

I earned my PhD in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (specialization in Conservation Science) in 2019 from NOVA. For the novelty of this project, I was awarded in 2016 the prize Stimulus for Research by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. My research has been dedicated to medieval manuscripts with special emphasis on the study of the organic paint materials. My interdisciplinary career has prepared me to collaborate with experts from different areas, such as art history, chemistry, botany, and literature, surpassing the challenging barrier between the natural and social sciences. During my MSc thesis I worked with the European MOLAB network, under the supervision of Costanza Miliani (MOLAB coordinator) and Aldo Romani. This collaboration continued throughout the PhD when I was awarded a grant from FCT-MCTES (PB/BD/105895/2014) mainly developed at LAQV-REQUIMTE and at IEM-FCSH. I grew as a researcher within the first interdisciplinary team to develop a modus operandi for the analysis of manuscripts. During my PhD I acquired experience in advanced analytical techniques and benefited from collaborations which allowed me to work with portable equipment, for in-situ measurements of artworks. I became an expert on the use of molecular fluorescence, a highly sensitive technique for the characterization of dyes and the paint formulation. The project earned the interest of Portuguese, Spanish and Austrian cultural institutions: Ajuda National Palace, Fondo Katì, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek and the Monastery of El Escorial. This collaboration network is still active and expanding as seen by my participation in national projects (Polyphenols in Art, PTDC/QUI-OUT/29925/2017; STEMMA, PTDC/LLT-EGL/30984/2017) and international projects (IMAN, Spain; Vienna Genesis, Austria). More recently, I began collaborating in a COST Action in the Arts and Humanities field, accepted in May 2020, for which I was nominated member of the Portuguese Management Committee. Considering that I am a recent PhD graduate, I believe I have an impressive publication record in this area: 14 publications (10 in peer-reviewed journals, 1 book chapter, and 3 conference proceedings), 3 of them as the first author. I have published in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals, among which are 4 publications in Heritage Science (Q1 in Archaeology). More recently, I have also published as a first author in the high-impact journal Science Advances (Q1 in Multidisciplinarity, IF 12.8), of the Science editorial group [1]. This work, in collaboration with the University of Oporto, bridged Art History and Chemistry for the preservation of cultural heritage, disclosing the unknown molecular structure of an important blue/purple dye used in medieval manuscripts, folium. This work had an impressive media feedback, with published news on the article from all over the globe. I have participated in both national and international conferences with 16 oral and 13 posters presentations, including 4 invited talks. My excellent communication skills were recognized when I was awarded Excellent Shotgun Prize at an international conference. I am also actively involved in dissemination activities, such as the European Researcher’s Night, workshops on medieval artist’s materials for the general public and the preparation of artists’ exhibitions. Since 2016 I have collaborated with the Department of Conservation and Restoration at NOVA through the co-supervision of 3 MSc theses and several curricular projects, as well as in the lecturing of courses such as History of Art Technology and Materials, and Modern Analytical Methods in Art and Archaeology. Moreover, I was invited to lecture at the Department of Art History for the course of History of Romanesque Art. I am currently a researcher at LAQV, within project Polyphenols in Art, studying intrinsically complex paint materials for the conservation of medieval manuscripts, being a coordinator of one of the project tasks.

Education/Academic qualification

Conservation Science, Doctorate, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Award Date: 19 Sep 2019

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