Principal Investigator

Manuel Souto

Manuel Souto Salom (Valencia, 1988) is an Oportunius Research Professor and Principal Investigator at CIQUS (University of Santiago de Compostela). He is also a Guest/Visiting Professor at the University of Aveiro. He holds a double degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from the University of Valencia (Spain) and from the École de Chimie, Polymères et Matériaux (ECPM) de Strasbourg (France), respectively, doing a research internship at PLAPIQUI (Argentina). He also earned a Master’s degree in Molecular and Supramolecular Chemistry (2011) from the University of Strasbourg conducting his Master thesis at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST, Lisbon). He obtained his PhD in Materials Science at Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) with Prof. Jaume Veciana in 2016 conducting two research stays at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and at the University of Antwerp. In 2017, he started to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Molecular Science (ICMol-UV) with a Juan de la Cierva fellowship. In 2019, he started his independent research career as an Assistant Professor at the Chemistry Department of the University of Aveiro and CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials. In 2022 he was promoted to Principal Researcher (tenure, Permanent Researcher/Assoc. Prof.) at the same institution. He received, among other distinctions, the NanoMatMol PhD award, the PhD Extraordinary award, and the European Award on Molecular Magnetism Doctoral Thesis. His research interests encompass molecular electronics, electroactive polymers and organic batteries. His main current research interest is the design and synthesis of new functional electroactive porous frameworks (e.g., COFs & MOFs) based on redox-active organic building blocks for energy storage applications. In 2021, he was awarded an ERC Starting Grant with the project ELECTROCOFS, which aims to design new redox-active COF-based electrodes for rechargeable batteries. He is member of the RSEQ (GENAM) and SPQ chemical societies and Fellow of the Young Academy of Europe. In his free time, he is mostly playing with his son and daughter. He also enjoys reading all kinds of books and playing the acoustic guitar. 

Postdoctoral Researcher (2024-Present)

Arindam Mal

Arindam Mal (India, 1988) received his BSc (2009) and MSc (2011) in Chemistry from the Visva Bharati University and Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He then joined the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST, India) and completed his PhD (2018) focused on the synthesis of Ionic Covalent Organic Nanosheets under the supervision of Prof. A. Ajayaghosh. Then he moved to Wuhan University (China) as a postdoctoral researcher (2019-2023) in the research group of Prof. Cheng Wang where he worked on the design and synthesis of 3D COFs. He enjoys nature photography, listening to music, and watching informative documentaries. 

Postdoctoral Researcher (2024-Present)

Paula Escamilla

Paula Escamilla (Valencia, 1997) obtained her BSc in Chemistry (2019) and MSc in Experimental Techniques in Chemistry (2020) from the University of Valencia. She completed her PhD in Chemistry (2023) on the development of oxamidato-based MOFs for catalysis and water remediation at Instituto de Ciencia Molecular (ICMol-UV) under the supervision of Prof. Emilio Pardo and Dr. Jesús Ferrando-Soria. Her research will focus on the design and synthesis of new porous materials for energy storage applications. 

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellow

Marilyn DMello

Marilyn Esclance DMello (India, 1993) obtained her BSc in Chemistry (2014) from Goa University and MSc in Analytical Chemistry (2016) from Mangalore University. She completed her PhD (2022) from Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE, Manipal) under the supervision of Prof. Suresh Babu Kalidindi and Prof. Ganapati V. Shanbhag. Her thesis was focused on the design and development of MOF-based materials for gas sensing applications. After her PhD, she was awarded the SERB-National post-doctoral fellowship (2023-2025) to join the group of Prof. Bhagavatula L. V. Prasad at Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (India) where she worked on developing single-atom catalysts for liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) applications. She will be joining the group as an MSCA Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research will focus on the chemical design of redox-bipolar COF electrodes for metal-ion batteries.

PhD Student (2024-Present)

Jonathan Caroni

Jonathan Caroni (Rome, 1990) obtained his BSc (2020) and MSc (2022) in Chemistry from the University of Perugia (Italy). His MSc thesis project dealt with the alternative synthesis of mixed zirconium phosphates-phosphonates as substrates for growing gold nanoparticles. His PhD thesis will be focused on the processing of electroactive Covalent Organic Frameworks for energy applications. He is passionate about tortoises, pizza and travelling.

PhD Student (2024-Present)

Fanni Fekecs

Fanni Fekecs (Pécs, 1999) obtained her BSc (2021) and her MSc (2023) in Chemistry from the Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary). During her BSc, she gained experience as a part of the Medicinal Chemistry Research Group of the Research Centre for Natural Sciences, where she worked on the preparation of KRas binding nucleotide derivatives. Her MSc research project focused on the development of NHC-transition metal complexes for biological studies, which was accomplished at the Servier Research Institute of Medicinal Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Andras Kotschy.

PhD Student (2024-Present)

Tianshu Zhang

Tianshu Zhang (Beijing, 1993) received his BEng in Energy & Resource Engineering (2016) from Zhejiang University of Technology (China) and his MSc in Chemistry (2021) from Linnaeus University (Sweden). His MSc research project was focused on click chemistry and C-H activation under the supervision of Prof. Ian Nicholls. He enjoys cycling (≈130km per day), running (completed half marathon in 2015 & 2018), and playing piano (reached non-professional top level in 2008).

PhD Student (2020-Present)

Gonçalo Valente

Gonçalo Valente (Aveiro, 1996) obtained his BSc (2017) and MSc (2019) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Aveiro. In 2019 he started to work at CICECO with a research fellowship and he was awarded a FCT PhD fellowship in 2020 (co-supervised by João Rocha). His research work focused on the design and synthesis of novel electroactive porous frameworks with tuneable electrical and optical properties. He is also a Futsal coach (U-15) and player (Senior) at Beira-Mar (Aveiro’s team) and he was co-founder of Núcleo da Bicicleta da UA.

PhD Student (2021-Present)

Pedro Ferreira

Pedro Ferreira (Porto, 1995) obtained his BSc (2017) and MSc (2019) in Chemistry from the University of Porto. In 2021, he was awarded a FCT fellowship to start his PhD under the supervision of Manuel Souto (co-supervised by Carlos Brites) working on the design of novel electro- and photo-active Covalent Organic Frameworks. He likes to go on long walks, listen to relaxing music, and meditate.

PhD Student (2022-Present)

Catarina Ribeiro

Catarina Ribeiro (Porto, 1995) obtained her BSc (2017) in Chemistry from the University of Porto, and her MSc (2019) in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Minho. In 2022, she started her PhD at CICECO – University of Aveiro (co-supervised by João Rocha). Her research work deals with the synthesis of novel electroactive organic building blocks and porous frameworks for energy storage applications. She competed in the Championship category of Ballroom Dancing during her studies. 

PhD Student (2022-Present)

Raquel Dantas

Raquel Dantas (Viseu, 1996) obtained her BSc and MSc (2022) in chemical engineering from the University of Aveiro. She did her Master’s thesis under the supervision of Manuel Souto. Her work focuses on the design of redox-active Covalent Organic Frameworks as electrode materials for lithium batteries (co-supervised by Helena Braga). Outside the lab, she enjoys visiting new places, reading, and hiking.  

MSc Student (2022)

Diana André

Diana André (Coimbra, 2001) obtained her BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Aveiro (2022). Her final year project (co-supervised by João Borges) was focused on the processing of COFs as membranes. Some of her hobbies are ballet and drawing. 

Former members / alumni


 Sara Trigo (undergraduate student, USC, research internship, 2024) (ES)

 Berenice Laignier (undergraduate student, ECPM, research internship, 2023) (FR)

 Miguel Espinosa (postdoctoral researcher, 2022-2023) (ES)

– Inês Ribeiro (undergraduate student, BSc Chemistry, NOVA-FCT, 2023) (PT)

Clara Felici (undergraduate student, ECPM, research internship, 2022) (FR)

Maialen Iturralde (undergraduate student, ECPM, research internship, 2021) (ES)

Mariana Pereira (undergraduate student, BSc Biochemistry, UA, 2021) (PT)

Bruna Vasques (undergraduate student, BSc Biochemistry, UA, 2021) (PT)

Fran López & Saúl García (Erasmus students, 2020) (ES)

Diego Gerini (graduate researcher, 2020) (IT)

Ricardo Silva (undergraduate student, BSc Biochemistry, UA, 2020) (PT)