Dino Milisse is Director of the National Geology Museum of Mozambique. After graduating in geology at the University Eduardo Mondlane, he was Head of the Applied Geology Department of the National Direction of Geology and then Provincial Director of Mineral Resources and Energy of the Inhambane Province until he moved to the National Geology Museum. He has extensive cartography experience and was co-author and coordinator of various geological-environmental maps of Mozambique.

Ricardo Araújo is a paleontologist and co-founder of the original PalNiassa project and is now the Principal Investigator of the PaleoMoz Project. He did a PhD at the Southern Methodist University (USA) on Angolan plesiosaurs and sauropterygian functional morphology under a Fulbright Scholarship. He's currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and Museum für Naturkunde (Germany). Ricardo led several PalNiassa expeditions and supervised/trained the Mozambican students. He also designed the Paleontology Laboratory and monitored its construction and setting up phases.

Estela Cuambe is Financial Manager at the National Museum of Geology (Maputo). Estela's outstanding work with the finances and logistics of the project is invaluable.

Nelson Nhamutole is currently head of the Laboratory of Paleontology of the National Geology Museum. After completing his Geology degree at the Eduardo Mondlane University (Maputo), Nelson spent two years in Portugal attending a post-graduate course in Vertebrate Paleontology. He began participating in the PalNiassa expeditions in 2012 and has since joined the  National Geology Museum. Nelson is currently tackling the paleobotany front of the PaleoMoz Project.

Rui Martins is an auxiliary researcher at Instituto Superior Técnico (Portugal) and a specialist in synchrotron radiation-based techniques. He collaborates actively with the Lourinhã Museum (Portugal) and the National Museum of Geology for applying synchrotron scanning techniques to the study of unique fossil specimens. 


Zanildo Macungo defended his Bachelor’s thesis at the Eduardo Mondlane University in 2016. He is currently the Lead Preparator at the Paleontology Laboratory of Mozambique. Zanildo is currently receiving advanced training to become a paleontologist at the National Museum of Geology.

Filipa Ferrão is the Project Coordinator at the Instituto Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear and her valuable help is assisting us with project management tasks, grant writing and applications, and budget administration.


Steve Tolan is highly skillful with geographical information system software and can plan successful recces efficiently. He is joining fossil expeditions all over sub-Saharan Africa and his valuable experience led to successful findings.


Issaia Macaneta is the skillful driver that takes us through Mozambique. His experience and mechanics knowledge have saved us a lot of time and hassle through the expeditions.

Ivânia Loide successfully defended here Bachelor’s thesis this past October. She is moving forward academically for new paleontological adventures. She is the first woman to graduate with a scientific project in Paleontology from Mozambique.

Marisa Amaral is applying the first fossil vertebrate histology techniques in Mozambique. He is a National Geographic grantee and is training to become a skillful researcher.

Sarita Guluja is finishing her undergraduate studies at Universidade Pedagógica (Beira). She is finishing her bachelor’s thesis on fossil preparation and taxonomic analysis of various specimens from the Niassa Province.

Sheila Zunguza is finishing her bachelor’s thesis at the Museu Nacional de Geologia (Mozambique). She has been focused on a statistical analysis of the Endothiodon population from the Niassa Province. Sheila also worked on a heavy sand extraction geological company in Mozambique.

Salimo Murrula started his paleontological work after joining the PalNiassa expedition in 2010. He received training as a fossil preparator in Portugal and was then accepted at the University of Minho (Portugal) for an undergraduate degree, which he completed in June 2016. Salimo participated in various field expeditions and prepared many unique specimens that are currently being studied. He is currently part of the staff at the Provincial Direction of Mineral Resources in Niassa.


Past members

Albano Nhassengo is a Geology graduate from Eduardo Mondlane University. He did his research thesis on dycinodont specimens collected in the Niassa supervised by PalNiassa paleontologists. Albano is currently receiving training to become a fossil preparator at the Laboratory of Paleontology of the National Museum of Geology. 

Rui Castanhinha was a co-founder of the PalNiassa Project. He studied at the IGC (Portugal). He participated in the first PalNiassa field campaigns and helped co-supervise the first students. 

Luis Costa Junior PalNiassa

Luís Costa Júnior was co-founder of the PalNiassa Project. He was Director of the National Museum of Geology when the project was launched and until he passed away in 2015. His enthusiasm and dedication for the preservation of the Mozambican geological heritage was instrumental for the success of PalNiassa and for the reorganisation of the National Museum of Geology and its fossil collection. He was also responsible for the largest geological survey in Mozambique and a great supporter of the Mozambican scientific development. 


Norcésio Francisco was a National Geographic grantee. He learnt how to prepare fossils, learnt photography and processed hundreds of photographs to make publication-quality figure plates.