Kamilla Avelino de Souza

Life Sciences

Founder of the Brazilian Network of Neurobiodiversity, scientist Kamilla Avelino de Souza focuses her work on the comparative analysis of cetacean brains, exploring brain morphology to unravel the mysteries of the evolution of these animals’ nervous systems. Featured prominently in journalistic articles and profiles, the collaborative network orchestrated by Kamilla now boasts the most extensive collection of dolphin brains in Latin America, with over fifty specimens from 14 different institutions. Influenced since childhood, Kamilla remembers the frequent nature documentaries her grandfather gifted her and the anatomy book she loved to read and re-read in her aunt’s nursing library.

A student at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Souza earned her degree in biological sciences and completed both her master’s and doctoral degrees in morphological sciences. At the same institution, she underwent a postdoctoral period at the Institute of Physics and joined the Global Scholars at the Welcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging at the University of Oxford, England. Beyond her dedication to research, the scientist is passionate about travel, a heartfelt Vasco da Gama fan, and values running to relax and balance her busy routine. A lover of pizza and movies, she dedicates her free time to family, including her beloved pet.


Brazilian Network of Neurobiodiversity
Science / Life Sciences

How did brains develop in the aquatic environment? Despite Brazil’s vast biodiversity, the lack of comparative studies in neuroanatomy has limited a more systematic understanding of the morphology and evolution of the nervous system, especially in aquatic mammals such as cetaceans. In this context, the Brazilian Network of Neurobiodiversity was established—a multidisciplinary initiative dedicated to collecting and analysing brains from these animals.

Using imaging and histology methods, we aim to investigate various complementary aspects of brain morphology to understand what factors contributed to diversity among groups. Currently, the Network includes over 50 specimens from 14 distinct research institutes. Compared with already available data from other groups, structural, volumetric, and histological analyses of this extensive collection will allow us to generate a more complete description of brain diversity in cetaceans and in mammals in general. The Network’s approach aims not only to broaden our understanding of neurobiodiversity but also to drive forward this line of research in the country.

Amount invested

Grant 2023: R$ 273.250,00