Dr Isabel Canto de Loura

Principal Lecturer

Professional Biography

With a solid background training at the intersection of Science & Technology and Human Ecology, alongside a long track record successful academic career, Isabel is also an active entrepreneur and owner of a social business. Isabel was appointed Pathway leader and Senior Lecturer in Sustainability at Regent’s University London in 2009, when she launched the Sustainability pathway of the BAGM programme. Over the years, she has been responsible for the development, updating and review of most of the modules of the pathway, as well as the sustainability modules for post-graduate programmes at RUL, such as the MSc Oil&Gas.

Isabel has won several science dissemination international awards, is often invited as guest speaker and has recently been appointed external examiner for an international Business School. Isabel has been regularly involved in major industry-driven research and development (R&D) projects at the European Commission as independent evaluator since 1996. Isabel holds a PhD in Oceanography and a further PhD in Technological Biology, and she also holds a Post-graduate certificate in Marine Renewable Energies. Isabel is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a chartered Biologist and Ecologist. Her latest publication, ‘Fractal Sustainability’, co-authored with R. Dickinson, is part of her ongoing research projects.


  • PhD in Biology recognition from the USA international qualifications award  recognition board
  • PhD  in Applied Biology from Faculdade de Ciencias Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
  • PhD summa cum laude in Biological Oceanography from Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
  • Certificate in Marine and Hydropower Energy by the European Energy Centre
  • MSc in Oceanography by Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
  • BSc Honours in Applied Biology and Ecology by NELP-University of East London, UK

Other Teaching qualifications and accreditations:

  • FOCO in HE teaching and teacher trainer (Portuguese equivalent to PGCHE with QTS)
  • CAP in Science Education (Portuguese equivalent to QTS)
  • PADI scuba-diving instructor specialized in scientific diving and scuba diving training techniques for young divers
  • TEFL:  English for young learners and TEFL Business English

Relevant Past Employment

  • Reader (Professora Associada) in Applied Ecology, Sustainability and Natural Resource Management at ESEV-Instituto Politecnico de Viseu, Portugal, from 2008 to 2009
  • Invited Reader (Professora Associada) in Marine Ecology and Marine Renewable Energies and Energy from Biomass at diverse HE institutions in Portugal and in Portuguese-speaking African countries since 2008
  • Reader (Professora Associada) and Chair in Applied Ecology at Universidade Lusófona, Lisboa, Portugal, from 1997 to 2008
  • Invited Reader (Professora Associada) at ISECMAR Cape Verde from 2005 to 2007
  • Invited Reader (Professora Associada) at INIDA Cape Verde from 2005 to 2007
  • Invited Reader (Professora Associada) of the module in Management of Marine Protected areas for the MSc in Management of Natural Resources Universidade dos Azores in 2006
  • Reader (Professora Associada), Research team leader and Head of Biological Sciences and Health Departments at UniPiaget de Cabo Verde, from 2005 to 2007
  • Research lead for Instituto Piaget Portugal from 1998 to 2002.
  • Reader (Professora Associada), Vice-dean and Head of the Environmental Engineering department of ISEIT, Almada, Portugal, from 1998 to 2002.
  • Reader (Professora Associada), Head of Environmental Management group and Chair of the Pedagogical Board at Universidade Atlântica, Oeiras, Portugal, from 1998 to 2000
  • Project manager and Research Lab Quality manager for Instituto Piaget Portugal, from 1996 to 2002.
  • Co-founder and CSO of  Casa Humana’ on Social and Human Ecology
  • Coordinator of CLEA (Research Centre for Environmental Quality Management) and
  • Head of the Scientific Board at Instituto Piaget, Portugal, from 1992 to 2002.
  • Reader (Professora Associada), Research team coordinator and Director of EcoA (Research Unit in Applied Ecology) and of CLEA (Lab Centre for Environmental Assessment) at ESEs Jean Piaget Portugal, from 1992 to 2002.


  • CANTO de LOURA, Isabel and DICKINSON, Robin (2016) “Fractal Sustainability: a systems approach to organizational change”. Gower Publishers: Routledge Group. London, UK.
  • CANTO de LOURA, Isabel (2016) ‘Human Settlements and Sustainability’ Chapter 2 IN Raquel Vasconcelos (Editor), Rui Freitas (Editor), Cornelis J Hazevoet (Editor), Moisés Borges (Foreword By) “Cape Verde – The Natural History of the Desertas Islands: Santa Luzia, Branco and Raso / Cabo Verde – História Natural das Ilhas Desertas: Santa Luzia, Branco e Raso” Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme – Sociedade Caboverdiana de Zoologia.
  • CANTO de LOURA, Isabel (2014) Dilemmas in Sustainability. Journal of Management Development Volume/Issue No.: 33/6 Article No: JMD558439
  • CANTO de LOURA, Isabel (2014) Applying the ELSA model to teaching sustainability to undergraduate business students. Volume 33 Issue 6 of Journal of Management Development
  • CANTO de LOURA, Isabel (2008) Energia e Ambiente (Energy and the Environment). Students' handbook. ESEV, Instituto Politécnico de Viseu. Portugal.
  • CANTO de LOURA, Isabel (2005) Bioindicadores de Qualidade Ambiental (Bioindicators of Environmental Quality). Students’ handbook. Universidade Lusófona, Lisboa, Portugal.

Conference Papers Given

  • March 2012: ‘Embedding Sustainability and CSR issues in Business and Management module syllabuses’
  • April 2012, Applying students' individual tacit knowledge and in-class experiential simulation learning approach (ELSA) to improve teaching and learning Sustainability and Ecopreneurship to Business and Management undergraduate students.
  • November 2013: ‘Overview of the most relevant technological updates in the field of Marine Renewables’.
  • March 2014: ‘Marine Renewable Energies: scope, limitations and sustainability’

Research Interests

  • Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility
  • Innovation Management
  • Entrepreneurship: Eco-entrepreneurship and Social Business
  • Applied Biology/Biotechnology
  • Applied Ecology and Environmental Management
  • Energy Management (Oil&Gas and Renewables)
  • Quality Management
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Risk Management
  • Organizational Culture
  • Project Management
  • Research Methods

Grants Awarded

  • Project Aware 2002
  • Project Aware 2003
  • Project Aware 2004
  • FCT Ciencia Viva de Verao 2004
  • National Geographic Grant 2004
  • FCT Ciencia Viva 2005
  • National Geographic Grant 2006
  • FCT 2009

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

  • SFEA - Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK
  • FRSB -  Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, UK
  • EurBiol – Professional Board of European Biologists
  • Ordem dos Biologos – Portuguese Professional Board of Biologists
  • EEC – Member of the European Energy Centre, UK
  • IALE –Global Change International
  • APEP - Portuguese Professional Association of Landscape Ecology
  • APEA -  Portuguese Professional Association of Environmental Engineers
  • SPECO - Portuguese Professional Association of Applied Ecology
  • MIBol - Member of the Institute of Biology, UK
  • Member of the Institut Océanographique, France

Teaching & Course Development

In her role as Reader (Professora Associada) and Head of Department at the Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde, Isabel was heavily involved in activities such as validation and proposal of new programmes (e.g. BEng in Environmental Engineering, BSc in Marine Sciences, BSc in Chemical and Environmental Sciences, MSc in Marine Biotechnology, MA in Human and Urban Ecology, MA in Management of Natural Resources). As part of her responsibilities, she also recruited, mentored and supervised a number of lab technicians, academic support trainees and academic staff. She has also been responsible for planning, delivering and critically reviewing a range of syllabi, teaching and learning strategies and methods (including lectures, seminars, fieldwork activities, lab and practical sessions and CPD courses for teachers). In her role as Reader at Universidade Lusófona in Lisbon, she was responsible for course development, teaching, developing and assessing coursework, providing appropriate feedback and pastoral care to students, and supervise final year undergraduate dissertations, supervising research students at postgraduate (Masters and PhD) level, and also acting as a tutor for industrial/professional integration in some cases.

At Regent’s University since 2009 as Sustainability pathway leader, she helped launch the pathway in 2009 and played a major role in the review and development of syllabi and the overall structure of the Sustainability Pathway for the revalidation of the programme in 2012. She also contributed to the development and launching of the MSc in Oil and Gas.


Appointed External Examiner for the European School of Economics in 2016.