Metodologias de Investigação em Ecologia Humana


Students are expected to acquire or develop:
1. Methodological knowledge and skills needed to design and implement, in an integrated and evolutive way, the research project conducive to a doctoral thesis.
2. Knowledge and understanding of the main strategies and technical tools available for interdisciplinary research in Human Ecology, amd the abilty to combine them according to research needs.
3. Ability to deploy the strategies and technical tools when operationalizing research problems and hypotheses.
4. Ability to present and discuss a doctoral-level research project in a critical and reflexive way.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Rui Manuel Leitão da Silva Santos


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 280

Teaching language



Available soon


Barber, M. e S. Jackson. 2015. \"´Knowledge Making´: Issues in Modelling Local and Indigenous Ecological Knowledge\". Human Ecology, 43, 119-30
Burgess, R. 1997. A Pesquisa de Terreno. Oeiras: Celta
Creswell, J. 2009. Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. London: Sage
Davis, A. e J.R. Wagner. 2003. \"Who Knows? On the Importance of Identifying ´Experts´ When Researching Local Ecological Knowledge\". Human Ecology, 31(3): 463-89
Heasley, L. 2003. \"Shifting Boundaries in a Winsconsin Landscape: Can GIS Help Historians Tell a Complicated History?\", Human Ecology, 31(2): 183-213
McCaslin, M.L. e K.W. Scott. 2002. Method for Studying a Human Ecology: An Adpatation of the Grounded Theory Tradition. n.loc.: ERIC
Rihoux, B. e C. Ragin (eds). 2009. Configurational Comparative Methods: Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Related Techniques. LA: Sage
Yin, R.K. 2003. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Thowsand Oaks: Sage

Teaching method

Syllabus topics are framed and summed up in taught sessions, to be deepened with the assigned readings. Concomitantly, the sudents are asked to present and discuss a personal research project in collective and tutorial sessions and in moodle platform forums, from the initial delineation of the topic and its early problematization, the build-in of the results of autonomous bibliographical research and methodological learnings, up to a final research design. Tutorial sessions are also devised to deepen the students´ learning and to guide their autonomous study concerning the methodological and technical issues required by their specific project. The seminar culminates with the in-class discussion of each student´s individual project.

Evaluation method

Continuous formative assessment of the students' participation in ongoing project discussions(30%), Final written project(70%)

Subject matter

1. Scientific method, operationalisation and research design. The overall logical structure of a research design. Typical phases in research and the evolution of design.
2. Designing early exploratory research. Challenges of problem-oriented interdisciplinary research: From the socioenvironmental problem to the scientific problem; from disciplinary paradigms to interdisciplinary conceptual coherence of research problems. Problematisation, exploration and conceptualisation.
3. Designing in-depth exploratory research: Building a socio-ecossystemic problematics. Interdisciplinary theorisation, operationalisation and the systematisation of research.
4. Designing research to test hypotheses and analytical models. Types of analytical models. Testing and validation rationales.
5. Underpinnings and applications of the main descriptive and inferential strategies and techniques: morphological and chronological, quantitative and qualitative dimensions.


Programs where the course is taught: