He has been Vice-President (1986-1996) and President (1998-2002) of the University of Coimbra. He was born in Espinho in 1943 and completed his primary and secondary studies in Porto and his university education in Coimbra. He received a Degree in Geography in 1966 from the Faculty of Letters of the University of Coimbra with dissertation, Vertentes do Rio Dueça. He became Assistant at the same Faculty in June 1966 and full Assistant in 1969. He completed his Doctorate in Physical Geography in 1975 with a thesis on Serras de Valongo - Estudo de Geomorfologia. Since that time he has worked as Auxiliary Professor (1975-1978) and Extraordinary Professor (1978-1982), being a Professor of the Faculty since 1982. Since 1993 he has been a Corresponding Member of the Lisbon National Academy of Sciences; he was awarded the Grã Cruz da Ordem de Mayo al Mérito in Argentina (2001), the Grã Cruz da Ordem Renascença do Piauí (2001), and the title of Grande Oficial da Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, ” (Brazil (2002). During his academic career at the Faculty of Letters he has lectured from time to time at the Universities of Aveiro, Azores, Porto, Lisbon, Limoges and Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and has given talks in many universities including 17 in Brazil and in others, such as Manchester (United Kingdom), León, Huelva and Internacional da Andaluzia (Spain), Nacional de Córdova (Argentina), Macau (China) and the Kyoto Foreign Studies Centre (Japan).
With Verbo, the Luso-Brazilian Cultural Encyclopaedia, he has contributed more than four hundred notes or short articles. He has also contributed to books, book chapters, articles, notes and book reviews and has published more than two hundred and fifty scientific articles.