Established in 1853 as the first Portuguese Meteorological and Geophysical Observatory, Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL) has developed into an integrated Earth System Institute, with research in solid Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric processes, their interactions, and their relevance for a sustainable society. IDL hosts a vibrant community, that include Geologists, Physicists, Mathematicians and Engineers, pursuing research within international collaborations, all focused in contributing to leading scientific journals in their fields, from geological to human timescales.


Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL) is an Associated Laboratory based at FCUL (Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon) with a wide research agenda in Earth and Environmental Sciences. First established in 1853, IDL presently includes circa 110 researchers and 70 PhD students from 6 Portuguese Universities and two state laboratories: IPMA (The Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere) and IH (The Navy Hydrographic Institute).

IDL’s core mission focuses on the use of quantitative science to unravel our Planet’s Dynamics and to respond to major societal challenges posed by Climate Change, a sustainable use of Earth and Energy Resources, and exposure to Natural Hazards. IDL’s research includes and combines analytical studies, big data analysis, observational activities, and modelling, spanning from geological to human timescales.

As an integrated Earth System Science institute, IDL actively promotes cross-discipline interactions from fields as diverse as Geology, Geodesy, Solid Earth Geophysics, Physical Oceanography, Hydrology, Meteorology and Climate, Environmental Science and Engineering. This makes IDL singularly suited to diagnose and model natural processes driven by the interaction of Earth’s different sub-domains. Given its uniquely broad scope and integrative position, between the academy and strategic state laboratories, IDL is a main cross-disciplinary platform in Portugal fostering world-class fundamental and responsive research on natural hazards and risk, on climate change and adaptability, on mineral resources onshore and offshore, and on renewable energy applications. IDL is internationally recognised for research in fields such as tsunami and seismic hazard, weather hazards and climate variability, mineral resources, renewable energy, and remote sensing applications. In all of these fields, IDL has well-established relevant international collaborations, with key contributions to several European projects and infrastructures, along with an active role in international research networks.

IDL’s structure keeps its core mission at heart: excellent science providing a know-how base to address grand societal challenges. Accordingly, IDL is structured in five, strongly interconnected research groups that share a high degree of complementarity: RG1 – Climate change: atmosphere-land-ocean processes and extremes; RG2 – Earth surface processes; RG3 – Solid Earth dynamics, hazards and resources; RG4 – Continental margins and the deep ocean frontier; RG5 – Energy transition.

At FCUL, IDL leads the FCT Doctoral Program on Earth System Science (EARTHSYSTEMS), and is a partner of the nationwide FCT Doctoral Program on Sustainable Energy Systems (MIT-Portugal), offering its researchers excellent opportunities to attract young gifted students to new areas of research. IDL therefore hosts a vibrant community of PhD students, many pursuing research within international collaborations, all focused in contributing to leading scientific journals in their fields. IDL has also been able to integrate a significant number of FCT researchers and other Early Career Scientists – often with a rich international experience – at relatively high decision-making levels, boosting future leadership and an even higher degree of internationalisation.

FCUL is the basis of a large community of students and researchers, involved in multidisciplinary scientific and technological research, and hosts the largest Portuguese student community in Earth and Environmental Sciences. FCUL offers its members full logistic and administrative support, with a modern set of shared infrastructures, including High Performance Computing facilities, and several state-of-the-art laboratories. Besides its FCUL-based core community IDL includes a number of very active researcher’s that work elsewhere, including IPMA and other universities (UBI, ISEL, UAlg, Madeira, UTAD).


Ricardo Trigo

Miguel Brito

Rui Taborda

Science Managment
Célia Lee

Research Group Leaders
Climate Change, atmosphere-land-ocean processes and extremes: Pedro Soares and Emanuel Dutra
Earth Surface Processes: Maria Isabel Fernandes and Carlos Marques da Silva.
Solid Earth dynamics, hazards and resources: Ricardo Ramalho and Graça Silveira
Continental margins and the deep ocean frontier: João Duarte and Pedro Terrinha
Energy transition: Miguel Brito

Scientific Advisory Board
Sierd Cloetingh (Netherlands Research Center for Integrated Solid Earth Science)
Christoph Schär (ETH Zürich, Switzerland)
Montserrat Torné (ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain)