Dr. Filipe Natalio

Scientific Archaeology Unit

Dr. Filipe André da Silva Raminhos Natalio was born in Portugal, where he studied chemistry at the University of Lisbon and completed his thesis at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands (2004).  He did his doctoral training under the supervision of Prof. Werner Müller and Prof. H.C. Schröder at the Medical University of the University of Mainz, Germany, completing his PhD in 2010. During his doctoral studies, he was a visiting researcher both at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry in Naples, Italy (2006-2007) and at the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing (2009).

Interested in both ancient and modern materials, Dr. Natalio uses advanced biochemical approaches are used to study the biolithic signatures left behind in flint-based, prehistoric stone tools, in order to elucidate the behavior of species, like homo erectus, that pre-dated modern humans.  Another focus of his work is materials farming—a new and alternative fabrication method that combine plant biology and smart molecular design for the production of novel, eco-friendly materials with specialized properties.

Dr. Natalio is the holder of two international patents: for anti-fouling boat paint, and for a green production method for smart textiles. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a research scholarship from the University of Lisbon (1998-2005) and the EU-Marie Curie Fellowship (2005-2010).  He was also awarded a China-Germany fellowship for collaborative research (2009), the Scidea Ideenwettbewerb (best research idea award) of the Univations/University of Halle (2013). A film called “Cotton-9” describing his materials farming approach was awarded second prize in the Nanospots Kurz Film Festival (2014).

He is married to Dr. Raquel Maria, a research chemist who also joined the Weizmann Institute in 2017 as a postdoctoral researcher. He is an avid surfer—a sport he has enjoyed since childhood—and recommends Palmachim beach for the best waves in Israel.