Maria Paula de Vilhena Mascarenhas is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minho. She obtained a Diploma in Sociologie, mention Anthropologie Sociale et Sociologie Comparée, at the Paris V – Sorbonne University in 1980, specializing in Sociology of Literature and Ethnobotany and Ethnozoology, with two dissertations entitled Le Roman du Renard and Le Lynx et l ’Homme.

She also obtained the C3 Certificate of Maîtrise en Mathématiques des Sciences de l ‘Homme, in 1982. The Maîtrise diploma in Sociologie, Mention Anthropologie Sociale et Sociologie Comparée, specialization in Sociology of Art, having defended the Maîtrise dissertation, under the title Les pédagogique discours by Jean Baptiste De Lasalle-Règle et savoir: an analyze de la conduite, at the University, Paris V, in 1983, having been unanimously approved.

She was a member of the editorial board of the magazine Atalaia between 1994 and 1999. She is a member of the editorial board of the magazine Settings. Co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the following agencies: Cascais Natura Municipal Agency, Cascais Energia Municipal Agency, and Cascais Atlântico Municipal Agency. She is President of the Non-Governmental Organization for the Environment, Ecological Group of Cascais since 2001, having developed local projects in the areas of Ecology and Environmental Education.

She is a member of the Civic Movement in Defense of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. She received the Municipal Medal for the Defense of Nature and the Environment in 2004 among other decorations in defense of the Environment.