Rui Coelho graduated in Biology at the Univ. Lisbon (2000), and completed a PhD in Fisheries Biology at the Univ. Algarve (2007) and a MSc in Statistical Modelling at the Univ. Évora (2013). During 2008-2010 he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Florida Museum of Natural History (Univ. Florida, USA). In 2010 Rui returned to Portugal and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow (FCT grant) at the Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) and the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA, IP) until 2014. In April 2014, Rui signed a Researcher contract (Investigador-FCT) with IPMA, where he is now responsible for the tunas, swordfish and shark stocks in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. as well as other bycatch such as sea turtles.
Rui regularly participates in scientific meetings of tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (t-RFMO) for the Atlantic (ICCAT - International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna) and Indian Ocean (IOTC - Indian Ocean Tuna Commission). In 2012 he was invited by ICCAT as a bycatch expert to coordinate an initial impact assessment of sea turtle populations in the Atlantic. In 2014 was elected the Chair of the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch (WPEB) and in 2015 was selected as the coordinator of the ICCAT swordfish (North and South Atlantic stocks).