Martim Melo is an evolutionary biologist based at CIBIO (Research Centre in Biodiversity) and the Natural History and Science Museum, both from the University of Porto, and a research associate at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town. He is in the steering committee behind the recently created Gulf of Guinea Biodiversity Centre (https://gulfofguineabiodiversity.org). Martim is interested in the processes generating diversity – from identifying the factors that drive population divergence to the evolution of reproductive isolation (speciation). Research has focused on the diversification of the bird fauna of Africa, and in particular in its oceanic and ecological islands – natural speciation centres that are amenable for the study of this complex process. The outputs of Martim’s research feed directly into his long-standing and active interest in conservation, by providing a better understanding of the diversity patterns within centres of endemism. Martim is currently assisting in the development of education and capacity building programs in biodiversity hotspots – namely in the Gulf of Guinea and in Southern Africa, with special focus on Angola.