Caring about the future

Patrícia A. Oliveira Pereira Kowalski

Patrícia A. Oliveira Pereira Kowalski

Assistant Researcher

  • Author Name : Pereira P.

  • Researcher ID: G-3117-2014
  • ORCID: 0000-0001-7613-0635
  • Ciencia ID: CA16-045C-1CA3
  • Department: Department of Biology
  • Research Group: Aquatic Toxicology & Risk Assessment (ATRA)
  • ISI Web of KnowledgeSM search factor: AU=(Pereira P*) AND Ad=(IPIMAR OR CESAM)

Research interests

- Neuronal and sensorial toxicity of mercury (and other trace elements) in fish.
- Mercury toxicokinetics.
- Biochemical and physiological effects of mercury (and other trace elements) on fish brain.
- Changes on fish brain morphometry related with mercury exposure.
- Fish behavior.
- Mercury isotopes.
- The use of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a pioneering model in neurotoxicology.

Academic degrees

- September 2009. PhD in Biology. University of Aveiro (Portugal)
- June 2003. Master in Toxicology. University of Aveiro (Portugal)
- July 2000. Degree in Biology. University of Aveiro (Portugal)

Scientific activities

- Since May 1st 2019. Assistant Researcher (CEEC Individual 2017) at the Physiotoxicology laboratory (FISIOTOX) from the Biology Department of Aveiro University (Portugal) and CESAM.
- January 31st - 30 April 2019. Junior Researcher at the Ecotoxicology and Animal Physiology laboratory from the Biology Department of Aveiro University (Portugal) and CESAM.
- 2016-2019. Post-doctoral research fellow at Aveiro University (Portugal) and CESAM (SFRH/BPD/107718/2015)(until January 30th of 2019).
- 2011-2016. Post-doctoral research fellow at Aveiro University (Portugal) and CESAM (SFRH/BPD/69563/2010).
- 2009-2011. Research fellow at the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (Portugal).
- 2005-2008. PhD research fellow at the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere and Aveiro University (Portugal) (SFRH/BD/17616/2004).


- 2017. Research trainee at Michael Aschner laboratory at the Albert Einstein Institute (New York, USA). Trainee on the use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a neurotoxicology model.

- 2016. Research trainee at Diane Re laboratory at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health (New York, USA). Trainee on the use of TSPO (translocator protein) as a ligand to improve motor performance and muscle innervation in a mouse model of amyotrophic laterals sclerosis.



SCREEN and TOXIN - Looking for the interference of sunscreen products on the accumulation of marine biotoxins in shellfish (Donax trunculus) and for “green” alternatives: innovation for environmental and socioeconomic sustainability See more

AQUA-COMBINE - Integrated on-farm Aquaponics systems for co-production of fish, halophyte vegetables, bioactive compounds, and bioenergy See more

NanoReproTox-Unraveling the ecological impacts of nanoparticles toxicity in the reproduction of marine organisms See more

PLANTA II- Role of salt-marsh plants in the mercury cycle under climate change scenarios: tracking the fate in light of toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic data See more

AQUAFIRE - Integrated assessment of wildfires impacts to aquatic ecosystems and human health See more

ReACT - Risk assessment in Fildes Peninsula: improving knowledge towards environmental protection ACTions in the Antarctica See more

Hg-PLANKTARCTIC - Unravelling interactions between phyto- and zooplankton and mercury cycling in Deception Island waters impacted by volcanic-mercury See more

NEUTOXMER - Neurotoxicity of mercury in fish and association with morphofunctional brain alterations and behavior shifts See more

FIRETOX -Toxic effects of wildfires on aquatic systems See more

ECOAPPROACH - Bridging the gap between metal contamination and ecologically significant effects on macrobenthic communities: a multidisciplinary approach from gene to community See more

Scientific Supervision

Master (Main Supervisor): Ricardo Pereira (not a CESAM member)

Master (Co-supervisor): Guilherme Teixeira (not a CESAM member)

Master (Co-supervisor): Olivia Cardoso (not a CESAM member)

Graduate (Co-supervisor): Eduarda Leite (not a CESAM member)

Pesquisa (Co-supervisor): Beatriz Moreira (not a CESAM member)

PhD (Co-supervisor): Isabel Maria Alves Natividade Campos (CESAM member)

PhD (Co-supervisor): Tiziana Capello (not a CESAM member)

PhD (Co-supervisor): Libânia Sofia Seixas Queirós (ex-CESAM member)

International collaborations

. Salvatore Fasulo from Messina University (Messina, Italy) – applying metabolomics approach to disclose the mechanisms of mercury toxicity in fish.
. Nelson O’Driscoll from Acadia University (Nova Scotia, Canada) – methylmercury determinations in fish brain, contributing to unveil the neurotoxicity of Hg in fish.
. Holger Hintleman from the Water Quality Centre of Trent University (Peterborough, Canada) - Hg isotopes quantification in fish tissues to clarify the toxicokinetics of Hg in fish.
. Michael Aschner from the Albert Einstein Institute (New York, USA) – behaviour evaluation of C. elegans exposed to methylmercury (MeHg) and association with neurotoxicity. 

Reviewer activity

- Performed more than 50 reviews for journals of several research areas (e.g. Environmental Sciences, Marine & Freshwater Biology, Toxicology). In 2018, I have received recognition by Elsevier related with the “outstanding contribution in reviewing” to Science of the Total Environment and Environmental Pollution.
- Regular reviewing for several international SCI journals, namely: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety; Marine Environmental Research; Science of the Total Environment; Marine Pollution Bulletin; Aquatic Toxicology; Chemosphere; Environmental Pollution; Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology (Part D); Journal of Hazardous Materials; Ecological Indicators; PeerJ.
Reviewer profile at:

Area of scientific activity

Main Area: Aquatic toxicology
Sub-areas: Neurotoxicology of metals
Other domains: Environmental chemistry; Environmental management
Current research interests: Aquatic toxicology, with particular emphasis on the toxicokinetics of metals in aquatic species, neurosensorial effects (by covering antioxidant defense system, brain morphology and behaviour) and mechanisms of toxicity 

Publication record & Identifiers on validation platforms

- 57 Papers in SCI journals
- h index = 16
- 7 Papers in Conference Proceedings
- More than 50 abstracts
- 3 Book chapters

ORCID: 0000-0001-7613-0635
Researcher ID: G-3117-2014
Scopus Author ID: 55426290800 
Google Scholar: 

Previous situation

  • Developing post-doctoral research at the Department of Biology and CESAM (Centre of Environmental and Marine Studies) of the Aveiro University and Minho University under the subject " Induction and reversibility of sensory systems disruption and behavior syndromes in fish following mercury exposure”. Supervisors: Professor Mário Pacheco (UA) and Professor Armando Almeida (UMinho). Funding: Post-Doc grant supported by FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia); reference: SFRH/BPD/107718/2015; time period: 01.09.2016-30.01.2019

Current situation

  • Assistant Researcher at the Physiotoxicology Laboratory (FISIOTOX) from the Biology Department of Aveiro University and CESAM.

CESAM Funding: UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020 + LA/P/0094/2020


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