Video of the research group Marine Biotechnology & Aquaculture (MBA)

Every Monday in the next twelve weeks, CESAM will release the videos of the twelve Research Groups. 26 October 2020: Marine Biotechnology & Aquaculture (MBA)   Next releasing dates (some dates may be changed): 02 November 2020: Adaptation Biology & Ecological Processes (ABEP) 09 November 2020: Analytical Sensors & Applied Eco-Chemistry (ASAEC) 16 November 2020: Aquatic Toxicology & Risk Assessment (ATRA) 23 November 2020: Atmospheric Processes & Modelling (APM) 30 November 2020: Biogeochemical Processes & Pollutants (BPP) All the videos will be available in the YouTube channel of CESAM and in...

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  • One Health Day @ CESAM

    [Content only available in Portuguese] No âmbito da Linha Temática “Ambiente & Saúde”, o CESAM está a organizar um workshop para comemorar a iniciativa “One Health Day”. O Workshop vai realizar-se no dia 11 de novembro à tarde e englobará duas sessões temáticas e uma sessão de posters. O programa do workshop encontra-se aqui e pretende-se o evento seja presencial (Universidade de Aveiro). No entanto, devido à incerteza da atual situação pandémica pode ser em formato à distância (a confirmação será enviada atempadamente). Para a sessão de posters, qualquer membro do CESAM (integrado ou colaborador - desde alunos de pesquisa a alunos de doutoramento) poderá submeter um resumo até ao dia 13 de outubro às 17 h.  Para submeter o resumo basta enviar um mail para cesam@ua.pt que deve incluir: Título (em inglês); Nome do autor principal e coautores (se existentes); Resumo (em português e inglês com ca. 250 palavras). O One Health Day é uma iniciativa com caracter internacional coordenada por redes de investigação, como a One Health Comission e a One Health Platform Foundation, que escolheram o dia 3 de novembro como o Dia da Saúde Única. O conceito One Health remete à interdependência entre a saúde humana, dos animais e do ambiente. O Workshop será um fórum de debate interdisciplinar na solução de desafios globais que envolvem a saúde humana, animal e ambiental. Pretende-se que este evento permita à academia e ao público em geral discutir um problema atual, as doenças infeciosas emergentes, abordando os microrganismos envolvidos - vírus, bactérias, fungos e parasitas - mas também os fatores envolvidos na incidência destas doenças, nomeadamente, atividades humanas que direta ou indiretamente atingem o ambiente, as alterações climáticas e o uso indiscriminado de antibióticos.  O registo é gratuito mas obrigatório e deve ser feito aqui.

  • Conference "Lipids in the Ocean" in Aveiro, Portugal 05-08 Jul 2021

    Due to the pandemics of COVID-19 this event was postponed to 2021. Please check the new dates here.  The Marine Biotechnology & Aquaculture (MBA) Research Group from CESAM and the Mass Spectrometry Centre from the University of Aveiro have the great pleasure to bring forward the 2nd edition of the Conference Lipids in the Ocean, that will be held at University of Aveiro from 17-19 of November 2020. The event is organized by Professor Rosário Domingues from CESAM.  Important dates: Abstract submission for oral communication: July 31st 2020 Abstract submission for posters*: July 31st 2020 Notification of abstract selection: September 15th 2020 Early registration: May 15th – September 30th 2020 Late registration: October 1st – October 31st 2020 *First 18th poster registrations will be invited for Pitch sessions   Details about the conference can be seen in the webpage (http://lipids2021.web.ua.pt/)


  • CESAM/FCUL member report in Science the largest mass poisoning event of vultures in the world

    In a letter published on the 16th October 2020, the PhD student of CESAM/FCUL Mohamed Henriquestogether with international researchers and conservationists, including Bissau Guineans, warn in the journal Science about the world's deadliest intentional vulture poisoning event in the world. It occurred this year in Guinea-Bissau and decimated more than 2,000 jugudés (vultures of the species Necrosyrtes monachus), a species Critically Endangered of extinction, according to the IUCN's Red List of Endangered Species. In the beginning of 2020, massive cases of vulture mortality were found in Bafatá and Gabú regions of eastern Guinea-Bissau, and the local population alerted the Guinean authorities responsible for biodiversity conservation and veterinary services. Despite the lack of resources and the added difficulties related to the Covid-19 pandemic, several teams were sent to the field to ascertain the cause of vulture mortality – more than 2,000 individuals, known in the country as jugudés  – an emblematic species for Guineans. Through the prompt reaction of the Director-General for Livestock of Guinea-Bissau, the Public Veterinary Services, the NGO Organization for the Defense of Wetlands (ODZH) and the Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas (IBAP), with the support of several national and international experts in the conservation and investigation of vultures, it was quickly perceived that this was an environmental crime. Vultures have been intencionally poisoned to remove their heads to feed the illegal trade related to the use of various parts of their body (heads, wings, nails and paws) in sorcery practices in several West African countries. According to Mohamed Henriques, a Luso-Guinean PhD student of the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon and first author of the article, "hundreds of corpses of these vultures were headless, stacked and intentionally hidden under bushes." Suspicions of intentional poisoning were later confirmed by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Lisbon, through the necropsies performed on some corpses collected at the site. "Toxicology analyses have unequivocally shown that the cause of death was methiocarb poisoning, an insecticide sold under the trade name mesurol, which is, among other uses, often applied as slug/snail control and was recently banned in Europe due to its toxicity to wildlife," says José Pedro Tavares, Director of the Vulture Conservation Foundation, one of the co-authors of this article. Several locals also confirmed that individuals were sighted placing poisoned baits to attract vultures. In the letter to thejournal Science, the authors warn that the use of poisons accounts for 30% of vulture deaths on the African continent, and that in West Africa, in just 30 years, 60 to 70% of the populations of the various vulture species have disappeared. "The Jugudé is classified as Critically Endangered of Extinction on the Red List of Endangered Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the last category before the extinction level. Guinea-Bissau is home to more than one fifth of the world's population of this species, and is currently one of the most important countries for the conservation of the species worldwide," says another of the authors, Paulo Catry, researcher and assistant professor at MARE/ISPA-Instituto Universitário. In the now published letter it is highlighted that this catastrophic event represents the disappearance of more than 1% of the world's population of this species. According to Mohamed Henriques, "in vast regions of Africa, vultures play an essential role for humans and for the functioning of ecosystems. In Guinea-Bissau, as well as in much of West Africa, Jugudés are responsible for eliminating a large part of the organic waste in the country's cities and towns, constituting authentic sanitary brigades and maintaining the streets clean. Its role is thus decisive in preventing the proliferation of diseases and their possible transmission vectors, such as street dogs and rats that feed on urban waste. Without these vultures, public health could be at serious risk." The authors end the letter with a strong call for attention, warning that this is a severe blow to the conservation of vultures, and that urgent intervention is needed. Awareness-raising actions about the importance of vulture conservation among local communities and national authorities, the need to enforce and strengthen laws against wildlife poisoning and the much needed increased control of national and cross-border illegal trade of vulture body parts and other animals for traditional medicine are among the actions identified as priorities. To the international community, the authors point out the responsibility of supporting African countries to develop and implement conservation plans to prevent the extinction of these birds, while it is still possible. The letter can be read here. [Image: Necrosyrtes monachus by Ana Coelho]

  • Researchers of CESAM/UA author a study for the European Union on the impacts of plastic and microplastics in the environment

    The study was commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament at the request of the Committee on Petitions (PETI). The basis for this document is the increasing use of plastics and the growing general consensus on the ecotoxicological effects of these materials. The study also focuses on potential mitigation strategies and emergent alternatives, as well astheir environmental adequacy. The increasing awareness and public opinion pressure led to the elaboration of several norms, regulations and laws. Their implementation and efficacy are addressed in this study, aiming at an adequate contextualization, based on scientific evidences, of future legislative initiatives at the local, national, regional, and, ultimately, European levels. The document is authored by the CESAM/UA researchers João Pinto da Costa, Teresa Rocha-Santos and Armando Duarte, and is publicly available here.

  • A paper co-authored by a CESAM researcher was highlighted in ICES JMS as an ‘Editor’s Choice’

    The paper ‘State of art and best practices for fatty acid analysis in aquatic sciences’, co-authored by Elisabete da Costa from the research group of CESAM-UA, Marine Biotechnology & Aquaculture (MBA), was the latest selected Editor’s Choice article from the ICES Journal of Marine Sciencededicated to fatty acid analysis in aquatic sciences. This paper reviewed the current state of knowledge of methods for both marine and freshwater lipid analyses, from sampling to data treatment, provides recommendations for best practices in field situations, and advocate for protocol standardization and inter-laboratory calibration. The review was the outcome of a technical workshop held during the international conference Lipids in the Ocean (Brest, France, November 2018), in which authors of the manuscript took part.  

  • New project: WaderTrack – high precision tracking system of waders

    The project WaderTrack started earlier in October, in the the Tagus Estuary Nature Reserve , aimed at implementing a high precision spatio-temporal tracking system for priority wader species. Innovative technologies, specifically small ultra-light GPS/UHF transmitters with micro solar panels (weighing 4 to 5 grams) will be temporarily attached to selected wader species, to map their movements throughout the tidal cycle and across the winter months with unprecedented detail, thus allowing us to: (1) quantify the level of connectivity between intertidal habitats (used as prime feeding areas during low tide) and supratidal habitats (used for resting and roosting during high tide), (2) determine distances travelled between supratidal and intertidal locations; and (3) determine the variation in the use of supratidal habitats during diurnal and nocturnal high-tide periods. This information will fill knowledge gaps on these priority wader species, in order to improve their conservation status by informing biodiversity conservation policy, specifically through reducing current and future eminent threats in the short- and medium-term. Within the framework of WaderTrack, three wader marking sessions were already conducted in different high-tide roosting sites, which resulted in the deployment of transmitters in 15 waders from three species. These devices will record GPS locations at 30-45 min intervals, and this information will be transmitted to receiver stations placed in the high-tide roost, when waders move to these sites during each high-tide. The receiver stations have already been installed and we look forward to get the first data very soon, which will allow to know in very high detail the movements of these birds inextricably linked to the Tagus estuary. Follow updates on this and other projects in @eco_flyway (Twitter).

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