International Microorganism Day

The 17th of September is the International Microorganism Day. Celebrated for the first time in Portugal, in 2017, as an initiative of the Portuguese Society of Microbiology, Ordem dos Biólogos, Agência Ciência Viva and UNESCO, this day is currently celebrated all over the world. Its purpose is to reveal the fascinating world of microorganisms, showing their relevance to the living world and their enormous importance for the human species, contributing also to improve literacy in microbiology. It may seem strange to celebrate “microbes”, but this results from the misperception that they are all harmful. The reality is quite different as most microorganisms have...

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  • Research: Roadkill may accelerate local extinction of mammalian populations

    More than 120 species of terrestrial mammals are particularly vulnerable to roadkill mortality and several populations could become extinct in 50 years if the observed roadkill rates persist, according to an assessment of roadkill impacts on terrestrial mammals worldwide conducted by a team of international researchers from different continents led by Clara Grilo, researcher at Center for Environmental and Marine studies (CESAM) of the University of Lisbon. These results were published in the prestigious scientific journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. We analyzed the impact that observed roadkill rates had on 71 populations of threatened mammal species and the non-threatened species with the highest observed roadkill rates worldwide. Our results show that populations of the maned wolf and the southern tiger cat in Brazil, the brown hyena in South Africa and the leopard in North India are at risk of local extinction in the near future if observed levels of roadkill persist. We then developed models using species characteristics that allowed us to assess vulnerability to roadkill mortality for 4677 mammal species worldwide and revealed 124 species as particularly vulnerable including the Iberian lynx, brown and black bear, tiger, jaguar, and lion-tailed macaque with known records of collisions with vehicles, said Clara Grilo.   There are ambitious plans to facilitate future global trade particularly in emerging market countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe. These initiatives will facilitate regional and intercontinental trade flow through the construction of more than 25 million kilometers of new roads. This will expand the global road network by 60% compared to 2010 and is in conflict with the global objectives of environmental sustainability, as many of these new roads will cross environmentally sensitive areas where many threatened species occur. “We developed a tool to assess the risk of extinction associated with observed roadkill levels under current road densities, these can be updated as new roadkill estimates for different species in different regions of the world are obtained. Our study also offers a priority ranking of species vulnerability to roadkill, which can inform road infrastructure agencies, NGOs and public administration. These assessments can help identify, combined with species distribution data, current and future roads segments where roadkill monitoring programs are most needed to evaluate risk and trigger the most appropriate measures to avoid local extinctions” concluded Clara Grilo. Contact: Clara Grilo CESAM - Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, C2, 2.3.03 1749-016 Lisboa Portugal Email - clarabentesgrilo@gmail.com   Reference: Grilo C, Borda-de-Água L, Beja P, Goolsby E, Soanes K, le Roux A, Koroleva E, Ferreira FZ, Gagné SA, Wang Y, González-Suaréz M (2021). Conservation threats from roadkill in the global road network. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Brown Bear cub (Ursus arctos) crossing a road in Canada Credits: Jillian Cooper Sub-adult Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) captured by a camera-trap in Serra de Andujar (Spain). Credits: Joaquim Pedro Ferreira Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) at  Serra da Canastra National Park, Minas Gerais, Brasil. Credits: Marcel Huijser

  • Journal article: Alternative test methods for (nano)materials hazards assessment: challenges and recommendations for regulatory preparedness

    Mónica Amorim and Susana Gomes, researchers at the DBio/CESAM, UA, from the ecology and applied ecotoxicology research group – applEE, coordinated by Prof. Amadeu Soares, are co-authors of a review article published in the prestigious journal Nano Today (IF: 20.7): “Alternative test methods for (nano) material hazards assessment: challenges and recommendations for regulatory preparedness”. Read the full article here.

  • 2nd EpiLipidNET COST Action meeting on 23 -24 September 2021

    EpiLipidNET COST Action (CA19105)  is a pan-European network of researchers, clinicians and enterprises working in the field of lipidomics and epilipidomics to boost a hub of research excellence, advanced knowledge and technology transfer, to promote high level of training for young researches. Free online  zoom 23th September 2021 13:00-18:00(CET) ZOOM https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88179148278?pwd=SDhSbGc0Ky9ReXJrQzZPVmM0Y21pdz09 Meeting ID: 881 7914 8278 Passcode: 298363   24th September 2021 10:00-18:00(CET) ZOOM https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83527451864?pwd=aWh4Y3RaU1pTVGJudW1xVndoSVJSdz09 Meeting ID: 835 2745 1864 Passcode: 189733 PROGRAMME

  • Ocean Break | 24 September

    24th September 2021 | 12:30 - 13:30 | Room 9.1.1 (DEMaC) Luísa Marques (PhD student) Potential of ascidians as extractive species and their distribution in the coastal lagoon Ria de Aveiro The world population is growing very fast and the requirement for seafood originated from aquaculture is at high demand. In integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) can help aid these issues to better serve populations and also generate extra profit for farmers. IMTA systems use extractive species that reuse the wastes of other species and in addition, it is the way for the sustainability of the aquaculture industry. Ascidians are filter-feeders which once were considered a pest negatively affecting aquaculture facilities. However, these are now recognized as potential co-cultured/extractive species for IMTA with potential added value as bioresources. Knowledge of which species of ascidians are present in the Ria de Aveiro is inexistent and therefore this information will provide progress associated with IMTA systems present in this coastal lagoon. Further research on the potential use of ascidians in IMTA systems should be a new focus. 

CESAM Funding: