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  • Adaptation Biology and Ecological Processes

    Over the past 50 years human activities have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than at any comparable period in our history. During this period the increase of pollutants and other hazardous substances disseminated in atmosphere and contaminating foodstuff could presumably have had adverse effects in human health.This research group focuses on identifying biodiversity patterns in time and space and studying short and long-term adaptation strategies to cope with ever-changing environments. These responses can be displayed at the level of the organism, the population or the landscape. Physiological, computational and molecular techniques are used to address the effects of environmental stresses such as climate change, pollution and biotic interactions in organisms. Consequences for human health and ecosystems services are also addressed.

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  • Future Objectives

    To attain the defined objectives, future investigation will be developed on the following issues:     - Biodiversity patterns and processes at different temporal and spatial scales in Mediterranean, Macaronesian and Tropical ecosystems.     - Converting natural history collections into digital and molecular data.     - Evolutionary mechanisms that shape genetic diversity.     - Behaviour of several organisms, at the physiological, ecological and evolutionary levels.     - The impact of natural and anthropogenic threats on human health and species adaptation with the aim to design conservation measures.     - The use of animals as indicators of the quality of ecosystems;     - Spatially-explicit distribution modelling, with emphasis on species with threatened conservation status.     -  The exploitation of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensed (RS) derived data to characterize the spatio-temporal evolution of abiotic key-factors determinants for ecosystems.     - Search of diagnostic biomarkers in human diseases and environmental toxicology.     - Detection, isolation and characterization of viruses involved in human and animal health.     - Detection isolation and characterization of amoeba and amoeba-associated microorganisms in the environment and in Hospitals.     - Development of analytical methods to monitor and control quality and safety in the food supply chain.     - Study of the occurrence of food contaminants in foodstuffs and its potential genotoxicity effects on human health.

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  • Laboratórios de Investigação

    ABEP RG is organized in 3 laboratories, involving research and training: Lab of Adaptation Biology and Global Changes (LABG); Lab of Behavioural and Population Ecology (LABPE); and Lab of Wildlife Management and Conservation (WMAC), whose activities and goals are complementary. 

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  • Laboratório de Investigação: LABG

    LABG is dedicated to the analysis of the interactions between species and their environment with emphasis in the understanding of mechanisms allowing species to increase their performance and chances of survival. Physiological, behavioural, computational, molecular, in vitro culture, micropropagation, phytochemistry and molecular techniques together with fieldwork observation and experimentation are followed. LABG is led by Maria da Luz Mathias.Main research areasMonitoring and modelling biodiversity:• Species richness, relative abundance and stress of small mammals in urban green areas;• Characterization, identification of aromatic plants;• Molecular identification of marine fungi;• Forensic entomology;• Spatial distribution and modelling of selected speciesAdaptation and adaptive processes:• Origin and colonization of islands by small mammals;• Effects of urbanization on the ecology and behaviour of small mammals;• Swimming behaviour of water-dependent species;• Effect of habitat fragmentation in survival (using physiological, molecular and morphometric markers);Environmental quality:• Parasite-host interactions and human health risk assessment;• Spatial modelling of small mammals and relationships with environmental factors;• Nematotoxics from essential oilsMain study areasLisbon and surroundings, PortugalAzores archipelago, PortugalMadeira archipelago, PortugalAlentejo and Algarve provinces, PortugalSelected Publications and Projects: Please click here.

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  • Laboratório de Investigação: LABPE

    LABPE is focused on using animals as monitors of environmental quality and investigate behavioural and ecological constraints on life-history traits of wild populations. Research involves a strong fieldwork and laboratory component (including advanced observational methods both in the field and at the lab, animal tagging and tracking, and dietary sampling) and a variety of analytical tools (GIS and spatially-explicit habitat modelling, stable isotope analysis, and advanced statistical techniques). LABPE is coordinated by José Pedro Granadeiro.Main research areasMigration ecology:• Migratory connectivity in bird populations (using biogeochemical markers and tracking devices);• Factors affecting migratory trajectories;• Migratory behaviour: drivers and carry-over effects of individual decisions.Structure and functioning of trophic webs:• Using bio-geochemical markers to unveil community structure in estuarine environments;• Sevelopment of mass-balance models to describe organic matter and energy flows in oceanic ecosystems;• Diet and foraging behaviour of shorebirds and seabirds;• Ecological role of birds in estuarine and marine trophic webs;• Trophic links: predation and parasitism;• Insect predator-prey dynamics and biological control of greenhouse pests.Monitoring and conservation:• Long term population trends of shorebirds and seabirds;• Spatial modelling of bird distributions and relationships with environmental factors;• Impacts of fisheries on seabirds;• Identification of Marine Special Protection Areas (SPAs);• Enhancing functional biodiversity in olive groves and vineyards;Forensic entomology:• Sarcosaprophagous species identification in wildlife and veterinary contextsMain study areasTejo estuary, PortugalBerlengas archipelago, PortugalSelvagens and Madeira archipelagos, Madeira, PortugalFalkland Islands, UKBijagós archipelago, Guinea-BissauBeiras provinces, PortugalAlentejo province, PortugalSelected Publications and Projects: Please click here.Linkshttps://sites.google.com/site/migratagis/https://sites.google.com/site/projectoalbatroz/https://sites.google.com/site/projectocalonectris/http://bulweria.wixsite.com/projectbulweriahttps://sites.google.com/site/projectoarenaria/www.calliphoridaekey.weebly.com

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  • Laboratório de Investigação: WMAC

    WMAC is focused on monitoring, conservation and management of wildlife populations, involving different perspectives that range from spatial, trophic, population, disease ecology, genetic, phylogeographic and evolutionary to human dimension, science outreach and public involvement approaches. WMAC research encompasses different state-of-the-art methodological approaches that include molecular ecology, Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing, advanced statistical techniques, satellite radio-tracking and field work monitoring, among others. WMAC research is implemented in a wide range of environments (Mediterranean forest, Neotropical Rainforest, African Savannas, Cerrado, Pantanal, etc.), covering most of world’s regions (South and North America, Europe, Africa). WMAC is coordinated by Carlos Fonseca.Main research areasWildlife conservation in Agriculture Landscapes• Spatial ecology of carnivores in Neotropical production forests and Mediterranean Agroforestry systems (e.g. “Montado”);• Mammals’ population structure, guild interactions and predator-prey relations in agriculture landscapes;• Trophic approaches to carnivores adaptation to agriculture systems;Wildlife monitoring• Use of molecular, GIS and modelling tools for monitoring and assessing the conservation status of target wildlife populations;• Design of conservation and management measures and integrated plans aimed at specific populations and contexts.Ecology of infectious diseases in wildlife• Ungulates as disease reservoirs and dispersers.• Role of ungulates in the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance bacteria at the human-livestock-wildlife interface.• New approaches to wildlife diseases research: beyond the “one-pathogen one-disease” paradigm  Human Dimension of Conservation• Beliefs, Perceptions, Attitudes, Tolerance and Behavior towards large carnivores• Bio-ecology of wild carnivore species and effects induced by land use, human pressure, climatic, environmental and ecological factorsScience communication and outreach• Conservation policy;• Adult and youth education for biodiversity conservation;• Management of educational services and pedagogical strategies;• Communication plans for public and private institutions;• Analysis of social perception and engagement on nature conservation topics;• Making liaison between science and society through public and private bodies, and local communities;• Printed and digital media for science communication;• Multimedia tools in the dissemination of science.Population genetics, molecular ecology and phylogeography of wildlife populations• Analysis of genetic patterns of wildlife populations and interpretation of the processes behind the patterns, in a context of wildlife management and conservation;• Genetic structure, diversity and phylogeography of the European wild ungulate and carnivore species;• Effect of landscape features on the genetic connectivity of populations (landscape genetics).Main study areasIberian PeninsulaEuropaNeotrópicosÁfricaSelected Publications and Projects: Please click here.Linkshttps://sites.google.com/site/unidadevidaselvagem/http://www.facebook.com/wildlife.research.unit

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