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CESAM researcher contributes to the jaguars conservation in Brazil

How is the jaguar Panthera onca perceived by local communities along the Paraguai River in the Brazilian Pantanal?

Rapid habitat conversion, hunting as a retaliatory response to livestock depredation and, potentially, lack of knowledge regarding the species’ ecological role are the main factors influencing conservation of the Near Threatened jaguar Panthera onca in the Pantanal wetland of Brazil. The CESAM study highlights the environmental education programmes and ecotourism as the better strategies to reduce livestock losses and to minimize the perception that jaguars are dangerous in all situations.
More details: http://uaonline.ua.pt/pub/deta.....

CESAM team found heavy metals in Porto urban gardens and pastures

The levels of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc in urban gardens soils and pastures situated in the Porto area exceed the maximums set by the European Union for the presence in agricultural areas of heavy and potentially toxic metals. The findings, which are extensible to urban gardens of the rest of the national territory, belong to a team of researchers from the University of Aveiro & CESAM that indicate the need for assessment of soil quality and risk to public health from ingestion of the products concerned.
News published in the various media:

Bioatlas project highlighted in the COMPETE web page

The project Bioatlas aims to be a digital platform for decision support, which innovatively combines the technology of geographic information with scientific research. The project brings together a set of information and technical-scientific knowledge about biomass energy, not available in an integrated and organized way, representing an investment with medium and long-term impacts on energy efficiency.
The project, supported by the COMPETE programme under the Collective Actions, has an eligible investment of 477000 euros and involves as partners the Inteli (promoter), the ENERGYIN - Pole of competitiveness and energy technology, the University of Aveiro (throught the CESAM ) and AREANATejo.

CESAM & DBio works distinguished in Spain

The University of Aveiro received awards for best oral presentation, best poster and 2nd best student poster at the XVII Congress of the Iberian Association of Limnology held in Santander, Spain, 6-11 of July. The conference was focused in the theme 'Understanding the resilience of aquatic ecosystems: a basis for a sustainable future'.
More details: http://uaonline.ua.pt/pub/deta.....

UVS validates innovative technique able to estimate metabolite concentrations of stress hormones in fecal matter

A study from the Wildlife Unit (UVS) of the Department of Biology & CESAM of the University of Aveiro has validated, for the first time, the use of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in the assessment of concentrations of metabolites of stress hormones in fecal matter, using deer feces as a model.
The study, recently published in “Ecological Indicators” journal opens a new field of application for NIRS technology and has important implications for the monitoring of wildlife as it improves the efficiency and reduces the time and cost of conventional analytical techniques.
More details: http://uaonline.ua.pt/pub/deta.....&lg=en

CESAM researcher, Isabel Henriques, appointed as national representative of the COST action 'New and emerging challenges and opportunities in wastewater reuse (NEREUS)'

Wastewater reuse is currently considered globally as the most critical element of sustainable water management. Water scarcity, foreseen to aggravate, pushes for maximum utilization of non-conventional water. Although reuse is accompanied by a number of benefits, several potential drawbacks still puzzle scientists. The applied treatments fail to completely remove microcontaminants, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and/or their genes (ARB&Gs). Knowledge on the actual effects of reuse with regard to these aspects is currently not consolidated. This Action will answer critical questions through a European multidisciplinary network, structured in interactive Working Groups (WGs), to achieve: a) identification of the microbiome and mobile antibiotic resistome in treated wastewater, b) assessment of the potential for uptake/transmission of microcontaminants and ARB&Gs in crops, c) determination of effect-based bioassays required for wastewater reuse, d) identification of efficient/economically viable technologies able to meet the current challenges and, e) development of a relevant risk assessment and policy framework. The Action will establish criteria on technologies/assessment methods for wastewater treatment and suggest new effluent quality criteria to overcome current barriers and safeguard the reuse practice. The Action will have a major impact on the enhancement of sustainable wastewater reuse in light of current challenges at technological, economical and societal level.
More details about this COST action: http://www.cost.eu/domains_act.....ons/ES1403

CESAM researcher, Glória Pinto, appointed as national representative of the COST action 'Non-native tree species for european forests - experiences, risks and opportunities (NNEXT)'

The management of tree species non-native to European geographical regions has a long tradition within forestry management practice. Their introduction to Europe (initially focussed on growing tree species) dates back to the 18th century when enormous demands were being made on natural resources to sustain the on-going industrialization of Europe. Today issues of biomass production and C sequestration as well as the question of whether these species could increase the adaptive capacity of forests to long-term climate change patterns have fuelled a growing interest in non-native tree species in Europe. In order to determine their fullest potential (and associated management options, but also assess associated risks and challenges) the need for a communication platform - allowing for discussions with stakeholder groups from within and beyond European borders; is argued.
More details about this COST action: http://www.cost.eu/domains_act.....ons/FP1403

CESAM researcher, Artur Alves, appointed as national representative of the COST action 'A global network of nurseries as early warning system against alien tree pests (Global Warning)'


The international trade in live plants is a major pathway for the introduction of invasive tree pests and pathogens, resulting in environmental and economic damage. Many recently introduced pests and diseases were not known to be harmful, or unknown to science, and were not regulated before they invaded, indicating that the current system to identify harmful species does not provide sufficient protection from invasions by alien pests and pathogens. A novel way of identifying potentially harmful organisms for regulation is by monitoring European trees planted in regions that export plants to Europe. The Action will 1) establish a global network of scientists and regulators in countries where sentinel nurseries could be established from seed or where there are botanical gardens or arboreta with exotic trees, 2) develop common protocols for the monitoring and identification of pests and 3) explore ways to regulate the establishment of such nurseries and the use of data collected through them. This Action will also bring together detailed information about the international trade in trees and the environmental value of native trees in Europe. The Action will produce written, electronic and workshop outputs, as well as at least five short-term scientific missions per year.
More details about this COST action: http://www.cost.eu/domains_act.....ons/FP1401

ERASMUS Intensive Programme: "MultI-Risk Assessment and Mitigation in Europe"

University of Aveiro, 13-26 July 2014

Europe is threatened by recurring natural disasters caused by hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods and forest fires that cause hundreds of deaths and injuries and hundred millions of Euros economic losses each year. Moreover damages are often the combined effects of concurrent natural and maninduced hazards successively triggered by a sort of cascading effect. For this reason, in response to growing awareness of the economic and social significance of natural disasters, research on integrated analysis of different risk sources (i.e. multi-risk analysis) have been developed in the last decade as an up-todate approach to support adequate land planning and management policies.
Hence, the MIRAME Erasmus Intensive Programme (IP) will be the 2nd edition of a 2-week higher education course focusing on hazards and vulnerability data collection/management, integration of multiple hazards scenarios, and optimization of multi-risk assessment procedures.

CESAM team published in the prestigious journal ‘Critical Reviews in Microbiology’

The prestigious journal ‘Critical Reviews in Microbiology’ published a revision of the state of the art of bacterial collagenases by Ana Sofia Duarte, António Correia and Ana Cristina Esteves.
Being involved in the degradation of the extracellular matrices of animal cells, bacterial collagenases are important virulence factors in a variety of pathogenic bacteria. These enzymes are among the most versatile proteases ones and have technological applications in health, food and even in the leather industries.
Nonetheless, there was until now a lack of scientific consensus for a proper and well-defined classification of these enzymes and a vast controversy regarding their correct cataloging. This review fulfils this gap presenting a new classification guide for bacterial collagenases, thus constituting   a strong contribute for an accurate and straightforward classification of these enzymes.
See article here.