Air quality forecast system is now more complete
A dispersion forecasting module in the national territory of desert dust, coming from North Africa, was recently integrated in air quality forecasting system developed under a partnership between the Portuguese Environment Agency and the University of Aveiro (UA) – more precisely, the GEMAC research group of the Department of Environment and Planning. Accordingly, it is possible to make and integrate the forecasting of these natural events, so frequent in Portugal, allowing warnings to the population and avoiding health problems: http://previsao-qar.web.ua.pt/.
In addition, summer and the desired sunny days can have a drawback: the quality of the air these days is not always the best ... Nonetheless, with the help of GEMAC Group of DAO/UA, it is possible to predict the quality of the air.
The usefulness of this service, with benefits for the general population, could be of particular interest to the most sensitive groups. This is the case of children, the elderly, asthmatics and people with allergies, respiratory diseases or heart problems.
More details in: http://uaonline.ua.pt/pub/deta.....&lg=pt
HidroRia: an application to not run aground in the Ria de Aveiro
It is possible to accurately predict the tides of the Ria de Aveiro. Developed at the University of Aveiro to facilitate fishermen navigation, sightseeing agents or any 'sailor' the estuary, the HidroRia application allows for the first time and through a smartphone, an updated forecast of the tides in real time for the main channels of the lagoon. The new app, whose predictions are made independently without access to mobile networks, will allow to avoid the frequent strandings due to increased tidal range and siltation of few channels, including those that access to marinas and fisheries.
Developed by researchers João Miguel Dias, Ana Picado, Carina Lopes and Renato Mendes, the Center for Estuarine modeling and Coastal Department of Physics (DFIs) and CESAM, the HidroRia want to pay a service to users of the Ria de Aveiro that "face enormous difficulties of navigation through various channels of the lagoon."
The predictions made by HidroRia application are based on current observations of tide performed in several permanent sampling stations distributed across the main channels of the lagoon and whose data were collected in the Hydrodynamics Monitoring project of Ria de Aveiro running by the Port of Aveiro.
More details in:
CESAM Day 2016
CESAM Day was celebrated on 8 July with a shared lunch on the lawn space between the two DAO buildings. This year we had the presence of a Tai Chi instructor from the Confucius Institute of the UA to guide us in a 30 minute 'ZEN' session.
The event was kindly sponsored by CAVE CENTRAL DA BAIRRADA and CAFÉ DEL ART.
CESAM researchers of the Eco-hydrological Lab, published 6 papers in a special issue on fire effects on Land Degradation & Development journal (Impact Factor: 8.145):
Special Issue: Advances Towards an Integrated Assessment of Fire Effects on Soils, Vegetation and Geomorphological Processes
The 5th Plenary meeting of the CASCADE Project took place May 24-28 at the EC’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. The meeting covered research updates from all partners, plans for integration of results, and planning for the final year. In February 2017 there will be a final meeting in Matera, Italy, to share recommendations with stakeholders and policy makers, at both local and EU levels.
CASCADE Project partners are completing experiments and modelling to obtain a better understanding of discontinuous shifts, or tipping points, in dryland ecosystems around the Mediterranean. The study sites in parts of dryland Portugal, Spain, Italy, Crete and Cyprus have been used to establish more precisely the details of changes to the soil and plant ecosystems due to forest fires, overgrazing and land abandonment.
Research results are presented on the Information System CASCADiS as they become available: http://www.cascadis-project.eu/
The Project Deliverables that have been completed may be viewed or downloaded from the project website: http://www.cascade-project.eu/index.php
The UA spin-off DNA TRUSTAG was awarded with the Seal of Excellence by the European Commission within the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (SME instrument). The seal certifies the innovative character and commercialization potential of the technology developed by the CESAM researchers Newton Gomes and Francisco Coelho, in the Laboratory for Molecular Studies of Marine Environments (LEMAM).
The technological platform of DNA TRUSTAG enables cost-effective and scalable production of unique DNA tags (impossible to forge), which generate reading signals similar to a barcoded label. The DNA tags are then used to mark and authenticate raw materials and a range of products directly in the production line. DNA TRUSTAG company was founded in January 2016 with the objective to help European and worldwide knowledge-based companies, to protect their intellectual property and fight against the attractiveness of a 'look-alike product' with a cheap price.
More details in: https://uaonline.ua.pt/pub/detail.asp?c=47188&lg=pt
Rita Bicho was awarded the Best Poster Award in Sciences for the poster:
Bicho, RC, Gonçalves, M., Amorim, MJB (2016) Development of novel tools for environmental health assessment - fast screening for long term effects.
presented at the Research Day 2016, held at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, June 15, 2016.
Rita is a PhD student at CESAM, and has been developing research in the area environmental health assessment in the Stress Biology Group (Ecotoxicogenomics Lab). She has recently published the work presented, e.g. Bicho R.C., Santos F.C.F., Goncalves M.F.M., Soares A.M.V.M., Amorim M.J.B. (2015) Enchytraeid Reproduction Test(PLUS): hatching, growth and full life cycle test-an optional multi-endpoint test with Enchytraeus crypticus. Ecotoxicology. 24, 5, 1053-1063.
The kickoff meeting of the ERA NET SIIN NanoFARM project - Fate and Effects of Agriculturally Relevant Materials, was held at the University of Aveiro on 6 and 8 June. Susana Loureiro (UA coordinator, Department of Biology) and Sónia Rodrigues (Department of Chemistry) organized the meeting held at CESAM which was attended by partners from the Universities of Carnegie Mellon (Greg Lowry, NanoFARM coordinator), Kentucky (Jason Unrine) and Vienna (Frank von der Kammer). Researchers from NERC (Steve Lofts and Marianne Matzke) were also present as observers.
The NanoFARM project aims to study the behavior of nanoagrochemicals in soils, and to relate these characteristics to the potential effects and risks to the environment. The project will last 36 months and intends to provide crucial information that will enable the use of nanotechnology in favor of sustainability of agricultural productivity, which is extremely necessary in the context of exponential growth of the world's population.
Mais informação em: http://uaonline.ua.pt/pub/deta.....
The University of Aveiro was present at the Oceans Business Week exhibition, which took place at the Lisbon Congress Center from 2 to 4 June, reporting on its research and development expertise in the area of the sea and economy of the sea. This is an event organized by the AIP Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of the Sea and highly sponsored by the President of the Republic.
The UA stand evidenced the UA institutional structures working in this field: Aveiro Institute for Marine Science and Technology (AIMARE), Technological Platform of the Sea, ECOMARE and CESAM – and their valences.
On exhibition were a few specimens from the UA deep-sea research as examples of the wide range of UA research related to the sea.
More information: https://uaonline.ua.pt/pub/detail.asp?c=46587
By highlighting the importance of nodules for the deep-sea biodiversity, scientists involved in the JPI Oceans pilot action on the ecological aspects of deep-sea mining call for criteria for designating preservation zones to be based on robust scientific knowledge.
An international group of researchers from Germany (Senckenberg am Meer), Belgium (Ghent University), France (Ifremer), and Portugal (MARE/IMAR-Azores and CESAM/University of Aveiro) has published their results from a recent research campaign (SO-239, March-April 2015) onboard the new German research vessel SONNE in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ, Central Eastern Pacific) in Nature, demonstrating that polymetallic nodule fields are hotspots of abundance and diversity for a highly vulnerable abyssal fauna.
The results of this study underlie the need for careful considerations of strategies for biodiversity conservation. Especially the CCZ area is recently of growing interest for industry because of the high concentration of polymetallic nodules present at abyssal depths. However being one of the remotest areas on earth, very little is known on its biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
The paper shows that the fauna associated with polymetallic nodules is more abundant and diverse than in areas without or only low nodule numbers, a pattern which is consistent across the four areas licensed for nodule exploration which have been visited during SO239. They also provided, for the first time, ecological data from one Area of Particular Environmental Interest (APEI, Number 3) established by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to be safeguarded from mining. Finally, they also report on the high impact and lack of recovery of fauna on 2 trawling tracks and experimental mining simulations up to 37 years old, suggesting that mining impacts may be long-lasting or even permanent. Based on these observations, the researchers argue that preservation zones within mining areas should be established in areas rich in nodules.