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  Sónia Cruz  
  Phone: +351 234 370 968 (Ext. 22708)  
  e-mail: sonia.cruz@ua.pt  
  Category: Post-Doctoral fellow  
  Department: Biology  
  Research group: Marine and Estuarine Ecology
ISI Web of KnowledgeSM search factor: Researcher ID: F-6165-2011  
  Title: Cracking the puzzle of solar powered sea slugs: molecular and photochemical insights on the retention of functional chloroplasts by metazoan cells
  Supervisor: Dr. João Serôdio & Dr. Ricardo Calado
  Category: BO
  Grant type: BPD
  Funding entity: Fundação para a Ciência e para a Tecnologia - FCT
  Grant reference: SFRH/BPD/97027/2013
  Start date: 2014-12-01
  End date: 2015-05-31
Academic Degrees

September 2005 - December 2009
Awarded the degree of Doctor of Phylosophy (PhD) by the University of Sheffield (UK) on 12 May 2010
- Thesis title: Photosynthetic energy dissipation and chlororespiration in diatoms
Supervised by Prof. Peter Horton FRS and Prof. Richard C. Leegood

September 1999 - October 2004
Awarded the first degree in Biology by the University of Aveiro (Portugal) on 20 October 2004
- Project I title: Detection of diel rhythms in Cylindrotheca closterium and natural diatom-dominated biofilms, using in vivo chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements
Supervised by Prof. João Serôdio, University of Aveiro, Portugal
- Project II title: A pilot study of organ scaling in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)
Supervised by Prof. Roderick Nigel Finn, University of Bergen, Norway
- Internship Title: Non-photochemical quenching and the xanthophyll cycle in Cylindrotheca closterium and microphytobenthos
Supervised by Prof. Vanda Brotas, Centre of Oceanography, Portugal

Professional Experience

April 2011 - Present

Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) in colaboration with the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT): SFRH/BPD/74531/2010 (April 2011 - March 2014), SFRH/BCC/52508/2014 (April 2014 - November 2014), SFRH/BPD/97027/2013 (December 2014 - present). Project: Cracking the puzzle of solar powered sea slugs - molecular and photochemical insights on the retention of functional chloroplasts by metazoan cells.

January 2010 - March 2011
Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (UK). Investigated the potential of using photosynthetic microorganisms in a photovoltaic-type device to generate electricity. My main focus was to understand how electrons flow from the chloroplast to the external environment

September 2005 - December 2009
PhD Student: Investigating Photoprotective Mechanisms in Diatoms
Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (UK)
Colaboration with the Department of Plant Physiology, University of Leipzig (Germany)

December 2004 - June 2005
Research assistant
Department of Biology, University of Aveiro (Portugal)
Research project: A new methodology for the quantification of the primary production of estuarine microphytobenthos

Current Research Interests

  • Physiological and behavioural photoprotective responses against oxidative stress in marine photosynthetic symbiosis ("solar-powered" sea slug Elysia viridis)

  • Physiological photoprotective mecanisms in microalgae (diatoms)

PhotoSymbiOxiS - Physiological and behavioural photoprotective processes against oxidative stress in marine photosynthetic symbioses [see details]

  1. Cruz S., Cartaxana P., Newcomer R., Dionisio G., Calado R., Serodio J., Pelletreau K.N., Rumpho M.E. (2015) Photoprotection in sequestered plastids of sea slugs and respective algal sources. Scientific Reports. 5, (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150120/srep07904/full/srep07904.html
  2. Serodio J., Cruz S., Cartaxana P., Calado R. (2014) Photophysiology of kleptoplasts: photosynthetic use of light by chloroplasts living in animal cells. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B-biological Sciences. 369, 1640, 1471-2970. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2013.0242
  3. Dionísio G., Rosa R., Leal M.C., Cruz S., Brandão C.A., Calado G., Serôdio J., Calado R. (2013) Beauties and beasts: A portrait of sea slugs aquaculture. Aquaculture. 408-409, 1-14. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2013.04.033
  4. Cruz S., Calado R., Serôdio J., Cartaxana P. (2013) Crawling leaves: photosynthesis in sacoglossan sea slugs. Journal Of Experimental Botany. 64, 3999-4009. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ert197
  5. Cartaxana P., Domingues N., Cruz S., Jesus B., Laviale M., Serôdio J., Marques da Silva J. (2013) Photoinhibition in benthic diatom assemblages under light stress. Aquatic Microbial Ecology. 70, 1, 87-92. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/ame/v70/n1/p87-92/
  6. Cruz S., Dionísio G., Rosa R., Calado R., Serôdio J. (2012) Anesthetizing solar-powered sea slugs for photobiological studies. The Biological Bulletin. 160, 43-54. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://www.biolbull.org/content/223/3/328.short
  7. Cruz S., Goss R., Wilhelm C., Leegood R., Horton P., Jakob T. (2011) Impact of chlororespiration on non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence and on the regulation of the diadinoxanthin cycle in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. Journal Of Experimental Botany. 62, 2, 509-519. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erq284
  8. Bombelli P., Bradley R.W., Scott A.M., Philips A.J., McCormick A.J., Cruz S.M., Anderson A., Yunus K., Bendall D.S., Cameron P.J., Davis J.M., Smith A.G., Howe C.J., Fisher A.C. (2011) Quantitative analysis of the factors limiting solar power transduction by Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 in biological photovoltaic devices. Energy & Environmental Sciences. 4, 11, 4690-4698. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C1EE02531G
  9. Cruz S., Serôdio J. (2008) Relationship of rapid light curves of variable fluorescence to photoacclimation and non-photochemical quenching in a benthic diatom. Aquatic Botany. 88, 256-264. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2007.11.001
  10. Serôdio J., Vieira S., Cruz S. (2008) Photosynthetic activity, photoprotection and photoinhibition in intertidal microphytobenthos as studied in situ using variable chlorophyll fluorescence. Continental Shelf Research. 28, 1363-1375. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2008.03.019
  11. Serôdio J., Coelho H., Vieira S., Cruz S. (2006) Microphytobenthos vertical migratory photoresponse as characterised by light-response curves of surface biomass. Estuarine Coastal And Shelf Science. 68, 547-556. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2006.03.005
  12. Serôdio J., Cruz S., Vieira S., Coelho H. (2006) Rapid light-response curves of chlorophyll fluorescence in microalgae: relationship to steady-state light curves and non-photochemical quenching in benthic diatom-dominated assemblages. Photosynthesis Research. 90, 29-43. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11120-006-9105-5
  13. Serôdio J., Cruz S., Vieira S., Brotas V. (2005) Non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence and operation of xanthophyll cycle in microphytobenthos. Journal Of Experimental Marine Biology And Ecology. 326, 157-169. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2005.05.011
  14. Serôdio J., Vieira S., Cruz S., Barroso F. (2005) Short-term variations in the photosynthetic activity of microphytobenthos as detecetd by measuring rapid light curves using variable fluorescence. Marine Biology . 146, 903-914. (see details) ISI paper
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-004-1504-6
  1. Cruz S., Calado R., Serôdio J., Jesus B., Cartaxana P. (2014) Pigment profile in the photosynthetic sea slug Elysia viridis (Montagu, 1804). Journal Of Molluscan Studies. 80, 475-481. (see details)
    Link: http://mollus.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/15/mollus.eyu021....
  1. Cruz S. (2010) Photosynthetic energy dissipation and chlororespiration in diatoms. PhD Thesis. (see details)