Universidade de Aveiro

Department CESAM & Departamento de Biologia
Country Portugal
Region PT16 Centro

The University of Aveiro (UA) was founded in 1973 and is one of Portuguese 14 public universities. Integrated in the community and region, has a strong research dimension and offers a wide range of educational programmes (post-secondary vocational to doctoral programmes). Committed from the start to innovation, quality and the attainment of national and international recognition in the pillars of Education, Research and Cooperation with Society, UA has built a profile based on sciences and technology.

Within the UA, CESAM (Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies) is is an Associated Laboratory (R&I Unit) that currently integrates more than 300 researchers, 120 of them with a PhD degree, from five Departments of the University of Aveiro (Environment, Biology, Physics, Geosciences and Chemistry). CESAM is a multidisciplinary unit, focussing on the effects of stressors in the environment and human health, on modelling stress phenomena and, finally, on technological and natural risks. Some of the highlighted research areas on CESAM include: coastal and marine environment research; coastal erosion; coastal and estuarine floods; soil erosion; stress biology and microbiology.

Our research group is included in the CESAM Research lines of 1) Biodiversity and Biology of Stress, sub-theme From Laboratory to Biomonitoring and 2) Marine Ecosystems and Modelling, at the department of Biology, University of Aveiro. We have been involved in risk evaluation methodologies, biomonitorization and ecotoxicity testing of contaminated soils, freshwater and estuarine waters using bioassays. We have the facilities to run several standardized bioassays (by OECD, ISO and ASTM) for the ecotoxicity evaluation of contaminated water (freshwater and brackish water), sediments and soils. 
In the group we also have experts on aquatic ecology, where projects on macrofauna identification and habitat characterization are being developed and carried out.
We also have a strong research area on structural diversity of microbial communities and activity of specific bacterial genotypes.

We have participated in some national and international projects for in situ biomonitorisation and ERA of contaminated sites:

Participation in the Work Plan

University of Aveiro will participate mainly on the activities related to biomonitorization and risk assessment (Activity 4 and Activity 6).
We will carry out studies on the water and sediment quality of Aveiro harbour, using in situ testing and also in the laboratory.
Sampling procedures will be adapted for the study case.
In situ testing will be performed with species that have ecological relevance for the study area (e.g. shrimps, mysids, fish larvae). Similar testing will be performed in the lab using always when possible already standardised bioassays.
Whenever needed new tools will be also developed with the aim to better understand and evaluate water quality and toxicity. 
One possible approach can be done to characterise the harbour habitat using fauna identification and also testing water quality on several stages of the organisms life-cycle.
Another approach that can be made by our group can include the study of structural diversity of microbial communities and activity of specific bacterial genotypes, to determine the impact of different management practices and environmental variables on the dynamic and activity of microbial populations.