HIGHLIGHTS

New calls to support research and innovation under EU Missions

The European Commission has launched new calls for 2023 worth over €600 million to support research and innovation under the five EU Missions – Adaptation to Climate Change, Cancer, Restore our Ocean and Waters, Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities and A Soil Deal for Europe. EU Mission: Adaptation to Climate Change The Mission on Adaptation to Climate ChangeSearch supports EU regions, cities and local authorities in building resilience against the impacts of climate change. It aims to accompany by 2030 at least 150 European regions and communities towards climate resilience. Three new calls for proposals under this Mission have been opened for submission on 10 January...

read more

REMINDERS

  • Call for Virtual Mobility Grants in G-Bike COST Action

    The third call for G-Bike's Virtual Mobility Grants is open for the VMs taking place between 1st February – 7th September 2023. Virtual Mobility is part of COST Virtual Networking Tools, which help developing skills and capacities through virtual collaboration between researchers across Europe. Virtual Mobility Grants (VMG) foster the establishment of existing networks through virtual collaborations by sharing knowledge, by learning new skills and techniques, by reaching deliverables and disseminating the Action’s results. Deadline: 15 February 2023 More information: HERE

  • Become an evaluator of EU research projects

    Call for experts The European Research Executive Agency (REA) invites experts from a wide range of fields to register in the European Commission’s experts database. From this database, candidates will be selected with the most suitable profile for the following activities: - Evaluating project proposals applying for funding under Horizon Europe, the Promotion of Agricultural Products programme and the Research Fund for Coal and Steel- Monitoring the implementation of funded projects. Thematic expertise - Food and agriculture  - Soil - Environment and bio-economy  - Culture and creativity  - Democracy and society  If you’re ready to be a part of the journey from idea to action, register or update your profile today in the European Commission’s experts’ database!


NEWS

  • CESAM researcher addresses shellfish mortality in Semanário SOL

    Our researcher Rosa Freitas (CESAM/DBIO), addresses, in the latest issue of Semanário Sol, the mortality of bivalves in the Ria Formosa  (…) the monitoring of marine toxins in bivalve molluscs is necessary (…) 'Naturally, bivalves with toxins will need to develop defence strategies with expenditure, for example, of reserve energies that are not allocated to other processes such as growth or reproduction' (…).” Digital edition (for subscribers only) here 

  • The COASTAL project aims to develop sensors to detect paralysing toxins in crustaceans and molluscs

    The main objective of the COASTAL research project is reflected in its name: the development of microfluidic sensors for the rapid detection of marine toxins in sustainable aquaculture. The aim is apparently simple but challenging and with a strong societal and economic relevance. The project is financed by the 'EEA grants - Blue Growth Programme', operated by the DGPM (General Directorate for Sea Policies) and has the University of Aveiro (UA) as its proponent entity. To learn more about this project, we talked to the researcher in charge, Alisa Rudnitskaya (CESAM/DQUA).   What are you specifically trying to achieve with this project? Our ultimate goal is to develop a microfluidic system, which can be used automatically for the rapid detection of marine toxins in bivalve molluscs, particularly paralyzing toxins. These toxins have to be monitored because they are dangerous for human health, and if they are present in high concentrations in bivalves they can cause paralysis and other severe complications in humans. In a very simplified way, these toxins are produced by some microalgae species, which accumulate in bivalves because they feed on these microalgae by filtering the water. Several species of microalgae produce these paralysing toxins (not a single toxin, but a large group of toxins), and each microalgae produces a specific set of toxins, which we call the toxin profile. And what is a microfluidic system? We have been working for a long time on developing sensors (biological and chemical), and now the idea is to implement these sensors in a microfluidic system. What does this system allow? Allows to automate the entire analysis, i.e. sensor stabilisation, measurements, sensor cleaning... all the steps necessary for the analysis can thus be automated. And what is its practical application? In aquaculture companies, for example, who need to analyse and have precise control over the levels of toxins in their products. Because if the levels of toxins exceed, even slightly (and without danger to human health), the levels regulated by law, you risk having to discard your entire product as it is considered unfit for human consumption. Or if they intend, for example, to sell shellfish to other countries, which may have different legal and regulatory frameworks. The monitoring of toxins in Portugal is carried out by the IPMA (Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere) for official food control. Still, obviously, it is impossible for them to analyse, at all times, all the places where there is production (aquaculture) or harvesting (artisanal) of bivalves. For this monitoring, there are defined collection points and a mandatory weekly frequency. In fact, 99% of the samples that IPMA collects are negative samples, that is, they do not represent problems for human health... and significantly reduce the workload. Which is your objective... Yes. Currently, there are already commercial kits for rapidly detecting these toxins, but they are only suitable for some of the toxins occurring here in Portugal. As I said before, each microalgae species produces a specific toxin profile. And worldwide, the most common species are Alexandrium spp., which produce the profile of toxins that these kits can detect. But in Portugal and beyond (Spain, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, and Japan, for example), a different microalga produces paralysing toxins that are not detected by these kits. Which makes them unsuitable for use in our country. And at the end of last year, they already held a seminar with all the project partners, correct? Yes, on the 7th of December, we held the Webinar “Advances in the detection of marine toxins using sensors”, where we had the participation of more than 80 participants from 10 different countries. We intended to inform about the project's existence and discuss the existing knowledge of the partners and the challenges we face in this area. The seminar was chaired by Dr Teresa Gomes (UA), and, in addition to presentations by several international specialists in this area, we also had the presence of Dr Sandra Silva from DGPM, who introduced the project's sponsor (EEA Grants). What are the next steps? The challenge now is to execute the project and present concrete results. We hope that in February or March, we will already have the prototype to test, and at the beginning of next year, we plan to organise another seminar to present the final results of this project. Project Partner Entities: o Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA, I.P.), o SINTEF MinaLab e a Universidade Norueguesa de Ciências Ambientais e Biológicas (NMBU) Photo Credits: EEA Grants – Portugal, blue Growth programme

  • CESAM´s researcher featured in “Reportagem SIC” of “Primeiro Jornal”

    Our researcher, José Alves, addresses the growth of the population of Flamingos in the Ria de Aveiro in the SIC's “Primeiro Jornal”. You can access the SIC news piece here.You can also (re)read the section "Ask a CESAM scientist" here, where José Alves addresses this same theme.

  • University of Aveiro hosts “Let’s Plant Together” volunteer event

    The international project, Life Terra, seeks to bring people together to plant 500 million trees in Europe, thus enabling individual citizens to take action against the climate crisis.The University of Aveiro hosts the 10th meeting of the Steering Committee of this project and invites the entire community to participate in this event on the 16th and 17th of January. Entries close on January 13th. More than 40 people from 8 different countries will discuss the progress and future of this important project at the University of Aveiro campus.The Life Terra project is based on the idea that planting trees is the most cost-effective nature-based solution to capturing carbon. As part of a multifaceted mitigation strategy, planting trees can play an important role in fighting climate change and the devastation it causes (heat waves, drought, forest loss, desertification, erosion, floods).Inês Domingues, the event facilitator and researcher at the Center for Environmental and Sea Studies (CESAM) and the Department of Biology at the University of Aveiro, points out that: “this event is an opportunity to involve further the academic community in the theme of reforestation and ecological restoration, emphasising the importance of tree planting as a tool available to everyone to mitigate climate change”. For more information about the project, you can consult here.   Activities associated with the event Workshop “Calculating our carbon footprint”,January 16th, between 14:00 h and 16:00 h, at Auditorium José Grácio (22.3.1).Chrystal Moore, Samuel Allasia & Santi Sabaté from the University of Barcelona will lead the “Calculating our carbon footprint” workshop. In the workshop, we will review the fundaments and assumptions of different platforms used to calculate our carbon footprint, including one proposed by the authors, and use them to make and compare calculations.The number of participants will be limited to the auditorium capacity. UA Campus Planting EvenJanuary 16th, between 16:00 h and 16:30 h.A symbolic event of tree planting on the UA Campus. Those trees will last and grow, a promise of future deeds together. Life Terra Woods Planting Event and field lunchJanuary 17th, 10:30 h – 14:00 hWe need volunteers to plant the Life Terra Woods in Aveiro. We will leave the campus for Nariz (near Aveiro) at 10:30 h. Then we will plant together and have a field lunch. The number of participants is limited to transport capacity. To register for the event, click here. For further information, contact inesd@ua.pt

CESAM Funding: UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020 + LA/P/0094/2020