CESAM Researcher Receives L’Oréal Portugal Award for Women in Science 2022

In addition to our researcher Sara Peixoto (CESAM/DBIO), researchers Andreia Pereira (University of Porto), Joana Sacramento (Nova University of Lisbon), and Raquel Boia (University of Coimbra) were also awarded the L’Oréal Portugal Honorary Medals for Women in Science 2022. Each of these scientists will receive 15,000 euros to further develop their research projects.

As Sara Peixoto states to CESAM’s communication: “For me, receiving this award is very gratifying and signifies recognition for the work I have developed in recent years. This award is also a great incentive to continue in science and to carry out research in the area I intend to pursue in the future. As an early-career researcher, the Women in Science initiative promoted by L’Oréal will also help me raise awareness among different audiences about the problem associated with the need to develop and use more sustainable strategies to promote the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, minimizing the environmental impact associated with the degradation of agricultural and forest soils is extremely relevant and in the interest of the general public, as it can have direct consequences for human health and quality of life.”

Sara Peixoto’s work is related to the recovery of degraded soils. Degradation can have various causes, but two of its major destroyers are wildfires and intensive agriculture. Sara Peixoto seeks to protect these soils using biostimulants – products with microorganisms that increase the availability of nutrients in the soil, improve its fertility, and help it resist environmental pressures such as wildfires.

This award is the result of a joint initiative by the cosmetics company L’Oréal Portugal, which funds the grants, the National Commission for UNESCO, and the Foundation for Science and Technology, which appoints the jury that evaluates the applications. This year, the jury was chaired by Alexandre Quintanilha.

These awards, given annually to four female researchers aged between 31 and 35, aim to promote the participation of women in science by encouraging young and promising scientists at the beginning of their careers to pursue advanced studies in the fields of health or environmental sciences, engineering, and technology.

Text by: CESAM based on information from LUSA and PÚBLICO