Ana Cristina Rocha
Laura Guimarães, C. Marisa Almeida
Can climate change-related events influence the retention of metals in Ria de Aveiro?
Climatic change-related events have been becoming more frequent worldwide. The consequences of these events, frequently highlighted by media, are many times catastrophic for biota and humans. This project aims at understanding how a sudden increase or decrease of salinity (as a consequence of extreme climate events) can influence the bioavailability and retention of metals in estuarine sediments. Estuarine areas are ecologically relevant ecosystems which conduct important services for the adjoining environments, including the entrapment of pollutants. In particular, salt marsh areas were proven to retain considerable amounts of metals, marsh plants having a prominent role on this retention. Nevertheless, alterations of physico-chemical characteristics of sediments and/or marsh plants’ capacity to phytostabilise metals can affect the chemical speciation of these contaminants increasing, for instance, metals bioavailability to water column and biota. If confined pollution become available, the estuarine and adjoining ecosystems, as well as humans, will be menaced. The prospective data will thereafter support the development of more thorough experiments to address the important need for remediation of metal contamination in the target and support mitigation strategy plans for Ria de Aveiro.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja


Ana Cristina
PhD A. Cristina S. Rocha (female) is a researcher whose research focus on the investigation of the fate and environmental impact of xenobiotics on ecosystems. With a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Technology (2013), her expertise is on coastal ecosystems in which this researcher has investigated the toxicological effects of pollutants (e.g. metals and organic contaminants) on estuarine plants and, more recently, on marine organisms. Furthermore, PhD A. Cristina S. Rocha has pursued research on the fate of contaminants on different environmental compartments and the use of marsh plants to phytoremediate contaminated sediments as an environmental technology of remediation of aquatic environments contaminated with different pollutants.
PhD A. Cristina S. Rocha has a solid know-how on environmental chemistry applied to estuarine environments and environmental risk assessment of contaminants, having participated in several national projects. Furthermore, she has acquired expertise in several laboratory procedures (including sample preparation, chemical compounds extraction from different matrices, measurement of different compounds/pollutants in several environmental matrices, analysis of enzymatic activities and parameters of oxidative stress) and analytical techniques, mainly ionic chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), atomic absorption spectrophotometry, UV/Vis spectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
This researcher has, at the moment, 11 international publications in peer review scientific journals and ca. 14 presentations (oral and poster) in international and national scientific meetings and has co-supervised or assisted in the supervision of several Master (3) and Graduate students (5) since 2011. Furthermore, PhD A. Cristina S. Rocha is engaged in science dissemination for schools and general public, having already participated on several events and lectures.


PhD Laura Guimarães (female) is a researcher in Environmental Toxicology. She is a biologist and PhD in Biomedical Sciences (University of Porto, 2002), with work developed in CNRS (UPR 2216, France). Her expertise is in i) biomonitoring and integrated chemical and biological effects monitoring of aquatic systems; 2) physiology and toxicological evaluation of priority (e.g., heavy metals, PAH, organophosphates) and emerging contaminants of concern, for hazard assessment in ecological risk assessment, investigation of their mode of action and relation to temperature and salinity as natural stressors; and 3) use and development of early-warning biomarkers of exposure/effect to diagnose the health status of wild vertebrate and invertebrate populations. She is member of COST Action NEREUS and participated in 16 national (1 as coordinator) and international research projects. International projects were funded by the FP6 ERA-NET AMPERA (RAMOCS) and three bilateral cooperation protocols: ICCTI/CAPES, Brazil; French Embassy / ICCTI, France; FCT and The British Council, UK (Petgenes). She supervised or co-supervised over 25 students, technicians and young researchers, including 4 post-doctoral fellows (1 on course), 2 PhDs (1 ending), 5 MSc students (1 on course), and internships of 7 international students. She is member of the Editorial Board of Marine Pollution (specialty section of Frontiers in Marine Science and Frontiers in Environmental Science), review editor. She has over 60 international publications (over 60% of which in SCI index journals ranked within the 1st quartile (Q1) of their areas), and over 80 communications in international and national scientific meetings.
She is also dedicated to outreach,
C. Marisa
PhD Marisa Almeida (Female, born in 1974) is a researcher at CIIMAR since 2005 with over 65 international publications in peer review scientific journals and ca. 60 presentations (oral and poster) in international and national scientific meetings. With a PhD in Chemistry (obtained in 2003) her main research area is bio and phytoremediation, being actively engage in studies that aim to enhance the use of bio and phytoremediation as a tool of biotechnology for remediation of aquatic environments contaminated with different pollutants.
Her expertise is on environmental chemistry applied to estuarine environments, phytoremediation of contaminants in salt marshes and ecological risk assessment, having participated in six national and one international projects on these topics. She is also focusing on metals, hydrocarbons and emerging pollutants tracking in different environmental matrixes (water, sediment and biota), having extensive know how in analytical chemistry and application of several analytical techniques.
She has supervised or co-supervised 3 Pos Doc researchers, 2 PhD students, 14 MSc students (3 still in course) and internships of 3 international students as well as more than a dozen Graduate students.
Moreover she regularly gives talks to the general public and school students in the frame of the CIIMAR outreach programs and projects, regarding both ocean and water literacy. She participates also in COST actions, acts as project proposals evaluator, theses evaluator and as invited reviewer of several scientific journals.