Bruno Nunes
Bruno Branco Castro
Can historical contamination reach humans? Potential risks from food web transfer of pollutants in the Estarreja area.
The area of Estarreja has been traditionally considered as a highly impacted region, namely by industrial activities, which presence resulted in the release of large amounts of toxic metals into the region. However, it is also one of the most productive regions of the country, and heavily populated. Despite the evidences pointing towards the presence of specific pollutants in the area, the historical contamination is now a debatable issue, especially concerning its long term effects, both on wild biota and in humans. Even nowadays, animal husbandry, and agricultural and fishing practices remain the basis of the human diet of local populations. This project intends to study the extent of the chemical contamination, its flows along the food web (including in items cultured or bread purposely for human consumption), its major toxicological consequences, and the putative environmental and human health risks in the Estarreja area. Chemical analysis of sampled key organisms (bred in close proximity with humans, such as domestic poultry/livestock, and farms) will be performed and biochemical pathways reflecting toxic responses will be evaluated, to allow obtaining a snapshot of the toxicological scenario in the area, which can threaten wildlife and humans.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja
Biochimie, Biologie, Écologie, Écophysiologie, Santé publique


Bruno Nunes graduated in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Faculty of Pharmacy of Porto University in 1999, and completed his PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 2005, from the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Porto University. During his last year as a PhD student, Bruno Nunes was an assistant at Escola Superior de Saúde Jean Piaget; after completing his academic formation, Bruno Nunes was an assistant professor at Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Fernando Pessoa, until January 2013. Bruno Nunes has been an integrated member of CESAM, from 2005 to nowadays. Co-author of 62 research articles, published in indexed peer reviewed journals, the vast majority as first or last author. Furthermore, Bruno Nunes has also published eight (8) research articles in national, peer-reviewed journals. Bruno Nunes participated in 10 scientific projects, financed by Portuguese institutions (8 by FCT, and one by CRUP), and one by CAPES, a Brazilian institution; among these, Bruno Nunes was the PI in three of them (both financed by FCT, namely BiOtometal, his FCT researcher individual project, and an international cooperation project with Tunisian researchers). Bruno Nunes was also the main promoter of an industry-oriented R&D project (INNOAQUA), financed by Agência de Inovação, a joint program of the Science and Technology Portuguese Ministry and the Economy Ministry. All projects were financed in open, competitive calls. Bruno Nunes was/is supervisor of a considerable number of thesis. His supervision includes five ongoing PhD and twenty eight ongoing/concluded master students.


Branco Castro
Bruno B. Castro is currently a researcher at the Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA) and an invited professor at the Department of Biology at the University of Minho. He obtained his Doctoral degree in 2007 from the University of Aveiro. He then pursued his post-doctoral research at the University of Aveiro after obtaining competitive positions as a post-doc fellow and then a Ciência2008 research contract. He is author and co-author of 43 international peer-reviewed papers, 4 national papers, 3 book chapters, and his work has been cited 744 times (H-index = 17; according to Scopus). Collaborative ventures have taken his research to new levels and he has participated in several research projects in the past. He actively engages in the recruitment and training of young scientists, and he has already concluded the (co-)supervision of 10 MSc and 1 PhD students; he is currently involved in the supervision 2 post-doctoral fellows, 1 PhD and 3 MSc students. He also engages in outreach activities in academia and with high school students and teachers, and he provides external consultancy and reviewing services. His research is focused on how biota copes with natural and anthropogenic stressors, blending ecotoxicology with behavioural, ecophysiological and community ecology approaches to assess and predict the impacts of environmental and man-induced change in living systems. His motivation is to contribute to raise awareness of scientists and regulators towards the uncertainties associated with the risk assessment process – and how to tackle them, by targeting locally- and ecologically-relevant environmental issues.