Inês Rosa
Fernando Gonçalves; Sofia Guilherme; Joana Pereira; Raquel Marçal
CIVIC – Biocidal Control of the InVasIve Crayfish Procambarus clarkii using a citizen science approach
The red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) is a relevant pest in European watersheds causing severe ecological and economic impacts, particularly in rice fields. In this way, it is urgent to effectively control existent populations of this invasive species in order to avoid the escalating costs and loss of biodiversity in affected areas. Several methods have already been proposed for crayfish control purposes, being the use of biocides the most commonly addressed. The present proposal intends to evaluate the sensibility of different life stages of P. clarkii (larvae, juvenile and adults) to two selected and locally relevant biocides (single toxicity and mixture). The biocides selection will be made based in inquiries performed to Estarreja local farmers aiming to determine the most relevant agrochemicals they use. Moreover, the dynamics of the crayfish population in Estarreja rice paddies will be studied using a citizen science approach directly involving students of a local school in field surveys and in subsequent work necessary to characterize this crayfish population. An awareness document will be delivered exposing the problematic of crayfish invasions and the possible solutions to control it locally taking into account the results obtained in the ecotoxicological assays and population dynamics study. Overall, this project will be a major contribution to the development of improved control methods targeted at Procambarus clarkii invading rice fields, and to effectively increase awareness of the society to the problematics of biological invasions and solutions for its control by directly involving stakeholders and general public in the design and in some of the scientific work.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja
Biologie, Écologie, Limnologie


I have more than 8 years of experience carrying out research in the area of Biology mostly in an academic context. After my degree in Biology in 2007 (University of Aveiro), I obtained a master degree in Ecology, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management (University of Aveiro) which thesis consisted in the study of the population of Atherina spp in Ria de Aveiro. In 2013, I concluded my PhD in Marine and Environmental Sciences (University of Porto) focused in the economic impacts and control of a freshwater invasive clam. After this, I spent a few years as fellow in different projects. During this time I had a very strong laboratory component developing competences of several techniques and tools (e.g. ecotoxicological tests and oxidative stress biomarkers in different organisms) which allows me to be comfortable in a laboratory with diverse organisms and techniques. Besides this scientific background, during the last three years, I have invested in my experience and formation in the area of science communication and project management. In this context, I have written a book to non-scientific audiences, organized “ecological hikings” in a close contact with fishing communities, and designed and organized science activities to children. In order to improve my abilities in this areas, during the last years I took some additional formation. From my academic and professional experience, resulted 14 publications in international journals, 2 in national journals, and several participations in national and international congresses. This way, I have experience with audiences of different ages and backgrounds.


Professor Doctor Fernando Gonçalves is since 2004 a Full Professor with habilitation in University of Aveiro. He got his PhD in Animal Sciences in 1992 (University of Coimbra) after his first degree in Biology in 1987 (University of Coimbra). Since he was inited to join an academic career at University of Aveiro in 1996, he has established his own research team within the Ecotoxicology research line in CESAM (Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies), presently leading 4 labs (280 m2) at Department of Biology (University of Aveiro) full equipped for ecotoxicology and ecological research. His research interests lie in the frontier between Ecology and Ecotoxicology, including the ecological aspects of man-induce change, where he obtained financial support for 23 (9 as PI) research projects. He is author of more than 225 scientific papers in SCI journals (H index scopus: 33; Nov 2017), 6 books and 37 chapters in the fields of ecotoxicology, ecology, soil, freshwater, environmental sustainability and activities for general public. As a teacher and researcher, he taught several courses and have supervised post-doctoral scientists (17), PhD students (21) and master students (56).
Dr. Sofia Guilherme was born in Covilhã (1978) and started her academic career in the University of Aveiro, with the graduation in Biology and Geology (2002). Afterwards, she obtained her master degree in Toxicology in 2007 (Indicadores químicos, bioquímicos e citogenéticos em Liza aurata após exposição ambiental a mercúrio) and in 2012, concluded her PhD in Biology (Genotoxic risk of herbicides to Anguilla anguilla L.), in the same institution. Since 2013, she has been working as a post-doctoral fellow in CESAM/UA (Generational transmission of pro-genotoxic/anti-genotoxic effects induced by pesticides – contribution to predict the impact at the population level – 2013/2016). Her expertise includes several techniques concerning the evaluation of DNA damage (comet assay, ENA assay and MN test), as well as several tools used to evaluate biochemical responses to environmental contamination. Her present research is focused on crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) genotoxic responses to environmental challenges, namely pesticide contamination. Dr. Sofia’s work is then related to Natural Sciences, with a special emphasis on Environmental Toxicology and Animal Physiology, and originated twenty articles in scientific journals, with referees, in the mentioned areas. In order to present her work to the scientific community, has participated in several events in Portugal and abroad. Moreover, Dr. Sofia has participated as member of the research team of three FCT (national) funded projects. So far, she has completed the supervision of 3 MSc student and ongoing the supervision of 1 PhD student and 1 MSc.
Joana Luísa Pereira is a Post-Doctoral researcher in the Department of Biology and CESAM (Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies) at the University of Aveiro. Since the PhD in Biology, awarded in 2008 by the University of Aveiro, her core research field is ecotoxicology and environmental risk assessment in freshwater ecosystems. She has been working in the field of freshwater pest management, particularly focusing the development of improved chemical control strategies using tools and methods that have been established for long in ecotoxicology. In this context, she was funded by the National Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) as the PI of a project aiming to develop improved control methods targeted at Corbicula fluminea, an invasive freshwater clam capable of causing severe ecological impacts in invaded ecosystems and economic costs in fouled industries. Through these research fields, she co-authored so far 41 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and more than 70 communications in international meetings, and she (co)supervised or (co)supervises 6 PhD students, 9 MSc students, 14 graduation students and 6 research technicians. In parallel to research activities, she has always been devoting attention to Science outreaching and education for sustainable development. In this context, she graduated in Biology through the Educational branch in 2003, occasionally assuming the educational practice at basic and secondary schools; published 9 papers in national journals and 9 book chapters dedicated to public awareness, Science outreaching or environmental education; and she is an editor-in-chief of the national Science outreaching journal CAPTar.
MSc Raquel Marçal obtained her graduation in Biology in 2009 and, her master degree in Applied Biology in 2011, both at University of Aveiro (Aveiro, Portugal). In 2012, Raquel did an internship in ECIMAT (Vigo, Spain) under Professor Emílio Rolán-Alvarez supervision concerning the project “The paths of parallel evolution and their genetic crossroads”, where knowledge on planning lab experiences, team coordination, and maintenance of algae and marine organisms (gastropods) in aquaria was acquired. Also in 2012, she did another internship in Svén-Lovén Centre (Tjarnö, Sweden), by the European funded project “Assemble: Association of european marine biological laboratories”, where she developed skills in molecular biology. Back to Portugal, in 2013, she had a research fellowship at University of Aveiro, in the project CARCACE under the supervision of Dr. Ana Hilário were knowledge on the histological processing of specimens, molecular techniques and on polychaetes identification were acquired. Her main scientific interests in aquatic ecology, animal physiology and genetic ecology led her to work as volunteer in the Ecotoxicology and animal physiology group (U. Aveiro), led by the Professor Mário Pacheco, in the post-doc project of Dr Sofia Guilherme “Comparação da vulnerabilidade ao dano genético induzido por pesticidas em populações de Procambarus clarkii com diferentes historiais de exposição - Identificação de mecanismos de tolerância e resistência”, in 2014. And, in 2016, she started her PhD (2016-2020) concerning the theme: “Generational transmission of pro-genotoxic and anti-genotoxic alterations induced by pesticides – a path to predict the real impact on aquatic populations” under the supervision of Professor Mário Pacheco and Dr Sofia Guilherme.