Maria Bordalo
MICROPEST- Microbial pesticides in agricultural areas of the Vouga river basin
Microbial pesticides are a class of biopesticides based on bacteria, fungi and their toxins that have been increasingly used as safe alternatives to chemicals, thereby promoting a more sustainable agricultural production. Notwithstanding, recent studies have been questioning the safety of such compounds, since toxic effects to non-target species have been documented, together with indirect effects to other trophic levels. Freshwater ecosystems adjacent to agricultural areas are therefore potentially exposed to biopesticides’ action and the study on their effects is crucial. However, knowledge on the use of such compounds at the agricultural areas from the Estarreja region is lacking, and so is their occurrence within freshwaters located nearby (e.g. streams and rivers from the Vouga basin). Considering the possible persistence of these microorganisms in the environment, it is certainly relevant to assess their environmental concentrations and evaluate their potential to persist and disseminate in aquatic ecosystems. This proposal will provide valuable information on the use and occurrence of microbial pesticides in the Estarreja region and at the same time promote public awareness towards a biosafe use of such compounds.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja
Biologie, Limnologie


Maria D. Bordalo is a Junior Researcher at the Department of Biology & CESAM, University of Aveiro (UA). She hold a PhD in Biology (2013), a MSc in Ecology (2007) and a Biology degree (2005), all awarded by the University of Coimbra. She published 17 papers, presented 14 communications in scientific meetings, participated in 5 research projects (1 ongoing as PI) and received a merit award. Her current research interests are: aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology, community and evolutionary ecotoxicology, biotic interactions (parasitism, predation, invasive species), effects of natural and anthropogenic (namely synthetic and biological pesticides) stressors at different levels of biological organization.
Immediately after PhD completion, she started a grant at UA within IDEAL project (PTDC/AAC-AMB/119433/2010) and assessed the impact of insecticides and invasive species in freshwater ecosystems. In 2014, she was awarded with a postdoctoral grant, focusing on the evaluation of biopesticides as environmentally safe alternatives to chemicals, and this has been one of her main focus of her research.
In addition, she is also the Principal Investigator of the INSIDER project (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-030495), which focuses on the impact of invasive species under global change scenarios. Within the project, she has a Research Fellow and a Doctorate Researcher under her supervision, and coordinates a multidisciplinary team.
She has been involved in science dissemination actions directed for different audiences, aiming at promoting public awareness and student’s engagement and consolidating the relationship between Academia and Society, through organization of scientific activities and delivering talks from pre-school to secondary education and local organizations.


Dr. João Pestana is an Assistant Researcher at Department of Biology & CESAM (Functional biodiversity research group), University of Aveiro. His main research interests include freshwater ecology, ecotoxicology and invertebrate physiology. He has published more than 50 papers in peer reviewed journals. He has coordinated two national FCT funded projects, supervised several PhD and Masters’ students and currently co-coordinates a national funded project dealing with effects of microplastics on freshwater benthic invertebrate communities (http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1322-2959).
Marta Tacão is a Researcher at the Biology Department (Microbiology Laboratory, microlab) and the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), at the University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal. Since 2014, she holds a PhD in Biology (specialization in microbiology), from the University of Aveiro, Portugal. Co-authored 25 papers in Web of Science (WoS) journals, with average citations per paper 18.30 and h-index is 11 (WoS, February 2019). Co-authored 1 book chapter and presented over 40 communications in international and national meetings. Currently participates in 2 research projects as team member. In the past, contributed to 11 projects as team member or grant holder. Her main interests are: Microbial communities, antibiotic resistance, co-resistance mechanisms, environmental reservoirs, human-impact in natural environments, mobilome.
Isabel Henriques is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra. She finished her PhD in Biology in 2006 at the University of Aveiro, Portugal. Her research has been oriented towards environmental Microbiology, specifically focusing on the role of anthropogenic activities in the proliferation of pathogens and antibiotic resistance in aquatic systems. She has also been interested in characterizing environmental microbial communities and bacterial strains to assess their ecology and potential beneficial properties. She has been using molecular biology techniques, phenotypic, genomic and metagenomic tools for this analysis. She has authored or co-authored more than 80 papers. Her work has been cited more than 1500 times with h-index of 22 (WoS, February 2019).
Ana Luísa Machado is a post-doc at CESAM-Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, University of Aveiro since May 2018. She completed the PhD in Biology (Specialty: Ecology, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management) in 2015, by University of Aveiro, master’s in Applied Ecology in 2005 and Degree in Biology in 2000, both by University of Porto. She was invited assistant in Polytechnic Institute of Porto and Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo between 2015 and 2018. She published 13 articles in ISI journals. Has 3 sections of books. Participated in several projects in the field of Freshwater Ecology, including as a PhD Fellow (INFERNO - the Influence of Forest-fire on River Community Organization). Her main research interests are Freshwater Ecology, Functional Diversity, Macroinvertebrate Communities and Invasive Species.