Jacinta Oliveira
Rui Rocha, Andreia Rodrigues, Ana Luísa Silva, Pedro Bem-haja, Amadeu Soares
BiConValor – Bivalves: spatio-temporal evolution of CONtamination and contribution for VALorization
Over the years, Estarreja has been associated to a deep negative connotation due to industrial pollution. This burden has been challenging environmentally and socially hampering the population establishment and tourism in Estarreja. Two of the most known strategies to change this image of Estarreja are: 1) BIORIA - supports biodiversity preservation, environmental education and tourism using guided pedestrian/cycling routes; 2) PACOPAR - develops actions of environmental promotion and continuous improvement of the environmental performance of chemical companies. It is our purpose to join to these initiatives contributing to improve Estarreja image and show its potential. Cockles (Cerastoderma edule) are excellent sentinel species occurring in the region, which additionally present commercial value, being easy to produce/depurate in an environmental-friendly way. Insights brought by this project will be useful to increase the economic income of the Region, to prove that the initiatives of Estarreja entities have been successful for a cleaner aquatic system, and to arise national public awareness about Baixo Vouga Lagunar (BVL) natural potential. The main objectives of the project are: 1) to assess, in a spatial/temporal scale, the content of contaminants with historical industrial (mercury) and agricultural (microbiota) signatures, and of emerging contaminants (microplastics), in cockles; 2) to evaluate their depuration potential; 3) to assess the unique organoleptic characteristics of produced/depurated cockles; 4) to evaluate the potential of creating a new brand of cockles (associated to BVL/Estarreja) as a strategy to empower social insight about BVL/Estarreja involving regional stakeholders (restaurants, city hall, regional restaurants and entities).
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja
Biologie, Écologie, Psychologie


Jacinta Oliveira is form Estarreja and worked in several local entities (namely several schools and BioRia) while studying at the University of Aveiro. Jacinta received a merit award for outstanding performance during her bachelor’s degree in Biology (2005). She worked at the Laboratory of Microbiology of the National Reference Laboratory, IPMA-Aveiro, first as Trainee Research Development and then as Research Assistant Laboratory Manager. Jacinta was awarded a Leonardo Da Vinci international internship as Trainee Research Development at Universidad de Santiago de Compostela-Spain, aiming the microbial (bacteria/virus) molecular analysis of bivalves. Jacinta was awarded a PhD in Biology (2012), expertise in Microbiology, Food Safety and Public Health by the UA; her PhD thesis was entitled Microbiological quality of bivalves - relevance to food safety. Her post-doctoral experience includes 8 WOS papers (6 as the first author and 3 of which in Q1 journals; h-index 4; 17,5 average cit./item; 136 cit. without self-cit.), 1 paper translated in Chinese, 1 book chapter, participation in 3 R&D projects, 1 invited oral presentation and other several oral/poster presentations in international meetings. Jacinta was R&D Director (CSO) of a National European eel Aquaculture. During this period (2015-2018), she successfully submitted and coordinated 2 projects: BestRAS funded by MAR2020, and FindFreshR&D funded by P2020. Currently, Jacinta is Junior Researcher at UA involved in 3 R&D projects funded by FCT (INSIDER, CRAGIAMP, both involve organisms that produce antimicrobial compounds with potential use in aquaculture; EMPHASIS, that includes the effects of contaminants on bacterial communities of zebrafish).


Rui J. M. Rocha, born in 1979, graduated in Marine Biology and Fisheries, specialization in Aquaculture, in 2002, in the University of Algarve. In 2009 Rui Rocha started PhD thesis at the Department of Biology (DBio) of Aveiro University (UA), and obtained his PhD in Biology and Applied Biosciences in 2013. Presently he is researcher at DBio & CESAM of UA. Author of 33 publications listed on Web of Science (Q1), with 30 being published from 2013 to present. He has 240 citations, an h-index of 10. Since 2014 he lectures/lectured in 5 Universities in Portugal, Spain, Brazil and Mozambique and participated, as invited speaker, in 6 international seminars on Sustainable Aquaculture, Aquatic Resources Management and Climate Change in Europe and Africa. He concluded the supervision of 4 BSc and 10 MSc students. He coordinated 6 technicians (1 with BSc, 2 with MSc and 3 with PhD). Currently he supervises/co-supervises 9 PhD, 3 MSc and 4 BSc students and 5 technicians (2 with BSc, 1 with MSc and 2 with PhD). He is/was responsible, as PI or Co-PI, of 7 research projects, funded by National and International Agencies and in consortium with SMEs, adding up to > 1.2 M€. In the last 5 years Rui Rocha has been involved in community-based bivalve aquaculture and bivalve depuration projects in Portugal and Portuguese-speaking African countries, aiming the development of community-based bivalve aquaculture, contribute for food safety, valorisation of bivalve molluscs and reduce food losses.
Andreia Rodrigues is a biologist specialized in aquatic ecotoxicology and environmental biology. She was awarded a PhD in Biology, expertise in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Biology (2017, split between the DBio-UA, Portugal and IDAEA-CSIC, Spain). She has participated in more than 6 projects funded or co-funded by FCT, Portugal, and one also co-funded by CAPES, Brazil. With her first paper published in 2013, she currently has 12 publications (8 as first author) in international peer-reviewed Q1 journals and an h-index of 6 with over 140 citations. Andreia has been actively communicating science in international conferences and meetings. She is also engaged in the organization of scientific meetings and outreach activities. Currently, Andreia is a post-doctoral fellow at DBio&CESAM, Portugal. Since her PhD completion, the focus of her investigation is on both fish nutrition and bivalve depuration to improve food security and sustainability of aquaculture production. Her research interests also include combined effects of biotic and chemical stressors on aquatic systems, from the organismal to community and ecosystems levels. She has been working with developmental, behavioral, biochemical and physiological biomarkers responses in aquatic species (macroinvertebrates/fish) under stress. Complementarily, she has also participated in studies of mercury bioaccumulation in estuarine and freshwater environments.
Ana Luísa
Dr. Ana Luísa Silva holds a Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources and a Doctorate degree in Biology and Environmental Sciences. She is currently a postdoc researcher at Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies - University of Aveiro and integrates the Functional Diversity research group. Her main research interests include Stress Ecology, Ecophysiology and Ecotoxicogenomics. She coordinates a national funded project on the potential eco(toxico)logical effect of microplastics and adsorbents on aquatic biota, at different levels of biological organization (comPET project: POCI.01-0145-FEDER-030361) (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1932-1229).
Pedro Bem-Haja holds a Master’s degree and PhD in Psychology from the University of Aveiro, and is a Neurolab researcher at the same university (member of CINTESIS – UA). He is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Aveiro, where he teaches courses units such as research methodology, scientific research in psychology and psychobiology. His publications and research preferences are in the field of research methods through the development of new techniques/research tools, biosignals processing and data analysis (eg Bioradar - Wireless Biosignals), the creation of prediction and optimization algorithms (e.g., Survival prediction or optimization of success) and in the use of central and peripheral biomarkers of the nervous system, applied to various contexts (eg, Clinical, Forensic and Educational).He has about two dozen articles in international journals and competitively funded projects as PI and research team member.
Amadeu Soares is Full Professor and Head of the Department of Biology (UA, 10/2001 to present). Among other ativities/positions, he is Deputy Director of CESAM (since 2004), member of the Scientific Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed-FEEDAP, an advisory scientific committee to the European Food Safety Authority-EFSA(07/2004-06/2006), and member of the CSTEE, an advisory scientific committee to the European Commission(EU)-DG Health and Consumer Protection (12/2000-06/2004). He was awared (2013) the SETAC-Europe Environmental Education Award, for the contribution for the dissemination and education activities. In 2004, he was one of the 73 Portuguese scientists awarded with the “Estímulo à Excelência” Award, given by the Portuguese Minister of Science, as a recognition for the merit of the scientific career (the only Portuguese scientist from the Ecology field to receive this award). His scientific carrer (http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0879-9470), includes the participation in several R&D projects funded by the EU (8 as coordinator), INTAS (as coordinator), as a consultant in other international projects, and several nationally funded projects (10 as coordinator). Among these, he coordinates SmartBioR, Centro-01-0145-FEDER-000018 which is in line with the Development of products, processes and Services targeting the Promotion of Value Chains Associated with Endogenous Natural Resources.