Hugo Vieira
Sizenando Abreu; Fernando Morgado
Modelling mercury remobilization and transport in Ria de Aveiro: Effects of Climate Change, extreme and dredging events
An important issue today is to understand in what extent cycling of mercury in the future may be altered in regard to Climate Change. Predictions imply that most of the parameters that determine the global mercury cycle today will change. Laranjo bay (Ria de Aveiro) received, during five decades, a large amount of mercury from a highly contaminated chlor-alkali plant effluent discharge from the industrial Estarreja complex. Due to natural remediation processes, in which layers of less contaminated particles overlap with contaminated sediment, most of the mercury released to the lagoon has been trapped in the deeper layers of sediments. Natural and extreme events, Climate Change, or man-made events (dredging activities of the outlet channel will be conducted in the lagoon) can play an important role in the mercury distribution in Ria de Aveiro, since they may promote the remobilization from the deeper layers of sediment to the water column. Under the extreme events and Climate Change scenarios, detailed information on mercury remobilization and transport in Ria de Aveiro is critical to understand the environmental cycling of mercury and relevant for the development of cost-efficient strategies towards reducing the negative impacts of this metal. This study will provide valuable information on the remobilization and transport of mercury from the historically most contaminated area towards adjacent areas of the lagoon, not only through field monitoring but also through modelling, in a Climate Change scenario (four distinct hydrodynamic scenarios), in order to build a prediction procedure contributing to mitigate future disturbances.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja
Chimie, Climatologie, Hydrologie


I, Hugo C. Vieira, am a PhD student of the Doctoral Program in Biology and Ecology of Global Change (BEGC), at the Department of Biology & CESAM, University of Aveiro, Portugal, in collaboration with EPOMEX (Ecology, Fisheries and Oceanography of the Gulf of Mexico Institute), Campeche, Mexico (financially supported by a 4-year mixed grant by FCT PD/BD/127808/2016). I hold a MSc in Marine Biology (2015) and a Biology degree (2013), all awarded by the University of Aveiro. Within the Biology degree I had the opportunity to engage in a curricular internship at EPOMEX.
Up to date, I have published 5 ISI papers, presented 7 communications in scientific meetings and currently participate in 1 research project as a team member. My main research interests are: aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology, more precisely in mercury behavior in aquatic sediments and aquatic trophic chains.
During these years at the Department of Biology, I have been developing skills in the maintenance and acclimatization of aquatic organisms in the laboratory (e.g. fish, shrimp and sea anemones), sampling and treatment of biological, sediment and water samples from coastal and estuarine areas, improved laboratory techniques, performed toxicological tests with aquatic species exposed to mercury and gained experience in mercury analysis by using the Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS).
I am also involved in science communication and dissemination for different publics, through lectures, open campus activities and visits to schools. Furthermore, I also actively collaborate in the supervision of undergraduate students.


Sizenando N., Abreu is a post doc at the CESAM, University of Aveiro (UA). He holds a PhD in Biology (2008), Master degree in Sea Sciences and Coastal Zones (1997) and a graduation in Biology (1989), all awarded by UA. His main research interests are: mercury bioaccumulation, fish consumption and human exposure; mercury behaviour in coastal and estuarine aquatic systems; mercury bioaccumulation in pyrite acid-mine drainages; dendrochemistry; climate change.
He published more than 20 ISI papers, 3 book chapters, 12 scientific reports, presented 36 communications in scientific meetings; being most of his work dedicated to the mercury problematic in Ria de Aveiro. He supervised several undergraduate and MSc students and is currently the co-supervisor of a PhD student. He participated in 6 scientific projects, some of them related with mercury remobilization and transport in Ria de Aveiro (EICOS, Praxis XXI 2/2.1/MAR/1750/95), Estudo Integrado da Transferência e Efeitos de Contaminantes em Sedimentos – Ria de Aveiro.; Study “Desassoreamento da Ria de Aveiro, 1ª Fase – Monitorização da Qualidade da Água, Sedimentos e Bentos da Ria de Aveiro”; Análise da Qualidade da Água, Sedimentos e Bentos na Ria de Aveiro; “Monitorização ambiental associada ao funcionamento do emissário submarino de S. Jacinto; and, “Dispersão e Remobilização de Mercúrio e dos Sedimentos do Esteiro da Barbosa devido às Obras de Construção do Troço Médio do Dique de Defesa do Vouga). He has also experience in international projects (BIOGEST - Biogas Transfer in Estuaries (European Land Ocean Interactions Studies, contract n°ENV4-CT96-0213). http://www.co2.ulg.ac.be/biogest/biogest.htm).
Fernando Morgado, PhD in Biology and Full Professor at University of Aveiro, Portugal. Senior researcher at Centre for Environment and Marine Sciences at University of Aveiro, Portugal. Was member of several evaluation panels from research projects and grants (International and National) His main research areas include Plankton Marine Biology and Ecology; Aquatic Ecotoxicology; Tropical ecology and ecotoxicology; Environmental Education, Education for Sustainable Development, Communication and Dissemination of Science. Has written, co-written, edited or co-edited about 150 publications, including books book chapters Special Issues of Scientific Journals and papers in refereed journals (ISI and peer reviewed). Supervisor of 3 post doc researchers, 11 PhD Students, 40 MSc. Member of more than 100 exam panels for viva voice examinations (for PhD and MSc) and career assessment. Member of the organizing and scientific committees of more than 100 international and national congresses and workshops Participated in several projects research and development projects
João Miguel Dias holds a PhD in Physics and is Associate Professor with Habilitation in the Department of Physics of the University of Aveiro, where he is the current Director. He founded and leads the Estuarine and Coastal Modelling Division (http://www.nmec.eu/), and is a researcher at the Centre for Environment and Marine Studies) (CESAM), where he is co-coordinator of the Integrated Environmental Systems thematic line. With nearly 30 years of professional experience, he is a specialist in the numerical modelling of physical processes in estuarine and coastal zones. He has participated and coordinated several national and international research projects and has extensive experience in consulting for public and private organizations. He is the editor and reviewer of a large number of international journals, and has integrated project and scholarships evaluation panels in the field of marine science for various national and international agencies. He is the author of over 140 papers in international journals in the areas of Environmental Sciences and Oceanography, and supervised a significant number of postdoctoral researchers and PhD and MSc students.