Biogeochemistry Research Group
Research carried out by the Biogeochemistry Research Group includes the study of processes affecting the transport, fate and impact of chemical species, including contaminants, in aquatic ecosystems. These studies aim to increase, for example, our understanding of carbon and nutrient transport, bioavailability and reactivity in the aquatic environment. Our goal is to comprehend ecosystem functional plasticity in response to anthropogenic pressure, climate change and biological activity, leading to increased knowledge on the resilience of coastal systems to environmental change. Lately, our main research effort has focused on submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) as a pollutant transport pathway linking human activities on land to marine ecosystem health.
Biogeochemistry, Marine Chemistry, Environmental Change, Coastal Zone Management, Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD), Eutrophication, Sediments, Carbon, Nutrients, Nitrogen, Phosphorus
Climate change, pollution, and risks
- Pressures on environment and climate
- Environment and health
Sustainable management of resources
- Management of marine environments
Earth observation and assessment tools
- Earth observation
- Assessment tools for sustainable development
- Dissemination and horizontal activities
For more information please contact Group Leader Dr Carlos Rocha email: email@example.com
2009-2012 Funding Agency: United Nations (UN) & International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Project title: Enhancing Regional Capability for the Assessment of Contamination in the Marine Environment
Reference: IAEA Project RAF/7/008
Funding allocated: to be determined
2009-2012 Funding Agency: EU (FP7), COST
Project title: The Ocean Chemistry of bioactive trace elements and paleoclimate proxies. This is linked to the global marine GEOTRACES program.
Reference: COST action ES0801
Funding allocated: variable, but linked to network activities, including ocean-going research cruises by network members
2009-2012 Funding Agency: EPA (STRIVE)
Project title: Development of Remote Sensing as a Tool for Detection, Quantification and Evaluation of Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) to Irish Coastal Waters
Reference: STRIVE 2008-FS-W-4-S5
Funding allocated: €340,000
2009-2012 Funding Agencies: EU (FEDER), National Science & Technology Foundation (FCT), Portuguese Government
Project title: - NITROLINKS - NITROgen loading into the Ria Formosa through Coastal Groundwater Discharge (CGD) - Pathways, turnover and LINKS between land and sea in the Coastal Zone
Funding allocated: € 191,099
2008-2012 EU (FEDER), National Science & Technology Foundation (FCT), Portuguese Government -
Project title: Nitrogen reduction in marine systems: in-situ study of alternative metabolic pathways linked to Coastal Groundwater Discharge
Funding allocated: € 141,440
2008-2012 Funding Agencies: EU (FEDER), National Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), Portuguese Government
Project title: Controls on sediment P release from temperate intertidal sediments
Funding allocated: € 141,440
2007-2011 Funding Agencies: National Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), EU (FEDER) and Portuguese Government
Project title: “Mechanisms controlling organic carbon mineralization in intertidal sandy sediments”
Funding allocated: €63,000
Dr. Jaime Anibal
Jaime Aníbal studied Marine Biology and Fisheries (1990-1995) in the University of Algarve (Portugal) and went on to obtain his M.Sc. in Ecology from the University of Coimbra (1999) and Ph.D. in Ecology at University of Algarve (2004). Since 1999, Jaime lectured Biochemistry, Food Chemistry, Enzymology and Seafood Quality in the Food Engineering Course at the Institute of Engineering (University of Algarve).
Dr. Jean Wilson (Research Fellow)
- PhD Remote Sensing and GIS, Trinity College Dublin (2007)
- Higher Diploma in Applied Remote Sensing and GIS, NUI Maynooth (2001)
- MA Geographical Analysis, NUI Maynooth (1999)
- BA Geography & Mathematics, NUI Maynooth (1998)
Dr. Jean Wilson is funded by the EPA, STRIVE project: 2008-FS-W-4-S5, “Development of Remote Sensing as a Tool for Detection, Quantification and Evaluation of Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) to Irish Coastal Waters” The specific goal of this research is to develop remote sensing as a tool in the identification, quantification and mapping of SGD. The principal means of the assessment will be via thermal infrared remote sensing for two case-study areas in Ireland – Galway Bay and Dublin Bay. A third site, the Ria Formosa, Portugal will be used as a reference system for the tools developed. The thermal imagery will be used in combination with ground-based measurements of temperature, conductivity (salinity) and natural chemical tracers of groundwater discharge (222Rn) to assess the impact of SGD. The study aims to improve understanding of the pathways and discharge of contaminants via SGD into Irish coastal waters.
Ines Alves do Rio (Research Assistant, NITROLINKS)
Oceanography, University of Algarve (2008)
Both Liliana and Ines are funded by the NITROLINKS project - NITROgen loading into the Ria Formosa through Coastal Groundwater Discharge (CGD) - Pathways, turnover and LINKS between land and sea in the Coastal Zone. The NITROLINKS proposal was drafted with the major scientific goal of determining fluxes and turnover rates of nitrogen in permeable beds at groundwater seepage sites in the Ria Formosa. The working programme is designed to close a significant gap in our understanding of N processing in coastal ecosystems, eventually leading to the implementation of a revised view of ecosystem functioning. It focuses on the least understood of coastal ecotones: coastal sand sediments site of Coastal Groundwater Discharge (CGD). Specifically we seek to answer the questions: (1) How important are sandy permeable sediments located on the borderline between inland groundwater inputs and productive marine ecosystems as sources or sinks of nitrogen? (2) How important is the discharge of groundwater containing NO3- into the Ria Formosa and what are its main forcing agents, and finally, (3) Do coastal managers need to take into account this contrasting interface while implementing water and land-use policies in the littoral zone?
Liliana Faia Carvalho (Research Assistant, NITROLINKS)
MSc Biological Engineering, University of Algarve (2008)
Catarina de Freixo Leote (PhD student, TCD/Utrecht)
Catarina is funded by the EU (FEDER), National Science & Technology Foundation (FCT) and the Portuguese Government. Project - Controls on sediment P release from temperate intertidal sediments in the Dutch Wadden Sea. This is a study on regenerative shunts of P cycling in the water column and sediment from the western Wadden Sea, including field work, laboratory experiments and diagenetic modeling. The obtained results can be compared with other ecosystems that are phosphorus limited like the Ria Formosa in the south of Portugal. This work is expected to add significantly to the understanding of nutrient dynamics and its relations with primary production and with the ecosystems carrying capacity.
Juan Severino Ibanhez (PhD student, TCD)
MSc in Marine and Coastal Studies, University of Algarve (2007) Graduate in Marine Science, University of Vigo
Juan is funded by the EU (FEDER), National Science & Technology Foundation (FCT) and the Portuguese Government. Project - Nitrogen reduction in marine systems: in-situ study of alternative metabolic pathways linked to Coastal Groundwater Discharge. The objectives of this proposal are to identify, quantify and parameterize key biogeochemical processes of Nitrogen inside permeable sediments under laboratory controlled conditions and correlate these processes with in-situ flux measurements in the Ria formosa lagoon, where heavily contaminated groundwater discharges into a productive coastal lagoon, while using selected representative N molecules as proxies.