University Dos Aores

Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal

University Dos Aores

Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.73M | Year: 2013

This project will improve the consortium capacity of assessment of volcanic hazards in Supersites of Southern Italy by optimising and integrating existing and new observation/monitoring systems, by a breakthrough in understanding of volcanic processes and by increasing the effectiveness of the coordination between the scientific and end-user communities. More than 3 million of people are exposed to potential volcanic hazards in a large region in the Mediterranean Sea, where two among the largest European volcanic areas are located: Mt. Etna and Campi Flegrei/Vesuvius. This project will fully exploit the unique detailed long-term in-situ monitoring data sets available for these volcanoes and integrate with Earth Observation (EO) data, setting the basic tools for a significant step ahead in the discrimination of pre-, syn- and post-eruptive phases. The wide range of styles and intensities of volcanic phenomena observed on these volcanoes, which can be assumed as archetypes of closed conduit and open conduit volcano, together with the long-term multidisciplinary data sets give an exceptional opportunity to improve the understanding of a very wide spectrum of geo-hazards, as well as implementing and testing a large variety of innovative models of ground deformation and motion. Important impacts on the European industrial sector are expected, arising from a partnership integrating the scientific community and SMEs to implement together new observation/monitoring sensors/systems. Specific experiments and studies will be carried out to improve our understanding of the volcanic internal structure and dynamics, as well as to recognise signals related to impending unrest or eruption. Hazard quantitative assessment will benefit by the outcomes of these studies and by their integration into the cutting edge monitoring approaches thus leading to a step-change in hazard awareness and preparedness and leveraging the close relationship between scientists, SMEs, and end-users.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.2.2.1.2. | Award Amount: 10.98M | Year: 2009

The HERMIONE project is designed to make a major advance in our knowledge of the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems and their contribution to the production of goods and services. This will be achieved through a highly interdisciplinary approach (including biologists, ecologists, microbiologists, biogeochemists, sedimentologists, physical oceanographers, modelers and socio-economists) that will integrate biodiversity, specific adaptions and biological capacity in the context of a wide range of highly vulnerable deep-sea habitats. Gaining this understanding is crucial, because these ecosystems are now being affected by climate change and impacted by man through fishing, resource extraction, seabed installations and pollution. To design and implement effective governance strategies and management plans we must understand the extent, natural dynamics and interconnection of ocean ecosystems and integrate socio-economic research with natural science. The study sites include the Arctic, North Atlantic and Mediterranean and cover a range of ecosystems including cold-water corals, canyons, cold and hot seeps, seamounts and open slopes and deep-basins. The project will make strong connections between deep-sea science and user needs. HERMIONE will enhance the education and public perception of the deep-ocean issues also through some of the major EU aquaria. These actions, together with GEOSS databases that will be made available, will create a platform for discussion between a range of stakeholders, and contribute to EU environmental policies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.2-01 | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2010

The SPECIAL project aims at delivering breakthrough technologies for the biotechnological production of cellular metabolites and extracellular biomaterials from marine sponges. These include a platform technology to produce secondary metabolites from a wide range of sponge species, a novel in vitro method for the production of biosilica and recombinant technology for the production of marine collagen. Research on cellular metabolites will be based upon our recent finding that non-growing sponges continuously release large amounts of cellular material. Production of biosilica will be realized through biosintering, a novel enzymatic process that was recently discovered in siliceous sponges. Research on sponge collagen will focus on finding the optimal conditions for expression of the related genes. Alongside this research, the project will identify and develop new products from sponges, thus fully realizing the promises of marine biotechnology. Specifically, the project will focus on potential anticancer drugs and novel biomedical/industrial applications of biosilica and collagen, hereby taking advantage of the unique physico-chemical properties of these extracellular sponge products. The consortium unites seven world-class research institutions covering a wide range of marine biotechnology-related disciplines and four knowledge-intensive SMEs that are active in the field of sponge culture, drug development and nanobiotechnology. The project is clearly reflecting the strategic objectives outlined in the position paper European Marine Strategy (2008); it will enhance marine biotechnology at a multi-disciplinary, European level and provide new opportunities for the European industry to exploit natural marine resources in a sustainable way. In particular the biotechnological potential of marine sponges, which has for a long time been considered as an eternal promise, will be realized through the SPECIAL project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-05 | Award Amount: 12.09M | Year: 2013

The objective of BIOCOMES is to develop 11 new biological control agents (BCAs) for key markets in European agriculture and forestry. BCAs were identified through market analysis by six manufactures of biological control products. BCAs will primarily be for use in open field crops of vegetables (3), of which 2 are also for use in protected crops, arable crops (3), fruit crops (3), and three different types of forests (2). Primary targeted pests are: gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), pine weevil (Hylobius abietis), tomato pinworm (Tuta absoluta), white flies, aphids of fruit tree crops and Mamestra brassicae. Primary targeted pathogens are: damping-off diseases in forest nurseries, soilborne pathogens of oilseed rape and cereals, brown rot (Monilinia spp.) of stone fruit, and powdery mildew of cereals (Blumeria graminis). The economic sustainability during the entire development process will be assessed by the responsible industrial partners. The environmental sustainability will be quantified for each BCA by means of the Sustainable Process Index method. The entire developmental process for each of the 11 BCA products is guided by a consultancy partner specialized and leading in (bio) pesticide registration including risk assessments for European (bio) pesticide industries. In vitro production of entomopathogenic viruses as new innovative technique like will be developed aimed at a breakthrough in economic production. Downstream-technology and shelf life for entomopathogenic nematodes will be improved. BIOCOMES will communicate project results with all stakeholders with special attention to European IPM networks throughout the whole project duration. BIOCOMES combines the expertise of 10 industrial SME partners, 3 larger industrial partners and 14 research partners with 38% of the requested EU contribution supporting SMEs. All 11 BCA solutions will be novel IPM tools and new alternatives to replace major pesticide applications in European agriculture and forestry.


Rinaldi A.P.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Rinaldi A.P.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Vandemeulebrouck J.,University of Savoy | Todesco M.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Viveiros F.,University Dos Aores
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth | Year: 2012

Diffuse degassing through the soil is commonly observed in volcanic areas and monitoring of carbon dioxide flux at the surface can provide a safe and effective way to infer the state of activity of the volcanic system. Continuous measurement stations are often installed on active volcanoes such as Furnas (Azores archipelago), which features low temperature fumaroles, hot and cold CO2 rich springs, and several diffuse degassing areas. As in other volcanoes, fluxes measured at Furnas are often correlated with environmental variables, such as air temperature or barometric pressure, with daily and seasonal cycles that become more evident when gas emission is low. In this work, we study how changes in air temperature and barometric pressure may affect the gas emission through the soil. The TOUGH2 geothermal simulator was used to simulate the gas propagation through the soil as a function of fluctuating atmospheric conditions. Then, a dual parameters study was performed to assess how the rock permeability and the gas source properties affect the resulting fluxes. Numerical results are in good agreement with the observed data at Furnas, and show that atmospheric variables may cause the observed daily cycles in CO2 fluxes. The observed changes depend on soil permeability and on the pressure driving the upward flux. © 2012 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Avila S.P.,University Dos Aores | Avila S.P.,University of The Azores | Goud J.,National Museum of Natural History | De Frias Martins A.M.,University Dos Aores
The Scientific World Journal | Year: 2012

The geographical distribution of the Rissoidae in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea was compiled and is up-to-date until July 2011. All species were classified according to their mode of larval development (planktotrophic and nonplanktotrophic), and bathymetrical zonation (shallow speciesthose living between the intertidal and 50m depth, and deep speciesthose usually living below 50m depth). 542 species of Rissoidae are presently reported to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, belonging to 33 genera. The Mediterranean Sea is the most diverse site, followed by Canary Islands, Caribbean, Portugal, and Cape Verde. The Mediterranean and Cape Verde Islands are the sites with higher numbers of endemic species, with predominance of Alvania spp. in the first site, and of Alvania and Schwartziella at Cape Verde. In spite of the large number of rissoids at Madeira archipelago, a large number of species are shared with Canaries, Selvagens, and the Azores, thus only about 8 are endemic to the Madeira archipelago. Most of the 542-rissoid species that live in the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean are shallow species (323), 110 are considered as deep species, and 23 species are reported in both shallow and deep waters. There is a predominance of nonplanktotrophs in islands, seamounts, and at high and medium latitudes. This pattern is particularly evident in the genera Crisilla, Manzonia, Onoba, Porosalvania, Schwartziella, and Setia. Planktotrophic species are more abundant in the eastern Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea. The results of the analysis of the probable directions of faunal flows support the patterns found by both the Parsimony Analysis of Endemicity and the geographical distribution. Four main source areas for rissoids emerge: Mediterranean, Caribbean, Canaries/Madeira archipelagos, and the Cape Verde archipelago. We must stress the high percentage of endemics that occurs in the isolated islands of Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Cape Verde archipelago and also the Azores, thus reinforcing the legislative protective actions that the local governments have implemented in these islands during the recent years. Copyright © 2012 Sérgio P. vila et al.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-NIGHT | Award Amount: 106.98K | Year: 2013

This proposal aims to raise awareness of the prominent role researchers and how their work plays in our currently every day and for the future. Bearing in mind Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges, the ERN2013 will promote and disseminate what in terms of science and innovation is being done in Portugal. The extensive and nationwide range of activities already planned and being prepared have one major aim: to show that researchers are ordinary people with extraordinary jobs! This will be done through direct engagement of both the general public and researchers in science awareness, across 26 main cities and villages in several venues. Coordinated by Cincia Viva (Lisbon), there is a regional coordinator in each NUTS II region in Portugal. The role of each regional coordinator is to mobilize the research community, local companies and associations, as well as regional/local press, using the same coordination rational from 2012. This is an inclusive proposal welcoming all interest research-related entities. The key message agreed between partners and all associated/participating entities is that we should take up this opportunity to bring research close to the people and not only expect that people come to a specific venue. Outdoor activities will be organized in partnership with municipalities/regional authorities as an added value of their service and a way to show the richness existing in each territory. In parallel, a very diverse range of edutainment indoor activities is planned and more are on the making.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-NIGHT | Award Amount: 160.46K | Year: 2012

This proposal aims to raise awareness of the prominent role researchers and their work play in our everyday life. The extensive and nationwide range of activities already planned and being prepared have one major aim: to show that researchers are ordinary people with extraordinary jobs! This will be done through direct engagement of both the general public and researchers in science awareness activities, across the streets of 22 main cities and villages. Coordinated by Cincia Viva (Lisbon), there is a regional coordinator in each NUTS II region in Portugal. The role of each regional coordinator is to mobilize the research community, local companies and associations, as well as regional/local press. This is an inclusive proposal welcoming all interested research-related entities. The key message agreed between partners and all associated/participating entities is that we all should take up this opportunity to bring research close to the people and not only expect that people come to a specific venue. Outdoor activities will be organized in partnership with municipalities/regional authorities as an added value of their service and a way to show the richness existing in each territory. In parallel, a very diverse range of edutainment indoor activities is planned (see Annex I) and more are on the making.


Couto R.P.,University Dos aores | Couto R.P.,University of Porto | Rodrigues A.S.,University Dos aores | Neto A.I.,University Dos aores | Neto A.I.,University of The Azores
Journal of Integrated Coastal Zone Management | Year: 2015

The impact of global warming has been a major issue in recent years and will continue increasing in the future. Knowledge about the effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms and communities is crucial to efficient management. Island environments are particularly sensitive to externally induced changes and highly dependent on their coastal areas. This study summarises the published information on shallow-water hydrothermal vents of the Azores. These environments were reported to exhibit high metal concentration and acidified seawater due to the diffusion of acidic volcanic gases (mainly CO2) and a considerable temperature range. In some vents a water input with lower salinity was reported. These conditions result in a depletion of some of the species but can also enhance a diversity gradient between the "unique" shallow marine hydrothermal ecosystems and the surrounding common coastal marine environment, potentiating the co-existence of a high variety of metabolisms and so biodiversity. Metal content on species from vent areas was reported to be associated with volcanic activity and signs of organism's chronic stress seemed to result in modifications on their morphometry and internal composition. Species able to survive at vent conditions are indicated as potential sentinels for studying the effects of increasing temperature and acidification on marine organisms and as bioindicators of metal accumulation studies at the Azores. Further information on CO2 flux, metals concentration in the sediments and seawater and on the geochemistry of fluids from active shallow-water hydrothermal systems is needed. Also, research on the productivity of shallowwater vent areas at the Azores and on food chains and interactions between trophic levels at these environments is recommended as it will contribute to a better knowledge of metal bioavailability, accumulation and biomagnification. This research should be complemented by investigations directed to the venting periodicity and episodicity and metal deposits resulting from hydrothermalism. This would increase the value of the Azorean vents as natural laboratories to the implementation of multidisciplinary research aimed at contributing to predict and/or to infer about ocean acidification effects on marine organisms and communities.


Borges P.A.V.,University dos Aores | Gabriel R.,University dos Aores | Arroz A.M.,University dos Aores | Costa A.,University dos Aores | And 7 more authors.
Systematics and Biodiversity | Year: 2010

There is a growing interest in academia to provide biodiversity data to both the scientific community and the public. We present an internet database of the terrestrial lichens, bryophytes, vascular plants, molluscs, arthropods, vertebrates and coastal invertebrates of the Azores archipelago (Portugal, North Atlantic): the Azorean Biodiversity Portal (ABP, http://www.azoresbioportal. angra.uac.pt/). This is a unique resource for fundamental research in systematics, biodiversity, education and conservation management. The ABP was based on a regional species database (ATLANTIS), comprised of grid-based spatial incidence information for c. 5000 species. Most of the data rely on a comprehensive literature survey (dating back to the 19th century) as well as unpublished records from recent field surveys in the Azores. The ABP disseminates the ATLANTIS database to the public, allowing universal, unrestricted access to much of its data. Complementarily, the ABP includes additional information of interest to the general public (e.g. literature on Macaronesian biodiversity) together with images from collections and/or live specimens for many species. In this contribution we explain the implementation of a regional biodiversity database, its architecture, achievements and outcomes, strengths and limitations; we further include a number of suggestions in order to implement similar initiatives. © 2010 The Natural History Museum.

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