Accumulation and decay of sargassum on beaches is impacting coastlines in the Caribbean, Americas, and West Africa as well as open ocean areas – causing losses of millions in the tourism industry, affecting the health of residents, and impacting fisheries and the environment. Even though there are many researchers and stakeholders working to solve this problem several challenges exist including the knowledge about a) the oceanographic causes and mechanisms leading to the recurrent accumulations, growth and transport of Sargassum in the central tropical Atlantic (b) the biological and ecological impacts of the increased sargassum in coastal communities (c) the reproduction and growth/decay behaviour of sargassum in the new Sargassum belt conditions and of the variations between species/varieties, (d) possible sustainable uses for the Sargassum biomass, including its use as carbon sink . This work will be done in the framework of AtlantOS specifically the working group Mitigating Impacts of Sargassum on Coastal Communities in the Tropical Atlantic that is building a community to improve monitoring and forecast of inundations of the algae from the new Sargassum belt, understanding why the new sargassum belt was formed and if it is possible to reverse this phenomena, as well as developing products that can be used by managers and policy makers from local communities in the affected area (central and south America and Western Africa).
This research will greatly advance the state of the art at the national and regional scale on the monitoring and forecast of sargassum inundations and/or its impacts on coastal communities, and explore possible uses for the biomass produced and collected in different areas.
The PhD candidate will need to have a MSc. in Marine Biology, biological remote sensing or similar areas.
(to be presented by the candidates)
Name(s) of supervisor(s)
Isabel Sousa Pinto (Ciimar and University of Porto)
Frank Muller-Karger (University of South Florida, USA)
Name(s) of hosting institution(s)
University of Porto
Identification of PhD program
PhD in Biology, University of Porto
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