Networking Fridays with the Fulbright Portugal Program

Fulbright Logo

On February 26th, 2020, 1-3 PM UTC, we learned more about America’s flagship international exchange program, the Fulbright Program, which is managed in Portugal since 1960 by the binational Fulbright Commission-Portugal. Through unique educational and cultural exchange programs, Fulbright’s diverse and dynamic network of scholars, alumni and partner institutions fosters mutual understanding between the United States and Portugal, shares knowledge across communities, and improves lives around the world.

Established in 2017, the Fulbright Award in Space, Atmosphere, Ocean, Climate, Energy and Data Science / AIR Centre, with the support of FCT, offers the opportunity for U.S. Scholars to research in disciplines within the scope of AIR Centre’s research agenda – Marine Resources and Biodiversity; Healthy and clean Oceans; Earth observation from deep ocean to near Space; mitigation and adaptation to Climate Change; sustainable Energy systems and Data Science – with a focus on innovation and creative approaches in multi-national research networks.

At a time when the applications for the Fulbright U.S. Scholars awards for AY2022-2023 are open, this session will be an opportunity to highlight the results of the Fulbright / AIR Centre partnership as well as U.S. and Portuguese Fulbrighters´ projects and achievements.


  • Welcome remarks, Sofia Cordeiro (FCT)
  • Fulbright Portugal Programme, Otília Macedo Reis
  • Introductions and moderation, Regina Duarte (U Aveiro)
  • Elliot Hazen (NOAA)
  • Xinlian Liu (Hood College)
  • Stuart Batterman (UMICH)
  • Anabela Maia (Rhode Island College)
  • Q&A
  • Closing remarks, Sofia Cordeiro.

Relevant Links:


Otilia Reis

Otília Macedo Reis

Fulbright Portugal Programme

Otília Macedo Reis received her undergraduate (Licenciatura) degree in International Relations from the School of Social and Political Sciences of the Technical University of Lisbon and completed a non-degree program in International Cooperation and Development at the School of Economics and Management of the Technical University of Lisbon and an Advanced Studies Program in Public Policy at ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon.

Otília has developed her career in an international environment, having worked in the Portugal-Angola Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in an international law firm and, since 2001, at the Fulbright Commission in Portugal, where she started as a Communication Assistant and later worked as the Administration Officer. She served twice as Acting Executive Director before being selected in 2007 as the Executive Director of the Commission, her current position.

Eliott Hazen

Eliott Hazen

Dynamic ocean management approaches to improve marine resource sustainability

Highly migratory species are inherently difficult to manage as they regularly cross human-imposed jurisdictional boundaries in the open seas. Many of these face multiple anthropogenic threats such as ship-strike risk for large whales and non-target catch (bycatch) for smaller cetaceans in fisheries. Targeted management approaches require an understanding of how distribution and abundance varies with the oceanic environment. In this session, Eliott will discuss the concept of dynamic ocean management including two recently developed tools, WhaleWatch for assessing monthly blue whale densities to reduce ship-strike risk and EcoCast for maximizing target catch while minimizing bycatch. Shipping in the California Current has been shown to be one of the main factors limiting blue whale recovery. The California Drift Gillnet fishery targets swordfish, thresher shark, and mako shark, but also can incidentally catch a number of species including sea lions, sea turtles, and blue sharks. Dynamic ocean management has the potential to be applied to other ocean ecosystems, including pelagic archipelago such as the Açores. His studies provide a framework for how dynamic approaches can be applied to species for which telemetry, fisheries catch, or survey data are available, and emphasizes the utility in integrating multiple data types for marine conservation and management.

Eliott Hazen received his master’s of science in the Spring of 2003 from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and a PhD from Duke University in 2008. Currently, he works at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Monterey, CA. Eliott’s general research interests fall in the realm of ecology and ecological modeling with an added interest in predator-prey relationships, scale, and oceanographic forcing. He has enjoyed living on the west coast of the US and having the ability to hike, bike, surf, and ski in my backyard.

Eliott uses novel technologies such as fisheries acoustics, biologging tags, and oceanographic data paired with spatial statistics to examine predator ecology to try to answer four main research questions:

  • Species Ecology, Movement, and Distribution: How do top predators use both ocean features and prey landscapes to migrate and forage?
  • Foraging Theory and Behavior: How does prey mediate fine scale foraging ecology and behavioral plasticity of humpback and blue whales?
  • Climate Variability and Climate Change: How is climate change expected to change pelagic hotspots of biodiversity?
  • Applied Ecology and Management: How do we use the best ecological information to improve conservation and management?

Xinlian Liu

Xinlian Liu

Xinlian Liu teaches courses in data structures, operating systems, distributed computing, and data mining at Hood College, Maryland, USA. His research interests are in big data and machine learning, in particular in bioinformatics applications. Prior to teaching, Xinlian Liu worked at the National Meteorological Center, Control Data, and Argonne National Lab. He has a B.S., from Huazhong University of Science of Technology and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University.

Stuart Batterman

Stuart Batterman

Wildland fires and health: Developing an agenda for research and policy

Wildland fires have gained prominence in recent years due to their increasing frequency and scale. Fires represent a major source of air pollutants that significantly influence the composition of the atmosphere and the functioning of the earth’s climate system. Fires both directly and indirectly release vast quantities of CO2 that was previously sequestered in biomass, soils, and peat. In addition, wildland fires emit very significant amounts of CH4, another potent greenhouse gas, large amounts of PM2.5 (particulate matter), and other particulate and gaseous species, depending on fire conditions. Further increases in emissions associated with wildland fires are anticipated regionally and globally due to climate change, development pressures, and the failure of fire management practices and policies, a victim of complexity, sociocultural, political, and economic factors. In addition to climate impacts, fire-related emissions adversely affect human health, even at long distances from fires, primarily due to inhalation of smoke and PM.

This presentation will introduce approaches that can used to determine the contributions of wildland fires to ambient pollutant levels and ultimately to health impacts. It discusses the datasets and models that can be used to quantitatively assess contributions of wildland fire to PM2.5 levels, and then how health impact analyses can be used to estimate excess morbidity and mortality. Prospective analyses will require the development of realistic fire scenarios, and their results can be translated into potentially constructive and effective policies and actions. Examples of prevention and mitigation strategies that can be utilized by national and local authorities include land-use planning and management policies, forest management practices (e.g., hazardous fuels reduction), built environment policies (e.g., “fire fitness”), enhanced emergency response plans and capacity, forecasts of fire dangers, short-term restrictions on hazardous activities, improved forecasts of smoke exposure, and public education and outreach (e.g., health advisories).

Stuart Batterman’s research and teaching interests address environmental impact assessment, human exposure and health risk assessment, and environmental management. His research addresses both theoretical work and applied laboratory and field studies. He is particularly interested in improving exposure measures that can be used in risk assessments and epidemiological studies; measuring toxic compounds including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found as pollutants in drinking water, ambient and indoor air, and statistical and modeling methods that can be used to interpret and extend available measurements. His research is applied to contemporary problems including ambient and indoor air quality, environmental epidemiology, policy analysis, environmental engineering, environmental justice, and life cycle analysis. His international projects include training and research programs in the environmental sciences and engineering in Africa (especially South Africa) and Europe (especially Portugal, Russia and Finland). He directs the Hazardous Substances Academic Training Program and the Pilot Project Research Program in the NIOSH-supported Education and Resource Center.

Stuart has a B.S. on Environmental Sciences from Rutgers University, 1979, a M.S. on Water Resources & Environmental Engineering (Civil Engineering), from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981, and a PhD on Water Resources & Environmental Engineering (Civil Engineering) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986.

Anabela Maia

Anabela Maia

How fish physiology and biomechanics can help the blue economy

The rapid changes seen in coastal environments due to anthropogenic impacts – namely global warming and changes in hydrodynamics – are affecting the biodiversity of our habitats and the blue economy that relies on these species. The Narragansett Bay, New England’s largest estuary, with its historical data on fish composition and environmental parameters, is a great place to study these impacts not only on the fish species but also in the local blue economy it supports. I will be presenting data on how fish physiology and biomechanics can be collected to predict new animal distribution patterns and how to mitigate anthropogenic pressures. I will talk about how the local shark species spiny dogfish swims and how changes in turbulence are affecting fish species across the globe. I will also present data on how respirometry – measuring oxygen consumption – and electromyography – a technique to determine muscle mechanics can help us predict the physiological stressors for local species such as flounders, scup and black seabass. Lastly, I will talk about our work with Narragansett Bay stakeholders to improve science-based management, to increase awareness among the local communities and promote environmental justice.

Dr. Anabela Maia is an Associate Professor of Biology at Rhode Island College. Her research focuses on fish physiology and biomechanics especially on how fish respond to anthropogenic pressures. She is currently funded by an NIH IDeA RI grant and is the Rhode Island College institutional lead for the Rhode Island Consortium for Coastal Ecology Assessment Innovation & Modeling (an NSF EPSCoR project). At Rhode Island College, Dr. Maia teaches human and organismal anatomy and physiology courses and supervises multiple research students. Dr. Maia was born in Portugal and completed her Licenciatura in Applied Animal Resources, branch Marine at the University of Lisbon in 2004. Dr. Maia holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Rhode Island (2011) and is a FLAD/Fulbright Portugal Scholar. She has held postdoctoral positions at Ghent University, Gent, Belgium and Tufts University, USA. Prior to joining the faculty at Rhode Island College in 2018, Dr. Maia was an Assistant Professor at Eastern Illinois University where she worked on stream restoration and environmental impacts on Midwest fish populations. Dr. Maia has authored 30 peer reviewed publications in her field. She is active in her profession, participating in many professional societies such as the Society of Experimental Biology, the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Sigma Xi and the American Fisheries Society. Dr. Maia is also involved in multiple outreach efforts locally and abroad, including development of science communication materials in Portuguese and science engagement at high schools through data visualization.


Sofia Cordeiro

Sofia Cordeiro

Sofia Cordeiro, PhD is the Coordinator of the Ocean Programme of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) since 2016, where she maximises the dialogue among the different scientific communities that are part of the ocean transdisciplinary area and supports the participation of Portugal and/or FCT in European and international organizations associated with ocean issues (JPI Oceans, EMB, ECORD/IODP, OECD Ocean Economy and Innovation Working Group). Sofia is currently deeply involved in science diplomacy activities in the Atlantic basin, being the coordinator of the H2020 project AANChOR CSA aimed at supporting the implementation of the Belém Statement. Previously Sofia was Science Officer at the EurOcean (2010-2016) and an IOI Alumni on the “8th Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas” course (2012).


Regina Duarte

Regina Duarte

Regina Duarte is Principal Researcher at the Department of Chemistry and CESAM-Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, at University of Aveiro (Portugal) ( She obtained a degree in Analytical Chemistry (1998), a MSc in Sciences of the Coastal Zone (2001), and a PhD in Chemistry (2006), all at the University of Aveiro. In 2018, Regina Duarte was awarded with a Fulbright Grant for Portuguese Scholars and Researchers to develop research at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA, USA) on the molecular characterization of complex atmospheric organic aerosols. Her research interests include the composition and health effects of inhalable organic air particles, wet and dry deposition of organic aerosols, and air-ocean interactions. She has coordinated/participated in several multidisciplinary research projects related to the characterization and potential impact of urban atmospheric organic particles (e.g., ORGANOSOL, CN-LinkAIR, and AMBIEnCE projects). Research outcomes include more than 45 peer-reviewed articles, 9 book chapters, and 1 book..

We will continue with the Networking Fridays during the next months. More information about future sessions as well as presentations and videos from previous sessions can be found here. Twitter Hashtag: #netfridays. Expect some very exciting afternoons, or mornings or evenings, depending on where you are…

If you need any additional information please send an email to Jose Luiz Moutinho.