Networking Friday on Ecosystems Health and Resilience with IB-S

  • DATE
    March 26th, 2021, 1-3 PM UTC
  • AIR Centre Networking Fridays
  • Download Presentations (to be available after the session)
    Bio-economy and climate services towards agri-food and water sustainability, Claudia Pascoal

    Barcode of Life for new generation global ecosystems monitoring, Filipe Costa

  • Registration is open

On March 26th, 2021, 1-3 PM UTC, Claudia Pascoal and Filipe Costa, from the Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-Sustainability (IB-S) at the University of Minho, Portugal, will share with us their perspective on the next-generation biomonitoring and the sustainable management of ecosystems. The moderator will be Eduardo Pereira (IB-S).

Our planet is currently facing global challenges deriving from globalization and industrial development. A growing population with increasing demands accompanied by technological developments are creating unprecedented pressures in the delicate balance of Earth ecosystems and natural resources. However, there is hope on science-driven change and on new paths for sustainable development and growth. The Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-sustainability (IB-S) is an academic institution focused on new change drivers based on science and technology, aiming at a sustainable future for societies. Within IB-S activity, one of the most important lines of research is related to biodiversity and the resilience of ecosystems to face the ongoing global climate change.

The emergence and expansion of DNA technologies since early 21st century provided unparalleled capacity to monitor and investigate biodiversity with an unprecedented accuracy and spatial density. We will overview the relevance of current global scale initiatives such as the project BIOSCAN of the international consortium for the Barcode of Life (iBOL), and review our main research activities aiming to harness the potential of (e)DNA metabarcoding in the improvement of the monitoring. Finally, we will present our recent DNA-based findings of non-indigenous marine species, coastal communities, ichthyofauna and ichthyoplankton and the unexpected high levels of biodiversity and endemism of marine invertebrates in the Atlantic archipelagos of Macaronesia and discuss implications for marine biodiversity conservation and management.

Ecosystems, and the biodiversity and services they support, are intrinsically dependent on climate. Changes in biodiversity and ecosystems resulting from climate change have often strong negative social, cultural and economic consequences. The vulnerability of sensitive regions to impacts of hydro-meteorological disasters has increased over the past decades with impacts on the agri-food sector. Agriculture accounts for about 70% of global freshwater withdrawals. Water scarcity and climate variability are critical for the agri-food sector. The adoption of sustainable management practices in the agri-food sector are therefore critical. We will overview results of two projects: i) the Eco-Agri-Food project, which developed innovative green products and processes to minimize impacts on ecosystems; and ii) the CLIMALERT project (Twitter: @ClimalertEU), which developed climate services tools to improve agricultural practices and to move from a non-adaptive to an adaptive management of agriculture, coupling water availability with the ecosystem conservation.


  • Welcome Remarks, Eduardo Pereira
  • Bio-economy and climate services towards agri-food and water sustainability, Cláudia Pascoal
  • Barcode of Life for new generation global ecosystems monitoring, Filipe Costa
  • Q&A moderated by Eduardo Pereira
  • Closing remarks, Eduardo Pereira


Claudia Pascoal

Bio-economy and climate services towards agri-food and water sustainability

Cláudia Pascoal is a Biologist and Associate Professor at the Department of Biology in the University of Minho, Portugal. She is the executive director of the Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-sustainability (IB-S) and vice-director of the Center for Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA). She was the former director of the BSc in Applied Biology and of the MSc in Ecology at the University of Minho.

Her research interests focus on assessing, predicting and mitigating the impacts of global change on biodiversity and the functioning of aquatic ecosystems.
Over the past 15 years, she has coordinated or participated in 13 national and 8 international research projects, and established several partnerships with private companies and environmental agencies.

Currently, she coordinates the CLIMALERT project: Climate Alert Smart System for Sustainable Water and Agriculture (ERA4CS) and the STREAMECO project: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning under Climate Change: from the gene to the stream.

She has supervised 12 PhD students (6 completed); 21 MSc students (17 completed); 27 BSc students (all completed). She published 96 articles in journals indexed to Scopus plus 10 book chapters; h index=36 (Google Scholar). She presented ca. 200 communications in national and international congresses.

She participated in several science dissemination activities for enhancing scientific literacy among young people and citizens in general. She was one of the honorees in the virtual exhibition Women in Science in permanent exhibition at the Pavilhão do Conhecimento, in Lisboa, and in the book with the same name, published in March 2016.

Filipe Costa

Filipe Costa

Barcode of Life for new generation global ecosystems monitoring

Filipe Costa is a marine ecologist and Associate Professor at the University of Minho, Portugal, where he leads a research group on Molecular Ecology, Biodiversity and DNA barcoding (ME-Barcode) within the Centre for Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA) and the Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-sustainability (IB-S). Before joining the UMinho in 2008, he completed postdoctoral research at Texas Tech University (USA), University of Guelph (Canada) and was granted a Marie-Curie Fellowship at Bangor University (UK).

Filipe’s main research interests dwell around the themes of molecular biodiversity and evolution, with a strong focus on the employment of DNA barcodes to investigate and monitor marine biodiversity. He has worked extensively in the development of reference libraries of DNA barcodes for marine invertebrates and fish from Europe, contributing to expose considerable hidden and cryptic diversity, and to reveal unforeseen evolutionary mechanisms.

Recent research interests and activities concentrate on the development high-throughput monitoring tools through (e)DNA metabarcoding, with particular focus on estuarine and marine ecosystems, macro and meiobenthos, and zooplanktonic communities. Filipe Costa serves as Portugal delegate in the International Barcode of Life (iBOL), in the management committee of the European Cost Action DNAqua-Net, and in the Editorial Board of the scientific journals “Scientific Reports” and “Metabarcoding and Metagenomics”.

Relevant links:


Eduardo Pereira

Eduardo Pereira

Eduardo Pereira holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Minho and the Technical University of Denmark. As Assistant Professor at the University of Minho and a member of IB-S (Institute for Bio-sustainability) and ISISE (Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering), he is specialized in the development and design of smart cementitious composites and structures for severe environments. He is currently coordinating from ISISE the Structured Project NEXT-SEA (Monitoring and Management of Coastal Ecosystems in a Scenario of Global Change), which deals with the development of new generation materials and structural systems for the construction of autonomous biomimetic and bio receptive artificial reefs, with self-monitoring and self-repairing. He is also a member of the OMARE team, in the context of which he is responsible for the development of spatial information systems, decision support and management of coastal systems in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), as well as the design and monitoring of a pilot area in the park that will include prototypes of multifunctional artificial reefs.

He is also collaborating with the GOAP (Global Ocean Accounting Platform) created in the context of the statistical division of ESCAP – United Nations for next generation sustainable development models for the Oceans, Oceans Accounting. He is involved in the IB-S hub of the AIR Center (Atlantic Interactions Research Center), which is developing a partnership between the Atlantic countries to promote their sustainable development centred on the Atlantic. Over the past 15 years, he has participated in numerous research and innovation projects together with Industry, supervised several Master and PhD students, and co-authored more than 100 scientific publications, including indexed scientific books and journals.

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.

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