Networking Friday with LABOMAR

On April 23rd, 2021, 1-3 PM UTC, the Networking Friday with LABOMAR will brought together experts from the Institute of Marine Sciences (LABOMAR) at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC), the State University of Ceara (UECE), the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), the Florida State University (FSU) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). They discussed the balance sheet of an environmental disaster in Brazil (2019-2020), which was the most extensive oil spill in tropical oceans ever.


  • 1:00 PM UTC – Opening remarks, Maria Ozilea Menezes (LABOMAR)
  • 1:05 PM UTC – Introductions to the speakers, Gabrielle Melo (LABOMAR)
  • 1:10 PM UTC – Introduction to the Brazilian oil spill of 2019-2020 and its environmental and socioeconomic impacts
    • Marcelo de Oliveira Soares (LABOMAR)
    • Samuel Façanha (UECE,)
  • 1:30 PM UTC – Dispersion of oil spill in the South Atlantic:
    • Carlos Teixeira (LABOMAR)
    • Guilherme Lessa (UFBA)
  • 1:50 PM UTC – Chemical characteristics of the oil spill:
    • Gabrielle Melo (LABOMAR)
    • Rivelino Martins (LABOMAR)
    • Chris Reddy (WHOI)
    • Ryan Rodgers (FSU)
  • 2:20 PM UTC – Q&A moderated by Gabrielle Melo
  • 2:55 PM UTC – Closing Remarks, Maria Ozilea Menezes


Ozilea Menezes

Maria Ozilea Menezes

Maria Ozilea Bezerra Menezes has a degree in geology from the University of Fortaleza (1989) with a specialisation on oceanography from the University of Barcelona (1993). She received her PhD Degree on Ocean Science from the Universitat de Barcelona and Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (2000) and she has a postdoc from the Ente Per Le Nuove Tecnologie, l’Energia e l’Ambiente (2000), Rome, Italy.

She was a professor of the Federal University of Pará (UFPA) at the Faculty of Oceanography (2005 – 2009), Vice-Director of LABOMAR (2011 – 2014) and Academic Coordinator ( 2013 -2014). Maria Ozilea is currently the Director of Labomar, teaching our courses in Environmental Oceanography and Environmental Sciences in the Graduate Program on Marine Sciences in Tropical Areas. She published 133 articles in magazines and advised 86 students in different educational attainment levels, from scientific initiation to doctorate. Since 2019 she is the Vice-president of the Sectorial Chamber for the Ocean Economy and Territorial Waters of the the State of Ceará.

Maria Ozilea has experience in the field of Oceanography, including in Physical Oceanography, mainly in the following topics: hydrodynamics of coasts and estuaries, environmental impacts, integrated management of coastal zones and environmental management of ports.

She has participated in various projects including environmental monitoring of ports, maritime transportation, ocean waste disposal, beach nourishment, and oil and gas transportation in the Amazon Coast Region and the Equatorial Atlantic, among many others.

Marcelo Oliveira

Marcelo de Oliveira Soares

His presentation will provide a summary of the knowledge on a mysterious oil spill in Brazil (2019/2020). The event affected 11 states; however, the majority of the oil was collected (~5,380 tons) near nine states (99.8%) in northeastern Brazil. This spill was not the largest in volume recorded in tropical oceans (estimated between 5,000 and 12,000 m³), but it was the most extensive (2,890 km). Ten ecosystems were impacted, with more severe effects in mangroves in estuaries and seagrass beds. A total of 57 protected areas in seven different management categories were affected, most of which (60%) were characterised as multiple-use regions. The spill affected at least 34 threatened species, with recent impacts detected on planktonic food webs and benthic communities. Furthermore, these losses were intertwined with COVID-19 impacts. This summary aims to aid in the design of science-based strategies to understand the impacts and develop remediation strategies for the most extensive oil spill encountered in tropical oceans.

Marcelo de Oliveira Soares is a professor and research scientist at LABOMAR. He is specialised in marine biodiversity and environmental sciences, focusing his attention in ecological processes of benthic and plankton populations, coastal oceanographic processes, dynamics of tropical marine ecosystems (Coral reefs and mangroves) and the management and conservation of world’s oceans.

Links to publications about the mysterious oil spill in Brazil (2019/2020):

Samuel Façanha

Samuel Façanha

The presentation will discuss the vulnerability of establishments located on the Northeast coast of Brazil , which were affected by the most extensive oil spill (2019/2020) ever recorded in tropical oceans. A vulnerability indicator with three segments will be presented: enterprises or institutions related or not to the Ocean Economy; their levels of proximity to oil spills; and persistence, in days, of pollution on the coast. Yet, the measurement of this vulnerability index disclosed a wide variation in other indices among states in the same region, related to coastal extension, ineffective strategic actions to fight stains, dependence on an economy strongly focused on the exploitation of coastal resources, or by social factors deficiencies.

Samuel Façanha Câmara is a professor at the State University of Ceará, Doctor in Economics and Coordinator of BlueLab (Laboratory of Research Economics of the Sea) located in the Northeast of Brazil. He is currently a member of the Chamber of Economy of the Sea at the Development Agency of the State of Ceará and Chief Scientist of Innovation of the Government of the State of Ceará

Links to a publication about the mysterious oil spill in Brazil (2019/2020):

Carlos Teixeira

Carlos Teixeira

The presentation will give us some insights on the physics behind the drift associated with the Brazilian oil spill. It will discuss how we use global numerical model results of ocean and atmospheric circulation, as well as local wind, wave and current meter data, to show the structure of the ocean and coastal circulation potentially associated with the transport of oil that affected thousands of kilometres of the Brazilian coast in 2019. The presentation will be shared with Guilherme Lessa.

Carlos Teixeira is a professor and researcher at the Universidade Federal do Ceara. He works with physical oceanography and its interactions and his research involves the use of hydrographic data, remote sensing products and numerical modeling to study the shelf circulation.

Guilherme Lessa

Guilherme Lessa

Guilherme Lessa is a Geographer (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais 1985) with a PhD degree in Marine Science from the University of Sydney (1994). He is presently a professor in the Oceanography Department of the Federal University of Bahia (Brazil), which he joined in 1997. His research interest include coastal and estuarine circulation and coastal geomorphology.

Rivelino Martins

Rivelino Martins

Rivelino Martins Cavalcante works at LABOMAR. He is a professor and research scientist specialized in chemical pollution. His research is focused on environmental quality, air quality and emerging and traditional organic pollutants. Rivelino uses a molecular marker approach to identify sources of pollution and also to assess the effect of anthropogenic activities on the environment. He has been working with hydrocarbons on the coast of the semi-arid region of Ceará, Brazil, for more than fifteen years and these studies are expanding after the oil spill in 2019.

Chris Reddy

Christopher Reddy

Christopher M. Reddy is a senior scientist in the Department of Marine Chemistry Geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, MA) and studies marine pollution, chemical ecology, and the development of more environmentally friendly industrial chemicals.

Ryan Rodgers

Ryan Rodgers

Ryan P. Rodgers is on the research faculty at the National High Field Magnetic Laboratory (Tallahassee, Florida) and director of the Future Fuels Institute at Florida State University. He studies petroleum formation/refining and the source, transport, fate of oil following accidental releases, principally using ion cyclotron resonance Fourier transform mass spectrometry.


Gabrielle Fernandes

Gabrielle Fernandes

Gabrielle M. Fernandes is an oceanographer and holds a Master’s degree in Tropical Marine Science fromLABOMAR where her research focused on hydrocarbons sources and their impacts in Brazilian semiarid. She is part of the Organic Contaminant Assessment Lab (LACOR) as a graduate researcher and studies persistent organic pollutants and their interaction with environmental matrices..

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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