Environmental Biology Group
The outputs of the continuous efforts of CBMA's present team throughout the last years are presented in detail in the following sections. There, it can be understood the strategic development of the areas of research which dedicate to research using human cell models, as well as the areas of research that allow a bridge between Molecular Biology and Ecology through the studies of biodiversity through barcode DNA technology. Additionally, it is also visible a significant development of the applied areas translated by the increasing number of patents and industrial contracts.
The Molecular Ecology and Biodiversity research area seeks to describe and interpret the biological and ecological basis for the genetic diversity of natural populations and species over time and space. There are currently three main research topics addressed: 1) molecular biodiversity, i.e. DNA barcoding and derived research, 2) comparative phylogeography of marine species at regional and global scales, and 3) population genetics of natural populations.
The Conservation Biology team has built a reputation of excellence in biodiversity and conservation research, participating in several projects dedicated to the conservation of species/ecosystems, and promoting the responsible use of natural resources. The aim of the team is to identify, develop and propose solutions to interdisciplinary problems in biodiversity and natural resources conservation, with innovative and unbiased research and stakeholder engagement.
A major challenge in current Ecology is to determine how human activities affect the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The Functional Ecology team aims to understand the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on aquatic communities and ecosystem processes. Particular emphasis has been given to plant litter decomposition, a key ecosystem process that links riparian vegetation, physico-chemical environment and decomposer communities, namely invertebrates, fungi and bacteria.