Dr. Hajibabaei obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa in 2003 focusing on building a DNA sequencing-based framework for studying evolutionary relationships among organisms. He then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph where he pioneered high-throughput analysis of short DNA sequences (aka DNA barcodes) for species identification. As an Associate Professor at Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and Department of Integrative Biology of the University of Guelph, he specialized on development and application of cutting-edge technologies for rapid and accurate analysis of biological diversity from genes to ecosystems. He has worked on all major groups of organisms and has published numerous high-profile articles in first-class scientific journals. He has served in advisory and review panels for various international organizations and funding agencies and has collaborated with regulatory agencies and biotech industry. He currently leads a large-scale genomics project, involving 7 research groups, which employs Next-Generation Sequencing technologies as well as sophisticated bioinformatics tools for comprehensive assessment of biological diversity in environmental samples.
Marta Pascual is a professor in the Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Statistics at the University of Barcelona. Her main research interests focus on population genetic studies of marine species (sponges, corals, echinoderms, crustaceans, ascidians, fish and turtles) to understand the processes shaping their genetic variation and the impact of oceanographic discontinuities on population connectivity. Since her early career, she has been involved in genetic studies of invasive species unveiling invasion patterns and processes determining the present diversity distribution of these colonizing organisms. She works on conservation genetics of endangered sea turtles identifying its population structure and connectivity, as well as evaluating the impact of in-situ and ex-situ conservation strategies. In the last years, her research has applied high throughput technologies to study dispersal and local adaptation in different marine taxa genome-wide, as well as short-term plastic responses through differential gene expression. Her research aims at identifying genomic footprints of selection in engineer species from benthic ecosystems, fish species with different dispersal abilities, endangered species and introduced species. She is PI of several national projects, supervised Ph.D. and postdoctoral students and co-authored around 100 papers in international journals.
Dr. A. Miguel P. Santos has a Degree in Marine Biology (5-years course), a Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences-Oceanography by the University of Lisboa, and more than 30 years of research experience on the relationships between the environment and marine organisms. Since 2001, he is a Senior Scientist in IPMA (the Portuguese Oceanic and Atmospheric Institute). He is also a member of the Group of Oceanography and Climate Changes (OC2) of the Centre of Marine Sciences of the University of Algarve. Presently he is the Portuguese (National) Focal Point for IOC-UNESCO Argo Programme and one of the Coordinators of the “Agenda do Mar” (Sea Agenda) for the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation(FCT). He was the President of IPMA’s Scientific Council (2012-2017), the President (2015-2016) and Vice-President (2014) of the Forum of State Laboratories Scientific Councils, IPMA’s representative in EuroGOOS, a member of the Portuguese IGBP/Global Change Committee, and the National Representative for GLOBEC core project. He has been involved, as coordinator and PI, in 39 national and international projects. In the last years, his research has focused on the physical-biological interactions in the ocean throughout an end-to-end approach, on the impact of global change in the ocean and on the development of ocean observing systems. This is reflected in more than 60 papers (50 in SCI journals) with about 3200 citations and an h-index of 27 (in Google Scholar). Other areas of interest/expertise are fisheries oceanography, fish ecology, mainly of pelagic species and the applications of remote sensing to marine fisheries and oceanography.
Angel Borja, PhD Marine Ecology (1984); Doctor in Sciences (Honoris Causa) (Hull University, 2015). Principal Investigator at AZTI (Spain). His main work is making marine ecology research useful for policy-makers and managers, studying the effects of human activities on marine ecosystems, the recovery of marine systems after impact, monitoring and assessment of marine status, etc. This includes developing methodologies to assess the marine status under European directives (i.e. Water Framework Directive; Marine Strategy Framework Directive), for microbes, phytoplankton, macroalgae, macroinvertebrates and fish, as well as integrative methods under the ecosystem-approach. He is member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency (since 2013). Author of >250 papers (Hindex: 56), Highly Cited Researcher 2018 (Web of Science). He is Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Marine Ecosystem Ecology, Associated Editor of Continental Shelf Research and Journal of Sea Research, and member of the Editorial Board of Ecological Indicators, Marine Pollution Bulletin and Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health. Referee in more than 90 international journals (after Publons Peer Review Awards 2018, is one of the top 1% of peer reviewers in Environment/Ecology) and project evaluation agencies. He is member of different scientific associations (ASLO, CERF, ECSA, ESP, SIBECOL), serving as chair/organizer of 45 international conferences and scientific session, and key-note speaker in >90 international conferences. He has participated in more than 120 European and international projects, being the coordinator of the EU 7th FP project DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status). He has been characterized by the continuous dissemination of science and organizer of the AZTI’s successful marine summer school since 2004. He was awarded with the European SETAC Environment Education Award (2017), and the Life Time Achievement Award, by the International Conference on Benthos (Cochin, India, 2019).
José M. Guerra García is a professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Seville. His PhD and early research interest dealt with soft bottom communities of harbors. He was fascinated by caprellidean amphipods, and has focused his research on their taxonomy, ecology, behavior and global biodiversity and biogeography. The main contribution of Jose Guerra lies in the description of 10 new genera and 70 new caprellid species, with one of them, Liropus minusculus, selected as one of the top 10 new species in 2014 (https://www.esf.edu/top10/2014/04.htm). He is also interested in the utility of these amphipods as bioindicator and as an alternative resource in aquaculture. He has coordinated several national and international projects and co-authored 180 papers published in international journals.
Marina R. Cunha holds a PhD in Biology and is currently Auxiliary Professor in the Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, lecturing courses on Marine Biology and Conservation, Ecology and Biodiversity. She is a member of the Marine and Estuarine Ecology Research Group at CESAM (http://www.cesam.ua.pt/ ), leader of the deep-sea biology team and curator of the Biological Research Collection of Marine Invertebrates (http://leme.web.ua.pt/ ). Main research interests include benthic ecology (analysis of community data; biodiversity, community structure, trophic relationships; connectivity, colonization and succession) and crustacean biology (taxonomy, life history, production). Her early research interests, with a focus on estuarine and coastal ecosystems, were redirected since 2000 to the study of biodiversity and functioning of deep-sea ecosystems. Marina Cunha is/was the coordinator of institutional participation of several national and international deep-sea research projects and co-authored over 30 new species and 100 papers published in indexed journals. She is a member of the Editorial Panel of Scientific Reports and regular referee of several leading journals in the fields of zoology, marine ecology and oceanography.
Ana Marçalo is a CCMAR (Centre for Marine Studies) Post-doc researcher since 2017 and recently Invited Auxiliary Professor at the Universidade do Algarve. Her work is connected with fisheries biology and conservation ecology for almost 20 years where she is the author and co-author of about 30 scientific articles and has been a collaborator in several projects. She obtained her PhD in 2010 from the Universidade do Algarve on sardine delayed mortality associated with purse seine slipping. As a post-doc fellow from 2010-2016 at CESAM-University of Aveiro and team member of the NGO Portuguese Wildlife Society (Sociedade Portuguesa de Vida Selvagem) she moved also her interest towards conservation ecology while studying the interaction of cetaceans with Portuguese fisheries. Along with this line, she also coordinated the marine animal stranding network operating on the Algarve coast for that period. Ana´s main interests have been related to studying methods to decrease discards and delayed mortality of pelagic fish after purse seine capture, interactions of Portuguese fisheries with cetaceans, and to develop methods to decrease bycatch and incidental captures of marine protected species. Her work has also relied on maintaining a close relationship with the fishing sector as a tool to improve marine conservation management.