This project aims at assessing the accumulation of Hg (mercury) by woman living in the Aveiro district, and the potential maternal-fetal transfer during pregnancy. In addition to Hg measurements, related oxidative stress, neurotoxicity and DNA damage effects will be evaluated in both mother and baby tissues and blood. Although some epidemiological studies have already related Hg accumulation in several matrices regarding maternal-fetal transfer, only few studies have regarded this approach in Portugal, and none for the Aveiro district (which includes Estarreja). In addition, only few epidemiological studies have focused on genotoxicity to evaluate Hg exposure in humans. Therefore integrating biomarkers of exposure (Hg measures in maternal and fetal matrices) along with biomarkers of effects (e.g. oxidative stress and DNA damage) will improve the knowledge on the historical problem of Hg contamination in Aveiro region, along with the potential action from local authorities if results show concern to human health.
Overall, she has 36 papers published (h-index=12, w-index=4, 539 citations). She is also author of 1 book, 1 book-chapter and over 50 communications in international meetings. She has been involved as team member in 1 European project (FENOMENO), 7 national projects funded by FCT, one as PI (DOMINO EFFECT), and was PI in 2 OHM-Estarreja funded projects. Since her PhD she has (co-)supervised 5 undergraduate student, 3 research technicians and 5 MSc students, 2 of them as main supervisor, 1 PhD student and 1 pos-doc. She has been actively involved in outreaching activities conducted at local organizations and schools and in dissemination of results to general public.
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Susana Loureiro, born in 1975, is graduated in Biology (1997) and MSc in Ecology (2000) by University of Coimbra. She obtained her PhD at the University of Aveiro (UA) in 2004, on the assessment of contaminated soils.
After her PhD, as team member and UA deputy of FP6 EU project NoMiracle, she started to build her team and refocused her research on the effect of combined stressors/mixtures, sharing lab space and co-supervision of students with her PhD supervisor. This profitable collaboration enabled her to establish a new research line with MSc and PhD students as the core of her young and motivated team. She succeeded on several National funding applications, starting in 2007 as PI of project AGROMIX, on soil mixture toxicity, which provided her the opportunity to become an independent researcher. Within this project, she developed a Small Scale Terrestrial Microcosm (STEM), used by her 1st PhD student, awarded with a PhD degree in 2011. In 2010, as PI, she got her 2nd project...
Marta S. Monteiro, 37-years-old, is presently in her 5th year as post-doc fellow. She graduated in Biology in 2000 at Aveiro University (UA). Her first contact with research issues occurred as undergraduate Erasmus student at the University of Liège, Belgium (1999), leading to her first 2 papers in ISI journals, one as first author. Then, she got a fellowship (UA) to perform her MSc on Advanced Biomolecular Methods. Her MSc thesis (2003) introduced her on environmental toxicology, assessing contamination effects on estuarine fish populations using enzymatic and histological biomarkers (3 papers). She obtained her PhD in Biology, financed by FCT, at UA in January 2009, supervised by Prof. Conceição Santos and Dr Reinier Mann. Her PhD thesis was devoted to Cd phytotoxicity biomarkers and the trophic transfer of Cd (5 papers). She started her post-doc, financed by FCT in February 2009 in the EPOMEX Institute, Mexico, and UA, supervised by Prof. Jaime Rendon von Osten and Prof...