Portuguese wins world award that distinguishes young researchers

Raquel Gaião Silva, born in Viana do Castelo, is the first Portuguese woman to win the Global Biodiversity Information Facility Young Researchers Award (GBIF), as it appears on the official website of that organization.

“Raquel Gaião Silva, a master’s student at the University of Algarve and first winner of Portugal, seeks to understand the impact of climate change on the distribution of macroalgae on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula,” reads the article published on Tuesday.

According to that note, the 23-year-old girl, who studied biology at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, “is one of two winners of the 2018 edition of that award that distinguishes young researchers.”

“The GBIF Scientific Committee has selected, in addition to Raquel Gaião, the North American doctoral student Kate Ingenloff, from a group of 14 candidates nominated by heads of delegation from 11 participating countries of the GBIF”, he emphasizes.

In her research, the Portuguese researcher “aims to use records of the occurrence of GBIF species and other sources to examine whether and how rising ocean temperatures may be altering the distribution of macroalgae along the Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal “.

“The rich and complex ecosystems to which they give rise provide food, habitat, and function as nurseries for numerous marine organisms, including fishing species of great economic and cultural importance, “according to the statement.

According to the official GBIF website, “it is expected that Raquel Gaião’s research could highlight important issues related to climate-induced impacts on marine macroalgae from the Bay of Biscay to the Strait of Gibraltar.”

“The occurrences of species present in the GBIF comprise about half of the data from the Raquel Gaião study, the rest coming from other online data sources such as the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) and the University’s macroalgae collection of Coimbra (MACOI), both publishers in GBIF “.

“The Portuguese herbarium collections of Porto, Aveiro, Lisboa, Faro and the Marine Forests project, an open access, citizen science platform that promotes collective and international monitoring of algae have been used. researchers, policymakers and coastal residents, within and outside the study areas. ”

According to GBIF, “Raquel Gaião has just completed her dissertation for EMBC +, an international master’s degree in Biodiversity and Marine Conservation, formed by a consortium of six European universities, including the University of Algarve, and with more than 60 partners all over the world world”.

The program “enables students to choose the research paths they want and that meet their professional aspirations and interests”.

During the third semester of the master’s degree, and a Portuguese researcher, she studied at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Ireland, where she took key courses in the development of her research. ”

According to the GBIF, Raquel Gaião “was the first winner of Portugal and her prize marks the third consecutive year in which the winner is a native of the Portuguese language, previously received by Brazilians Bruno Umbelino and Itanna Oliveira Fernandes in 2016 and 2017, respectively “.

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