At the core partners

Applicants looking for potential supervisors and research topics are encouraged to contact personally professors and researchers at the Aveiro, Minho and Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Universities.


Applicants may also use the Campus do Mar Researchers Database, with keywords and research lines of more than 500 top researchers that are selected based on their scientific and technical research outputs:


Supervisors and research topics


At the associated partners

Research topics available at the associated partners are listed below.


School of Biology, St. Andrews University

Contact person: David Paterson (


  • The role of trace elements in Antarctic oceanic food chains

Project description: In the last decades the levels of pollution by trace elements in Antarctica have increased significantly, particularly potentially toxic elements such as mercury. As mercury accumulation and bioamplification may vary between species and regions, this project aims to assess for the first time the levels of mercury and other trace elements in key organisms of two Antarctic marine food chains that are also affected by climate change (Livingston Island and South Georgia). The project will study how trace elements are transferred between organisms through element quantification and stable isotopic signatures methods. This project will have direct relevance for the assessment of Antarctic fisheries and conservation of Southern Ocean marine ecosystems.

Contact: Andrew Brierley (


  • Effects of spatial variation in primary producers estuarine food web dynamics

Project description: Throughout the world, estuaries are economically and ecologically important regions, supporting high biodiversity and protecting land from flooding, for example. Primary producers (e.g. saltmarsh plants, seaweeds, etc) are critical for driving the complex food web dynamics associated with estuarine habitats. However, it is currently unknown how spatial differences in the proportion of these different primary producers affect estuarine food webs. The proposed research will investigate estuarine food web dynamics, taking into account habitat type, organism size and abundance, as well as stable isotope composition of the primary producers. This will allow us to identify the importance of different primary producers within different estuarine habitats. Using high spatial resolution modelling of the studied food web, the consequences of different estuarine management scenarios will be tested.

Contact:  Heidi Burdett ( and Claire Golléty


  • Climate change in coastal ecosystems

Project description: There is a great deal of discussion about the direct effects (temperature, acidification, sea-level, invasive species and species migration) of climate change on coastal habitats. However, these drivers of change are not independent and operate in tandem and also interact with other more localised drivers of change such as nutrient run-off, hypoxia, shipping disturbance, dredging, local land reclamation, etc. This project will use an ecosystem-management based approach under a DPSIR framework combining field-based examination with existing knowledge.  The functional and gross metabolic attributes of the selected system will be examined (e.g. autotrophic, heterotrophic), and including detail of primary production, respiration, nutrient turnover and trophic interactions (protocols based on the NERC CBESS programme) to examine the efficacy of different management strategies for minimising the effects of these multiple stressors with the objective of increasing ecosystem resilience. The project will examine current activities and management options and project these under future scenarios, to define the “envelope of management influence”, a type of sensitivity analysis for potential climate change and related effects, for systems in Portugal and Scotland. 

Main supervisors: David Paterson (


  • Estuarine biodiversity, function and socio-economics:

Central to the understanding of the ecosystem services that flow from estuarine habitats are the biodiversity stocks that inhabit these systems. This project will examine how the functional aspect of biodiversity stock can be translated into economic models that support management decisions in terms of coastal conservation and development. The PH.D will therefore be interdisciplinary encompassing the biodiversity-ecosystem function debate, the candidate will be trained to asses functionality of selected systems (see CBESS project) but also able to use this information in term of constructing socio-economic models and understanding of the impact of management options on changing  system value, including monetary and non-monetary methods. This information is critical to the future development and management of the coastal system that are coming under increasing natural and anthropogenic pressures.

Main supervisors: Nick Hanley ( with David M. Paterson



Station Biologique de Roscoff

Contact person: Eric Thiébault (


  • The interactions between epiphytes and their hosts and their evolutionary role in speciation of marine epiphyte macro-algae (Myriam Valero;

  • Climate-driven range shifts in kelps: combining experimental ecology and population genomics to study their evolutionary and ecological responses to environmental changes (Myriam Valero;

  •  -Conservation genetics and domestication of marine macro-algae (Myriam Valero;

  • Non-indigenous species in coastal areas: impact of aquaculture and urbanization of coastal landscapes (Frédérique Viard;

  • Integrative studies of marine connectivity: coupling genetics & genomics with ecological studies (Frédérique Viard; + Thierry Comtet; + Eric Thiébaut;

  • New methodologies for examining marine biodiversity: metabarcoding studies in coastal zones (Frédérique Viard; + Thierry Comtet;

  • Species complex and cryptic species in the sea: insights about speciation and hybridization processes in marine systems (Frédérique Viard;

  • Polychaetes hemoglobins and adaptation to the intertidal environment (Ann Andersen;

  • Dispersal and connectivity of benthic fauna from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps (Didier Jollivet;

  • Temperature variations and genetic diversity of polychaetes in extreme environments (Stéphane Hourdez;

  • Molecular mechanisms involved in the symbiosis on bivalves (Arnaud Tanguy;

  • Long-term changes in benthic communities and their effects on functional diversity (Eric Thiébaut;



Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade de S. Paulo

Contact person: Michel Mahiques (


  • Biological Oceanography

Uses, impacts and management of marine resources and ecosystems

Structure and functioning of marine ecosystems


  • Physical Oceanography

Large-scale and meso-scale oceanic circulation

Dynamics of the continental shelf and estuaries


  • Chemical Oceanography

Marine biogeochemistry and interface dynamics

Marine organic chemistry


  • Geological Oceanography

Marine sedimentation

Evolution of the sea floor and paleo-oceanography