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Ecology and phylogenomics of marine algae under the challenge of global climate change: research for conservation

Grant number: 23/12846-3
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: February 01, 2024 - May 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany
Principal Investigator:Mutue Toyota Fujii
Grantee:Mutue Toyota Fujii
Visiting researcher: Claudia Maria Ligia Collado Vides
Visiting researcher institution: Florida International University (FIU), United States
Host Institution: Instituto de Pesquisas Ambientais (IPA). Secretaria do Meio Ambiente (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The present proposal is a project in national and international collaboration between the São Paulo Environmental Research Institute (IPA), Florida International University, USA (FIU) and the University of São Paulo (USP), for the phylogenomic investigation and ecology of algae. marine species of economic importance, of the genera Hypnea and Laurencia (Rhodophyta) and Sargassum (Phaeophyceae) in the Atlantic Ocean and training of students, aiming at the conservation of protected areas. Dr. Collado-Vides is a professor and senior researcher at FIU, leads the Marine Macroalgae Ecology research group and coordinates the Marine Macroalgae Research Laboratory. The three Institutions (FIU, USP, IPA) have a long history of successful collaborations, as is the case of the study of the Laurencia complex in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean, involving other countries, such as Mexico, Spain (Canary Islands), Portugal ( Archipelago of the Azores and Madeira), USA (Florida) and Venezuela and has received funding in Brazil and abroad. These collaborations have been fundamental to understanding the diversity of red algae species, mainly in the western Atlantic Ocean, as well as their geographic distribution, phylogenetic affinities and physiological responses to global climate change. The Prof. Ligia is also accredited in the Postgraduate Program in Plant Biodiversity and Environment (BVMA), at IPA, where she supervised a master's level student, who developed the dissertation entitled: "Integrative analysis of the literature on pelagic Sargassum (Phaeophyceae) in Western Atlantic and the use of satellite images and citizen science as a tool to estimate its abundance in the ocean", defended in March/2023. From then on, the proposal was expanded as a project in international collaboration (French National Research Agency) and in Brazil, funded by FACEPE, (Process APQ-0406-1.08/22): "Weeds of Change: Characterizing and Modeling the Sources and Sinks of the "Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt". As part of the objectives, Prof. Ligia Collado-Vides will offer a training course under the title: "Protected marine areas and the importance of nutrients for monitoring the state of environmental conservation", at the Department of Oceanography, at UFPE, in Recife; in total it will be 1-2 weeks in March/2024.Still within this context, there is currently a Young Researcher project submitted by Fábio Nauer to FAPESP (2023/05070-9), to be developed at IPA, in which Prof. Ligia is also part of the main team. During her stay in Brazil, Dr. Ligia will participate in at least four research projects: 1. "The role of phenotypic plasticity in the seasonal ecophysiological variations of Hypnea pseudomusciformis (Rhodophyta)", from IPA; 2. "Phylogenomics and characterization of organellar genomes of representatives of the Laurencia complex (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta)", from USP; 3. "Impacts of marine heat waves on ecologically important algae: an integrative and interdisciplinary approach", from IPA, and "Weeds of Change: Characterizing and Modeling the Sources and Sinks of the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt". In this sense, Dr. Collado-Vides' close collaboration will be a valuable opportunity for us to act on different fronts of the project, aiming to: i. publications of scientific articles; ii. transfer of Dr. Collado-Vides' experience in her area of expertise and training to our research group; and iii. study and processing of ecological and molecular data from the collected material. Also, during the visit, she will teach a special topics course "Monitoring and conservation of macrophytes in marine environments" (45 hours and 3 credits), at PPG-BvMa, but extended to students from other Programs. (AU)

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