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Regulated and emerging contaminants in the Antarctic coastal environment: spatio-temporal variability and bioavailability

Grant number: 20/15701-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2022
Effective date (End): September 30, 2026
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Chemical Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Rafael Andre Lourenço
Grantee:Amanda Câmara de Souza
Host Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Antarctica is a unique laboratory for studying environmental changes that occur worldwide due to its vulnerable ecosystems, singular climatic conditions, and low human activity. The present proposal aims to study the local and long-distance anthropogenic interference in the Antarctic environment and evaluate the introduction of regulated (PAHs and POPs) and emerging (fragrances, UV filters, flame retardants, and endocrine disruptors) contaminants. The study will analyze the water and sediment matrices, sampled at different periods and locations of Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica. Additionally, it is expected to obtain answers about the bioavailability of the contaminants and their connections with environmental variables on a small-time scale (between spring, summer, and late summer), using semipermeable membranes. Thus, it becomes possible to investigate the role of climate in the transfer of organic contaminants and, consequently, the possible effects of global warming in an environment more susceptible to climate change, such as Antarctica. Finally, the passive sampling method and analytical, used for the analysis of organic and emerging contaminants respectively, will be employed and optimized. The subject of this study is in agreement with the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 agenda (United Nations Organization), likewise the expected results for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

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