September 16, 2020

SEACHEM

SEACHEM - Comparative study on the functions and mechanisms of action of pheromones in marine echinoderms and fishes in a changing ocean

Aquaculture of marine organisms is now the main economic component of China’s marine industry. Among these organisms, fishes and echinoderms take a prominent role because of their nutritional and medicinal value. Although research on economically relevant aquaculture species has been increasing at impressive rates, not much is known on the importance of chemical communication for their reproduction, growth and welfare. Animals use their sense of smell to obtain information about reproductive and social status, gender, and kinship and to find and identify food. However, knowledge about the identity of the compounds (pheromones) that convey reproductive and social information is very limited and largely restricted to some groups such as insects and mammals. In contrast, the identity of pheromones produced by important aquaculture species such as sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea: Echinodermata) and marine fishes is not known, despite strong evidence for their essential function. Recent studies also point out that the chemosensory system and behaviour in several animals including fishes and invertebrates is affected by climate change and in particular ocean acidification.

The main aims of this project are to obtain an insight on the diversity of pheromone systems in two very different organisms of economic value (sea cucumbers and fishes) and to what extent chemosensory perception may be affected by environmental change.

The project brings together teams with complementary knowhow on the physiology of marine mammals: Institute of Science and Environment of the University of Saint Joseph (Macao), the Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Qingdao, China) and the Centre of Marine Sciences of the University of the Algarve (Portugal). 

This project is jointly funded by the Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). Project reference: FDCT 0001/2020/AFJ.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
September 16, 2020

FISHMUC

FISHMUC - Bioactive properties of external mucus isolated from coastal fish of Macao and Portugal

Natural products have always been of unquestionable importance for the identification of molecules useful for humans. For example, approximately 85% of current diseases are treated with products derived from natural sources . However, considering the great variation among bioactive compounds and the large number of plants, animals, microorganisms and algae species, it is necessary to build up a standard and integrated approach to screen out new compounds that can carry human health benefits. In the past decades, the screening process to identify bioactive compounds, in particular in the pharmaceutical industry, has relied on a brute-force approach where compounds are tested in large numbers without considering the ecology or evolutionary history of the species from which they were extracted. However, the understanding of the species natural histories has been key to traditional approaches that have allowed the selection and use of bioactive compounds for many purposes, even when the underlying mechanisms were unknown. A more efficient approach to identify molecules of interest may thus be to combine modern methods for the characterization and testing of compounds with knowledge on the natural history of species, namely by observing and recording putative bioactivity in nature.

One important source of bioactive compounds in fish is their external mucus. It is produced by specialized cells in the fish epithelium and serves numerous ecological and physiological roles. These include protection against mechanical impact, osmoregulation, protection against chemical toxicants, intraspecific communication, parental feeding and, notoriously, protection against pathogens.

This project aims to explore the functions, mechanisms of action and the bioactive properties of mucus secreted by coastal fish occurring in Macao and in Portugal. The project combines the knowhow in fish physiology and ecology of teams at USJ-ISE, Macao, and ISPA-MARE, Portugal, with the experience in the extraction, isolation and bioactive testing of natural compounds of the team at UCP-CBQF, Portugal. The study will cover species from different families, geographical regions and habitats and will test various bioactive properties with the aim of increasing the potential to identify molecules of interest.

This project is jointly funded by the Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). Project reference: FDCT 0005/2019/APJ.

TEAM
September 16, 2020

FISHSTRESS

FISHSTRESS - Causes and consequences of the stress response in fish: environmental factors and transgenerational adaptation

According to Hans Seyle’s classical definition, the stress response is a “non-specific result of any demand upon the body” to maintain or restore homeostasis . While the stress response is usually adaptive in the sense that allows animals to cope with perceived stressors to regain balance, prolonged or acute stressors can be mal-adaptive and detrimental to health and welfare, a state coined as “distress” by Seyle’s . Over the past years, it has become clear that the stress response is highly heterogenous, varying between individuals according to their genetic background, early-life experiences, and vertical epigenetic transmission. Stress research in fish is a relatively recent topic but it has been gaining attention, in particular because of the increasing use of fish in animal farming and the need to keep production performance while improving animal welfare.

In the context of domestication, fish have been brought from nature into captive environments for a number of reasons, including as sources of food and raw materials, for biomedical research, for the aquariology and exhibition industries, or for cultural reasons. Under captive conditions, animals are exposed to a set of factors that can act as stressors, including the physical conditions of the environment, dietary shifts, transport practices, handling, confinement, high-density, among others. In fish, like in other vertebrates, early-stages of domestication entail the adaptation of wild-animals to captive conditions by a progressive genetic and phenotypic transformation.

The project aims to study the mechanisms of the stress response in fish framed within the context of domestication. It will focus on two fish species that have undergone domestication processes, the zebrafish Danio rerio and the fighting fish Betta splendens.

The project is a collaboration between the Institute of Science and Environment of the University of Saint Joseph (Macao) and the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (Portugal).

This project is funded by the Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT). Project reference: FDCT 0025/2020/A1

TEAM

Bringing Science to Schools in Macao: From Genes to Environment

September 14, 2020

Bringing Science to Schools in Macao: From Genes to ECOSYSTEMS 將科學帶進澳門的校園:從基因至生態系統

This project aims to support and help students learn science through practical experiences. Bringing Science to the local schools through hands-on laboratory activities and field trips would enhance students’ learning, understanding and appreciation of Science. The students can greatly benefit from hands-on laboratory experiments by doing activities similar to real-world investigations, while bringing them outside of the classroom to see and experience nature is also one of the best ways to learn and increase awareness about the natural environment

The students will experience two important ways of Science learning in this project, from the laboratory to the ecosystems: from Genes in the Laboratory to Mangrove Ecosystems in Macao’s natural environment. A mangrove exhibition will be also organized towards the end of the project to showcase this important ecosystem not only to the students but to the local community.

 

Funded by FDCT, reference 0273/2018/PS (2018-2020)

TEAM

Karen Tagulao (PI, ISE/USJ)

Lucia Ivorra (Team member)

Saidu Bashir (Team member)

Participating Schools:

Sta. Rosa de Lima English Secondary; Sacred Heart Canossian College; The International School of Macao; School of the Nations; Yuet Wah College; Macao Anglican College; Escola Kao Yip

 

 

 

 

December 11, 2015

Heavy Metals and Pesticides

Heavy Metals and Pesticides

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The role of mangroves on the bioaccumulation and citogenotoxic effects of metals and pesticides on the food web of a sub-tropical coastal system

Research Team: 
Chan Shek Kiu (PI) | Karen Arano-Tagulao (co-PI) | Nora Tam (Team Member) | Eduardo Rocha (Team Member) | Patricia Teixeira Cardoso (Consultant). 

Mangrove ecosystems are unique habitats which offer a great variety of goods and services to the ecosystem and to the society. Unfortunately, they have been globally threatened by urbanization and industrialization which have triggered widespread overexploitation of the world’s mangrove forests despite their ecological and economic importance.
 

In South China, namely in Macao, the health and integrity of mangroves are aggravated due to substantial discharge of industrial sewage into the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) from the coastal cities. Among different types of pollutants in the sewage, trace metals are of special concern since alarming levels of cadmium, lead and zinc were annually discharged into the Pearl River, potentially causing far-reaching ramifications on human health and ecosystems.

Besides metals contamination, pollution by pesticides is of great concern because of their ability to cause, in a global scale and years ahead from the present, severe environmental, ecologic and health consequences.
Despite the numerous studies on phytoremediation, little attention has been to the role of mangroves on the bioaccumulation and citogenotoxic effects of metals and organic compounds on the food web and consequently on human health. So, the main objectives of this project are:
 
1) to do a spatial/seasonal characterization of the abiotic parameters as well as contaminants (metals and pesticides), the latter through a time-integrated passive sampling method, in mangrove vegetated versus non-vegetated areas;
2) to do an in situ characterization of the metals and pesticides levels at the biotic compartments along the food web (primary producers, primary consumers and predators) in mangrove vegetated versus non-vegetated areas;
 
3) to evaluate the in situ genotoxic effects and oxidative stress responses to contaminants exposure in vegetated versus non-vegetated areas;
4) to study the bioaccumulation and elimination kinetics and oxidative stress responses in the edible bivalve Geloina erosa to trace metals and pesticides exposure during a field transplant experiment.
 
Through the implementation of this project it is possible to better understand the role of mangroves on the protection of fauna and human health against these pollutants and establish possible management and conservation strategies.
 
Funded by FDCT, reference no. 117/2014/A3. Research Team: Chan Shek Kiu (PI, ISE/USJ), Karen Arano-Tagulao (co-PI, ISE/USJ), Patricia Teixeira (Consultant, CIIMAR, University of Porto), Nora Tam (Team member, City University of Hong Kong), Eduardo Rocha (Team Member, University of Porto)
紅樹林對亞熱帶海岸系統食物鏈金屬的富集和細胞基因毒牲的影響及殺蟲劑的角色
紅樹林是獨特的自然生態系統,為整個生態系統及人類社會提供各種類型的商品及貢獻。然而,城市化及工業化的發展正逐步威脅全球紅樹林生態系統,世界各地過度開採紅樹林,無視其生態及經濟價值。
 
在華南地區,例如澳門,大量從沿海城市排入珠江口的工業污水加劇了對紅樹林健康生長及完整性的威脅。在污水中所含的各種污染物中,微量金屬引人關注,達警戒水平的鎘、鉛、鋅等金屬每年被排放到珠江中,對人類健康及生態系統產生潛在的深遠影響。
除了金屬污染,農藥污染是另一大關注點,該污染今後可能會在全球範圍內造成嚴重的環境、生態及健康後果。儘管目前對植物修復有諸多的研究,但有關紅樹林對於(有毒物質)生物體內積累和食物網中金屬及有機化合物的基因毒性效應及對人類健康的影響還少有人關注,因此,本課題的主要目標是:
 
1)對非生物參數及污染物(金屬及農藥)開展空間/季節性的定性研究,對污染物的定性研究是在紅樹林植被覆蓋地區及非覆蓋地區採用時間積分被動採樣方法;
2)在紅樹林植被覆蓋地區及非覆蓋地區開展食物網(初幾生產者、初幾消費者及掠食者)各級生物中的金屬及農藥水平的實地定性研究;
 
3)在紅樹林植被覆蓋地區及非覆蓋地區實地評估基因毒性效應及對污染物的氧化應激反應;
 
4)在野外移植實驗中研究可食用雙殼類生物紅樹蜆暴露在微量金屬及農藥中體內有毒物質積累、消除動力學及氧化應激反應。本課題的實施可以使我們更好地理解紅樹林在保護動物及人類健康免受污染物威脅中所扮演的角色,並建立相應的管理及保護策略。

MagIC

February 2, 2015

MagIC

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WELCOME to the Mag.I.C project!

MagIC – Petrology and Geochemistry of Igneous Rocks from Macao: Implications for the Crustal Evolution of Southern China / 澳门火成岩之岩石学与地球化学—对华南地壳演化的影响)

This project aimed to develop a detailed digital cartographic map of the igneous rocks of Macao, useful for professionals from different areas and to understand the geological history of the territory. The main results included: (1) absolute age determination from Macau magmatic events; (2) based on mineralogical and geochemical studies we have constrained the magma evolution and; (3) we contributed to a deeper understanding of the South China tectono-magmatic evolution.

Project reference: FDCT 043/2014/A1 (2014-2018)

updated on May, 2020

TEAM

Ph.D. Principal Investigator (PI) from ISE, USJ, Macau

Ph.D. Team member from FCUL/IDL, Portugal

XinYu Gao

Ph.D Team member from GIG, CAS – 中国科学院广州地球化学研究所 , China

Luisa Duarte

Ph.D. Consultant from LNEG

Varon Lou

M.Sc. Research Assistant from ISE, USJ, Macau

Ph.D. Student from ISE, USJ, Macau. Dissertation on Dec 5, 2019 – Thesis

Ricardo Borges

Research Assistant (GIS) from ISE, USJ, Macau

ABSTRACT

Igneous rocks, in particular granitic ones, are of utmost importance to assess the tectonothermal evolution of continents and to decipher their geodynamic setting. During Mesozoic ages, the Southeastern China region (Cathasya block), where Macao is localized, was affected by granitic plutonism generated during the Indosinian (Triassic) and Yanshanian orogenies (Jurasic-Cretaceous), overprinting all previous events in the South China Fold Belt (SCFB). In Macao, the most complete document reporting the geology of the territory was published, in 1992, under Luísa Ribeiro coordination, the consultant of this project. It consists of the Macao Geological Map 1:5000 scale, and its memoir, where the main geological units and structures of Macao were presented. Until the beginning of this project proposal, there was a significant gap in the knowledge of the geology and geodynamic evolution of Macao compared with surrounding areas. The geology of Hong Kong and Guangdong (also included in the Cathaysia block) has been the subject of numerous SCI publications. In contrast, there were no SCI publications on the geology of Macao. To fill this gap, this project focused in obtaining new scientific knowledge about the origin and evolution of the territory of Macao, and also to spread and publish this new knowledge within the local and international scientific community. In his project, we developed a new trilingual digital geological map of Macao and, among several new scientific discoveries accomplished along the execution of the work, we emphasize the determination of the age of Macao magmatic rocks as well as of its geodynamic evolution. Briefly, Macao granites were emplaced in two main periods ranging from 164.5 ± 0.6 Ma to 162.9 ± 0.7 Ma and 156.6 ± 0.2 Ma to 155.5 ± 0.8 Ma, separated by ca. 6 Ma. Inherited zircons point to the existence of a basement with ages up to Paleo-Proterozoic and late Archean in the region. In addition, younger dacitic rocks were dated at 150.6 ± 0.6 Ma and <120 Ma. Macao granitic suite was incrementally assembled during a period of ca. 9 Ma and the transition from granitic magmatism (Middle to Upper Jurassic) to the younger dacite dykes (Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous) most likely correspond to a change in the regional tectonic setting. Isotope and geochemical compositions together with model ages and mixing modelling strongly suggest that Macao granitic magmas were generated by partial melting of infracrustal medium-to-high K basaltic Paleo-Proterozoic to Mesoproterozoic protoliths heated by, and mixed to some degrees with, the contemporaneous underplating and/or intrusion of hot, mantle-derived magmas. The Jurassic Macao granites are interpreted as being produced in an intraplate extensional setting related to the foundering of a previously flat-slab (Paleo-Pacific plate) beneath SE China continent.

More info here: http://ise.usj.edu.mo/research/projects/geology-of-macau/

摘要

火成岩,尤其是花岗岩,对于揭开大陆的构造演化和动力学背景之谜至关重要。中生代时期,澳门所处的华东南板块(华夏古陆)受印支期(三叠纪)和燕山构造期所产生的花岗质岩浆影响,叠印了华南褶皱带以往所有的活动。澳门在地质和地理上归属于华夏陆块,从而为理解华南的地壳演化过程提供制约。1992年,在本项目顾问路易莎·里贝罗(Luísa Ribeiro)的协调下,澳门境内最完整的官方地质报告文件出版。在该研究报告中,介绍了澳门主要的地质单元和结构,其中还包含了比例为1:5000的澳门地质图。
在本项目开始前,澳门的地质与地球动力学研究和认识与周围地区相比还存在很大差距。香港和广东的地质(也包括在华夏地块中)一直是许多SCI出版物的研究对象。但相比之下,直到现在都还没有关于澳门地质的SCI出版物发表过。为了填补这一研究空白,本项目的重点是研究澳门地体的起源和地质演化,从而获得新的科学认识,并将研究成果和认识在本地和国际学界中传播和发表。在这个项目中,我们还编制了一张新的澳门三语数字地质图
在这个项目所取得的一系列新科学发现中,我们会重点强调澳门岩浆岩年龄的厘定及其地球动力学的演化过程。总的来说,澳门的花岗岩侵入活动主要分为两期,164.5 ± 0.6 Ma(百万年)到 162.9 ± 0.7 Ma为第一期, 156.6 ± 0.2 Ma 到155.5 ± 0.8 Ma为第二期,中间相隔约6Ma。花岗岩中的继承锆石指示该地区存在着一个古元古代至晚太古代的古老基底。此外,也发现更年轻的英安质岩石的年龄为150.6 ± 0.6 Ma和<120 Ma。澳门的花岗岩套是在一个约9Ma的时期内逐步侵位形成的,从中晚侏罗纪的花岗质岩浆活动向晚侏罗-早白垩的英安质岩墙的转变很可能对应于区域构造环境的变化。
澳门花岗岩的同位素和地球化学成分,模式年龄和岩浆混合模拟表明澳门花岗质岩浆是由古元古代至中元古代的下地壳中~高钾质的玄武质原岩经中生代底侵或侵入的高温地幔岩浆加热从而部分熔融产生的,在这过程中,同时伴随着一定程度的岩浆混合作用。澳门侏罗纪花岗岩可以解释为是在板内伸展的环境中产生的,这个伸展环境与古太平洋板块由平板俯冲向板块拆沉的构造转变有关。

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
Task 1. – Digital Cartography
To refine the knowledge on the main lithologies areal distribution in order to develop a detailed digital map of the igneous rocks from Macao.
 
Task 2. – Petrography
To obtain a detailed characterization of the mineralogy and petrography of igneous rocks from Macao and compare these results with data from correspondent geological areas from the Cathaysian block.
 
Task 3. Geochronology
The main goal of this task was to precisely date the magmatic events preserved in the geological region where Macao is included. 
 
Task 4 – Geochemistry
The main goal of this task was the construction of a petrogenetic model for each of the igneous lithotypes from the geological region where Macao is included by a detailed characterization of their geochemical properties (whole-rock major and trace elements, rare earth elements, and isotopic signatures).
 
For results and outputs see the geology of Macau webpage and publications
Collaboration with other institutions

IDL – Instituto Don Luiz

LNEG – Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia (Laboratório de Geologia e Minas), Portugal

JSGL – Jack Satterly Geochronology Laboratory, Canada

GIGCAS –  Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

GeoFCUL – Departamento de Geologia da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa

HKU – University of Hong Kong

 

Companies and public institutions that
have been contribution to the project

With field visits and samples:
MPS – Macau Professional Services, Limited, Macau
LECM – Macau Laboratory of Civil Engineering / 澳門土木工程實驗室, Macau
LNEG – Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia (Laboratório de Geologia e Minas), Portugal
CGGC – China Gezhouba Group Corporation, Macau
中德工程有限公司, Macau
南光石油化工有限公司, Macau
Macau Golf and Country Club / 澳門高爾夫球鄉村俱樂部, Macau

Other contributions:
SMG – Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau / 地球物理暨氣象局, Macau

Mag.I.C. Publications and Communications

–  Quelhas P, Dias Á A, Mata J (2020) Evidences for mixed contribution of mantle, lower and upper crust to the genesis of Jurassic I~type granites from Macao, SE China. GSA Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1130/B35552.1

– Quelhas, P., Dias, Á A., Mata, J., Don, D., Ribeiro, L. (2019) High-precision geochronology of Mesozoic magmatism in Macao, Southeast China: evidence for multistage granite emplacement. Geoscience Frontiers. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2019.04.011

– Quelhas P, Dias Á A, Mata J & Wayne Davis D (2019) Goldschmidt Abstracts, 258. 21st August. Barcelona. https://goldschmidt.info/2019/abstracts/abstractView?id=2019004459

– Quelhas, P., Mata, J., Lou, U. T., Ribeiro, M. L., Borges, R., Dias, Á A (2018). A origem e evolução dos magmas graníticos de Macao à luz de dados de geoquímica elementar e isotópica / Source and evolution of Macao granitic magmas: insights from wholerock geochemistry and isotopic signatures.. XIV Congresso de Geoquímica dos Países de Língua Portuguesa e XIX Semana de Geoquímica (XIV CGPLP/XIX SG, international conference. 25-29 March 2018, Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal.

– Dias, Á A (2017) Opening talk about the geology of MacaoISE, Macao. Meeting on Mesozoic magmatism of Macao and Hong Kong in the context of SE China geodynamics / 澳門與香港的中生代岩漿作用 (oral communication) 22-27 April 2017, ISE, Macau

– Quelhas, P. (2017) Mesozoic magmatism in Macao: What is known so far and future developments. Mesozoic magmatism of Macao and Hong Kong in the context of SE China geodynamics / 澳門與香港的中生代岩漿作用 (oral communication)22-27 April 2017, ISE, Macau

– Quelhas, P., Mata, J., Lou, U. T., Ribeiro, M. L., Borges, R., Dias Á A. (2017) New Geochemical Constraints on I-Type Granites of Macao: Petrogenesis and Geodynamic Implications. 27th Goldschmidt Conference. 2126, 06d 13-18, August 2017. Paris, France

– Quelhas P M, Mata J, Lou U T, Ribeiro M R and Dias Á A (2016) Mesozoic Granitic Magmatism in Macao, Southeast China. AGU Fall meeting 12-16 December 2016, San Francisco, USA

– Dias Á A, Quelhas P, Lou U, Mata J & Ribeiro M L (2016) Petrology and Geochemistry of Granitic Rocks from Macao. 26th Goldschmidt Conference, Yokohama, Japan. 61, 05c. POSTER

– Dias, Á A (2015) Presentation of the Magic Project. First Meeting on the Geology of Macao, Macao

– Quelhas, P (2016) Preliminary data from Macau petrology: Summary of the field work and first petrographic analysis. First Meeting on the Geology of Macao, Macao

– Lou, V (2015) Plutonic Rocks from SE China focused in Macau (what is mentioned in the Chinese references). First Meeting on the Geology of Macao, Macao

– Gao X-Y (2015) Presentation of GIG-CAS (The Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) and its facilities. First Meeting on the Geology of Macao, Macao

For more information visit: 

Other references
  • Ribeiro, M.L. (2010) Macau, evolução do conhecimento geológico, Ciências Geológicas – Ensino, Investigação e sua História, Volume VII – Geologia das Ex-Colónias da Ásia e Oceania: Lisbon, Sociedade Geológica de Portugal, p. 259 – 266. http://repositorio.lneg.pt/bitstream/10400.9/1301/1/34425.pdf
  • So, CL & Ribeiro, ML (1997) Portugal Macao Geology. Encyclopedia of World Regional Geology. pp. 620 – 621 E.M. Moores & R. W. Fairbridge, (eds). Encyclopedia of Earth Sc. Series. Chapman & Hall, London.
  • Ribeiro, M. L., Macedo, C. A. R., Ramos, J. M. F., and Dias, R. P. (2000) K – Ar ages for the Macao granites (SE China) and the magmatic migration at the Yenshianian times, in Proceedings Congresso Internacional de Geologia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. p. G1804006.
  • Ribeiro, M. L., Ramos, J. M. F., Pereira, E., and Dias, R. P. (1992) Carta Geológica de Macau na escala 1:5000 (inclui Notícia Explicativa): Serviços Geológicos de Portugal.
  • Marques, F. M. S. F. (1988) Contribuição para o conhecimento geológico e geotécnico do Território de Macau. Master thesis: FCUL, 184 p.
  • Carrington da Costa, J., and Lemos, M. S. (1964) Fisiografia e Geologia da Província de Macau: Centro de Informação e Turismo.
  • Lemos, M. S. (1963) Esboço Geológico da Província Ultramarina de Macau, Escala 1/25 000: Centro de Informação e Turismo.
  • Carrington da Costa, J. (1944) Geologia da Província de Macau, Bol. Soc. Geol. de Portugal, Volume III: Porto, Imprensa Moderna, Ltd., p. 47.

Bringing Science to Schools in Macao: From Genes to Environment

November 28, 2014

Bringing Science to Schools in Macao: From Genes to Environment

This project aims to support and help students learn life science through actual experiences. Bringing Science in the local schools through hands-on laboratory experiments and field trips would enhance students’ learning, understanding and appreciation of Science. The students can greatly benefit from hands-on laboratory experiments by doing activities similar to real-world investigations, while bringing them outside of the classroom to see and experience nature is also one of the best ways to learn and increase awareness about the natural environment.

Funded by FDCT, reference 040/2013/P

TEAM

Karen Tagulao
M.Sc. Principal Investigator (PI) from ISE, USJ, Macau

Chan Shek Kio
Ph.D. Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) from ISE, USJ, Macau

DISRUPT

November 25, 2014

DISRUPT

Environmental Endocrine Disruptors: Current Situation in Macao, Neurobehavioral Effects and Bioremediation Strategies

Funded by FDCT, reference 011/2014/A1.

ABSTRACT

Macao is situated downstream to the heavily industrialized Pearl River Delta region. This places the territory and its inhabitants at risk from the effects of exposure to environmental aquatic pollutants originated from industrial activity. Several reports have confirmed high levels of pollutants in the coastal waters of Macao but systematic studies evaluating their prevalence in aquatic ecosystems and their bioavailability in organisms and in the food chain are lacking. The project will focus on a class of pollutants that has been gaining particular attention in recent years, environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs). EEDs are chemical pollutants from various sources that interfere with the endocrine system in both animals and humans and that have been overlooked in many environmental surveys, in spite of a great wealth of research demonstrating detrimental effects on human health in all physiological domains. Although there is no available data for EEDs levels in Macao, their concentration in other areas of the Pearl River is of concern. This situation urges for more studies focusing on the prevalence of these pollutants in the environment in Macao, on their effects in organisms and humans, and on possible remediation strategies. The project is divided into three tasks. First, the levels of some common EEDs in water, sediments and biological samples collected in Macao will be quantified to assess the degree of environmental contamination, bioavailability in aquatic organisms and potential risks to human health. Second, the physiological effects of some of these pollutants on neurologic function and behavior will be tested using as a model species a fish common in Macao coastal waters, and thus potentially exposed to EEDs, the mudskipper Boleophthalmus pectinirostris. Third, new possibilities for the use of microorganisms in bioremediation strategies to combat the prevalence of these pollutants in the environment will be investigated.

TEAM
David Gonçalves
USJ
Principal Investigator 

DNA Technology workshops for secondary school students

November 11, 2014

DNA Technology workshops for secondary school students

Bringing Science to the local Schools

The project mainly consisted of workshops and integrated hand-on activities given to secondary school students.  The workshops are related to DNA extraction and DNA technology investigation activities using PCR.  The project aims to encourage local students to learn and love science by bringing these hands-on activities to their classrooms. Through these activities, students gain practical exposure  by getting involved in real-world laboratory procedures that are used in DNA Technology like extraction of  DNA from many different organisms for a variety of applications and the use of PCR in forensics, diagnostics and GMO testing.

Funded by FDCT, reference 028/2010/P.

TEAM

Karen Tagulao

M.Sc. Principal Investigator (PI) from ISE, USJ, Macau

Chan Shek Kio

Ph.D. Co-Principal Investigator (PI) from ISE, USJ, Macau

Mak A

Team Member

Inventory and assessment of the marine flora of Macau

November 11, 2014

Inventory and assessment of the marine flora of Macau

This research provided essential baseline information on the diversity, abundance and distribution of the marine flora of Macao. The research project was able to identify mangrove and seaweed species present in the coastal environment of Macao well as map their spatial distribution. Seasonality trends in reproduction on the identified species are also established. The results from this study are important in elucidating relevant ecological areas for marine flora conservation and management in Macao.

Funded by FDCT reference 028/2010/A.

TEAM

Karen Tagulao
M.Sc. Principal Investigator (PI) from ISE, USJ, Macau

Chan Shek Kio
Ph.D. Co-Principal Investigator (PI) from ISE, USJ, Macau

Ang Po
Co-Principal Investigator (PI)

Wong S
Student

Kam K
Student

MANGROVES

Mangrove forests, home to a variety of ecologically important marine and estuarine flora and fauna, are an important component of Macao’s coastal ecosystem. The research project on the marine flora was conducted to help understand, protect and manage these existing mangroves.

A booklet entitled “Macao’s Mangroves” was recently released, which is intended to serve as a good introductory material to enhance environmental awareness within the local community. It is written in both English and Chinese, with a very graphical format and minimal technical descriptions,  as it is meant  for use by members of the general public, including students, teachers and all others who are interested and keen to learn more about Macao’s natural environment, specifically the mangroves forests.

SEAWEEDS

Seaweeds (macroalgae), which are benthic primary producers, are also important in coastal ecosystems. The project identified several species of seaweeds along the coast of Macao, some of which, aside from their ecological value, are also commercially valuable.