We develop research projects on a broad range of environment-related topics, covering the ecology and dynamics of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Macau, the physiological impacts of different categories of pollutants in aquatic animals, light and air pollution levels in Macao, among others.
Our projects also aim to generate scientific data that may be useful for decision-makers and to bring awareness to the local community on the importance of protecting local ecosystems and biodiversity.
This research line focuses on social behaviour and animal communication. How animals adjust their behaviour to environmental and social conditions, how communication systems develop and the underlying physiological mechanisms mediating these processes has been the subject of some of our projects.
Our research integrates behavioural, electrophysiological, neuroendocrine and genomic approaches to answer our questions.
EARTH AND MARINE SCIENCES
Our team has been researching geological processes both on land and in the deep-sea. On land, the team has characterized the petrology and geochemistry of Macao granites using elemental and isotopic analyses in to understand the geological history of the territory.
In the deep-sea, our research has focused on mafic and ultramafic hydrothermal systems and associated seafloor deposits, both on active and discrete fields.
COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY & BIOINFORMATICS
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics is the application and development of computational methods to solve important problems in biology and biotechnology. At USJ, we develop novel machine learning models to learn the hidden patterns from biological data (DNA and proteins) and correlate them with the observed physiochemical properties and biological activities of these molecules. These models help us predict and design molecules with improved functions for drug development. In addition, our research involves modelling and simulating three-dimensional structures of proteins, ligands, membranes, and their assembly to gain insights into their interactions and functions.