December 12, 2016

Public lecture: Marine conservation under stormy skies and troubled waters

Marine conservation under stormy skies and troubled waters

Dr. Isabel Noronha

About the Talk

Ocean and coastal conservation, management and policy are impacted by expanding coastal populations, increased exploration of resources and climate change; solutions to address these problems are urgent. However, the ocean and the resources therein cannot be understood or managed solely within administrative boundaries. Ultimately, the success of place-based coastal and marine conservation depends on the management of whole marine ecosystems, covering the management of social and economic activities. This is the reason sustainable management of marine conservation areas must be implemented within the context of wider integrated ocean management, i.e. at the marine ecosystem scale (ecosystem approach/ ecosystem based management).

To address ocean management and conservation, research and knowledge on environmental, social and economic aspects, needs to be combined in order to address the cumulative impacts and interactions of multiple stressors on marine ecosystems. While addressing management problems and searching for solutions, the following question is often asked by managers: “Who is doing what?”, and “where?, and when?, and what for?“. It is often the case that access to actors, information, knowledge, and even ocean expertise is fragmented, as knowledge and people are scattered – in terms of territory, discipline, sector, and jurisdiction. Because of this fragmentation the research and management community face challenges in finding and synthesizing the necessary knowledge to address complex socioecological issues.

The talk highlights the advantages of the ecosystem approach to address ocean and coastal problems and identifies a fourth dimension in sustainable ocean and coastal development: governance. The talk concludes with the presentation of the Future Ocean AllianceTM (FOATM), which was being created with the goal of strengthening the research and science-policy dialogue on ocean governance by facilitating and promoting the collaboration among networks of producers and users of knowledge.


About the Speaker

Isabel Torres de Noronha has been a very active member of the ocean community for the past two decades. During the last decade Dr. Torres de Noronha has been working at various ocean international levels delivering policy analyses and advice based on the best available knowledge. Among other activities, she worked with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO in tailored capacity development and adaptation to coastal and ocean climate change; developed and coordinated the Seas of the CPLP with the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, analyzed the role of regions and proposed an architecture for the European Integrated Ocean Policy with the Conference of the Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe; coordinated a regional integrated sea strategy for the Region of the Algarve (Portugal); and with the Global Forum on Ocean, Coasts, and Islands produced numerous analyses to feed the UN Informal Consultative Process of the Law of the Sea and the development of the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation for Small Island Developing States. At European level her work on marine conservation focused on technical groups: at OSPAR regarding marine conservation; and at EU for coastal water quality. She holds a Ph.D. in Marine Policy, focused in governance, comparative policy analyses, sustainable development and integrated ocean policies. She has also extensive experience in environmental impacts statements and produced position papers within the process of public consultation of EIAs, environmental law and strategies, specializing in water resource management and marine conservation. Her background is Marine Biology and Fisheries, with a professional degree on environmental impact assessment  and 10 years of senior experience of predicting cumulative environmental impacts on watersheds and coastal aquaculture.


June 26, 2016

Goldschmidt Japan

Participation in the Goldschmidt 2016 conference, Japan

The Goldschmidt Conference provides a forum for its members to discuss their latest research. It brings together thousands of scientists from throughout the world to talk about subjects including the origin of the Earth and planets, the chemical processes that have shaped Earth’s evolution over time, the interconnections between life and the physical world, the search for new resources, and the environmental challenges facing today’s world.


Communication Title: Petrology and Geochemistry of Granitic Rocks from MacaoBy Ágata Sofia C. M. Alveirinho Dias


 Goldschmidt Conference Photos

May 13, 2016

Public lecture: Hong Kong’s big bang: The story behind the discovery of Hong Kong’s supervolcano

Hong Kong’s big bang: The story behind the discovery of Hong Kong’s supervolcano

Dr. Roderick J. Sewell
(Hong Kong Geological Survey, GEO, CEDD, HKSAR)



The talk will describe the clues that led to the discovery, what parts of Hong Kong are underlain by the volcano, what and where are its structural components, how the volume of the eruption was estimated, how the eruption might have unfolded, and what would have been the local and global effects.



Dr. Roderick J. Sewell (Hong Kong Geological Survey, GEO, CEDD, HKSAR),has been a member of the Hong Kong Geological Survey for over 26 years. Following completion of his PHD on an extinct volcano in New Zealand, he worked for the New Zealand Geological Survey studying volcanic geology and tectonics, with excursions to the Antarctic and USA.


May 13, 2016

Public lecture: Geotechnical and environmental applications of geophysics methods in Hong Kong,

Geotechnical and environmental applications of geophysics methods in Hong Kong

Prof Chan Lung Sang (陳龍生教授)


Geophysical surveys in an urban setting are subject to anthropogenic noise, electromagnetic interference and traffic and other regulatory constraints. In spite of these limitations, a large range of geophysical techniques have been applied in Hong Kong in geological, geotechnical and environmental investigations. Among these techniques are surface and downhole seismic, GPR, microgravity, resistivity, magnetic, EM, acoustic, infrared thermography, gamma density, and gamma-ray spectroscopy. The speaker will give an overview of Hong Kong’s experiences with the application of the geophysics methods and discuss the applicability and efficacy of the methods for resolving various geotechnical problems.



Professor Chan Lung-Sang 陳龍生教授 (HKU, HKU SPACE) is professor in Eath Sciences at the University of Hong Kong as well as College Principal of HKU SPACE Community College and HKU SPACE Po Leung Kuk Stanley Ho Community College.


March 10, 2016

Public lecture: Gardens to treat water – Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment and reuse

Gardens to treat water – Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment and reuse

By Cristina Calheiros (ESB, UCP)


About the Talk

It is crucial that wastewater treatment systems fulfill entirely their function so water reuse may be allowed as the ecosystems protection.

Constructed wetlands are an ecotechnology to complement wastewater existing treatment systems or act as main treatment unit enhancing water quality. They are biological systems that intent to mimic biogeochemical processes that occur in natural wetlands in order to promote water depuration.

This talk intents to present the constructed wetlands (CW) use and functioning. In particular, a case study will be highlighted where a CW has been implemented at a real scale for a wastewater treatment coming from a tourism facility in a rural area.


About the Speaker

Cristina Calheiros holds a PhD in Biotechnology, specialization in Environmental Science and Engineering from Universidade Católica Portuguesa-Escola Superior de Biotecnologia. Had worked at Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine-UK in collaboration with Slater (UK) Limited-Environmental Biotechnology, under the scope of phytoremediation of an organic and metal contaminated sediment and soil. She is a Post-Doctoral researcher in Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina with Aarhus University-Denmark collaboration, on the subject: wastewater treatment with biological systems using constructed wetlands applied to tourism facilities.

She develops and active role in Science-Technology-Society communication through dissemination in papers published in peer reviewed international scientific journals, courses, exhibitions and multimedia channels.


January 29, 2016

Metal pollution in South China, by Prof. Wen-Xiong Wang

Prof. Wen-Xiong Wang
(Chair Prof in the Division of Life Science, HKUST)

About the Talk

With increasing industrialization, metal pollution has become a new emerging environmental problem in many estuaries in China. Our understanding of the scale of metal pollution, as well as the impact on the estuarine ecosystem, is still limited, largely due to the lack of recognition of persistence of metal pollution. In this lecture, I will discuss metal pollution in Southern China Estuaries, and their impact on local organisms.


About the Speaker

Prof. Wen-Xiong Wang is the Chair Professor in the Division of Life Science, HKUST. Prof. Wang’s major research interest is to understand the biogeochemistry, bioavailability, and toxicity of metals to aquatic organisms. Prof. Wang has authored in excess of 360 peer-reviewed publications on subjects related to metal ecotoxicology (geochemistry, bioaccumulation, and toxicity) and biogeochemistry (biologically-mediated cycling of metals). He is the corresponding or first author for the majority of his publications. He is the Editor of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and Aquatic Biology, and the Associate Editors of Environmental Pollution and Estuaries and Coasts, and serves in the Editorial Boards of many other international journals in environmental sciences. His work is widely cited, with a current H-index of 46. He received the prestigious Overseas Distinguished Young Scientist Award from the Chinese National Science Foundation in 2002, the Biwako Prize for Ecology in Japan for his work on metals in aquatic systems, and the first Prize in Natural Science (as a sole PI) from the Ministry of Education in China for his work on the trophic transfer of metals.


January 18, 2016

Public lecture: Roundtable discussion on the COP21 agreement


  • David Gonçalves (ISE, USJ), “The COP21 Paris Agreement: what is it about?”
  • Liu Jingjing (Macau Ricci Institute), “Chinese Perspectives on the COP21 Agreement”.
  • Franz Gassner (USJ), “The COP21 Agreement and Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudatu Si’”
  • Diogo Teixeira (USJ), “Urban Challenges and Insights from COP 21 Agreement”

From November 30 to December 11 2015 the United Nations Conference on Climate Change was held in Paris, France. As a result, 195 countries have adopted what is now known as the COP21 Paris agreement on global climate. This roundtable will discuss, from different perspectives, the terms of the agreement, the challenges for its implementation and its expected impact for environmental protection.