EArth and Marine Sciences
Our studies combine tools in mineralogy and petrology, geochemistry (including radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry) and cartography to research the following two topics:
DEEP-SEA HYDROTHERMAL SYSTEMS AND MINERAL DEPOSITS
The discovery of hydrothermal fields on the seafloor was one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the last century not only for the earth sciences but also for the life sciences. These systems are oasis of life in the otherwise inconspicuous seafloor where vents emanate hot fluids rich in metals that are used as an energy source by unique and spectacular vent-associated organisms. For this reason, the study of hydrothermal systems may provide clues on diverse topics such as how live can thrive in extreme and toxic conditions or how potential ore resource are formed. Our research on seafloor hydrothermal systems aims to understand the genesis, evolution and distribution of hydrothermal deposits in the deep-sea. It is mainly focused in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) and in the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). The main goals of this research are: to understand the contribution of mafic and ultramafic rocks on the deposition of hydrothermal ore deposits; to contribute with the development of tools for the detection of SMS deposits either active and discrete, diffuse and inactive; to contribute for the geochemical and mineralogical characterization of deep-seafloor deposits both on active and discrete hydrothermal; to understand the role of sub-seafloor ore-forming hydrothermal systems on the preservation of sulphide minerals.
GEOLOGY OF MACAO
Macao is located on the Southeast (SE) China coast, south of Guangdong Province, about 50 km west of Hong Kong. In this area, there is a predominance of granitic intrusions that belong to the ~ 3500 km long and ~ 800 km wide NE-trending magmatic belt cropping out on the SE part of the Cathaysia Block.
Our research includes the study of the origin and evolution of the magmas of Macao, as well as the dating of its magmatic events. It has further allowed developing a detailed digital cartographic map of the igneous rocks of Macao, and to contribute to a deeper understanding of the South China tectono-magmatic evolution.
We develop research on a wide range of biology related topics with a focus on animal behavior and communication systems. We use different fish species as our study models to address both proximate and ultimate questions.
Our projects have covered topics such as the Development of Auditory Processing and Vocal Motor Control in Toadfish, the Neurobiological Mechanisms of Behavioral Plasticity in Blennies, the Importance of Early Acoustic Experience on Development and Hearing in Zebrafish or the Hormonal, pheromonal and genomic mechanisms of regulation of aggression in Betta splendens.
We develop research on a wide broad of environment related topics, with a focus on:
1. Ecology and dynamics of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, which are important in the establishment of conservation strategies for the existing ecosystems, with a focus on local mangroves. Emphasis is given to current ecological and conservation issues in Macao, encouraging students and community participation as well as cooperation with non-profit organizations and local government institutions. For more information check out the pages of our project on the role of mangroves on the bioaccumulation and citogenotoxic effects of metals and pesticides on the food web of a sub-tropical coastal system.
2. The impact of aquatic pollutants on the physiology and behavior of organisms of aquatic animals which are important in the establishment of conservation strategies for the existing ecosystems. Emphasis is given to current ecological and conservation issues in Macao, encouraging students and community participation as well as cooperation with non-profit organizations and local government institutions. Check out our projects DISRUPT – Environmental Endocrine Disruptors: Current Situation in Macao, Neurobehavioral Effects and Bioremediation Strategies and ZEBRASONIC- Listening to the Environment: Importance of Early Acoustic Experience on Development and Hearing in Zebrafish for some examples.