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Research at St Andrews

Instituto de Ciências do Mar (Labomar), Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

Thomas Robert Meagher - Visiting researcher

Ceara notes – 24-27 May 2019
Tom Meagher and Marcelo Moro
Meeting 1
Antônio Geraldo Ferreira (http://buscatextual.cnpq.br/buscatextual/visualizacv.do?id=K4767964J5). Remote sensing using Sentinal satellite data, emphasis on mangroves, potential collaboration
Meeting 2
Rozane Valente Marins (http://buscatextual.cnpq.br/buscatextual/visualizacv.do?id=K4780296A5) Geochemistry, works on monitoring metals in oceanic water, including mercury. She and another female graduate student (both self-identified as mulheres de ciência) gave me a lab tour.
Meeting 3
Carlos Eduardo Peres Teixeira (http://buscatextual.cnpq.br/buscatextual/visualizacv.do?id=K4778480A4). Modelling of currents.
Meeting 4 – Rodrigo Maggioni (http://lattes.cnpq.br/7591395267604686) - evolutionary genetics and phylogenetics, including genetic studies of lobster populations north and south of the Amazon outflow showing that they somehow make it across that barrier and have some degree of genetic exchange
Meeting 5 – Luiz Drude de Lacerda, FUNCAP (https://www.funcap.ce.gov.br/) Science Director. We had an extensive discussion about FUNCAP and its potential to fund mobility for students and staff working on our project or related spinoffs. He was very enthusiastic and very specific about opportunities for scientific exchange.
Meeting 6 – Director Maria Ozilea Bezerra Menezes. Very brief introduction during which she suggested that we should try to get a meeting with the Rector. She went on to arrange a meeting for later in the day.
Lunch
Meeting 7 – three students who work with Marcelo, all with ambitions for postgraduate study. Only one (female) spoke English.
Francisco Vladimir – invasive species, mapping distribution of nature reserves in Ceará, undergrad
Laymara Sampaio – urban landscapes, undergrad
Mário Sérgio Duarte Branco – biologist of Labomar
Meeting 8 – went to the Department of the Environment with two students accompanying (Francisco Vladimir and Laymara Sampaio) for a meeting at 16:00 with the Secretary of the Environment, Artur Bruno. Photo op with professional photographer. The meeting was also attended by local representatives of ICMBio (Luis Carlos ??) (http://www.icmbio.gov.br/portal/) and IBAMA (Victor Quaresma) (https://www.ibama.gov.br/), Renan Guerra (SEMA). I explained our project (in Portuguese) and this was followed by a discussion around various issues in the Caatinga, especially desertification and how our results might inform management practice to address this problem. We also discussed scales of observation and land-use patterns. It was noted that at least one Federal dataset that had been important for this was no longer accessible.
Meeting 9 – went to a meeting with the Rector, Prof Henry de Holanda Campos, attended as well by Maria Ozilea Bezerra Menezes. Photo op with professional photographer. We outlined our project to the Rector, and he discussed a number of programmes at Ceará that might effectively engage with it, including a new initiative involving microsatellites. He also said that he was very interested in work that had social relevance, and I told him that was an important part of our initiative, explaining the aspiration to do environmental work that was solution oriented rather than just identifying problems. There was strong resonance! Indeed, this meeting was immediately reported through the University as a news item – http://www.ufc.br/noticias/12994-ufc-e-universidade-escocesa-discutem-pesquisas-conjuntas-na-area-ambiental
Ceará notes – 25 May 2019
We visited 3 of 5 exclosure plots that are a focus of our investigation. These are located on various farms in the vicinity of Irauçuba, a part of the Caatinga that is undergoing desertification. These sites are all surrounded by open meadow with sparse tree cover; launching and landing of UAVs will be no problem whatsoever. We drove on from there to beyond Sobral (site of work on the general theory of relativity) to spend the night.
Ceará notes – 26 May 2019
We stopped in Sobral to see an open air exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of empirical work that took place there on the general theory of relativity.
Our main purpose of the day was to visit a private reserve, RPPN Mãe-da-Lua, http://www.mae-da-lua.org/port/mdl_presentation.html, owned and maintained by Hermann Redies. This is a patch of 800ha that is protected (stakeholders.
There is an association called Associação Asa Branca, that is a network of owners of RPPNs
https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/empreendedorsocial/finalistas/2009-rodrigo-castro-associacao-caatinga-asa-branca-e-alianca-da-caatinga.shtml
Hermann and other such owners of private reserves are important stakeholders for our project, and Hermann is keen to see some work done on his reserve. We are considering using his reserve as a study site example of relatively undisturbed Caatinga). If we do a survey of this site, launching and landing will be from a nearby dirt road as the reserve itself has a fairly complete forest cover.
Ceará notes – 27 May 2019
Meeting at Fundacão Cearense de Meteorologia e Recursos Hídricos (FUNCEME) http://www.funceme.br/
Francisco das Chagas Vasconcelos Júnior (juniorphy@gmail.com) was our host for the visit. Júnior is a physicist on secondment from UFC
Our first discussion was with Manuel Rodrigues de Freitas Filho (manuelrff@gmail.com), remote sensing specialist, Departamento de Recursos Hídricos e Meio Ambiente. Manuel studies geographic distribution of desertification and anthropogenic effects in the Caatinga. He provided a detailed summary of the condition of the Caatinga as inferred from satellite data and also gave us a series of hard copy books and atlases of different features of the Caatinga. He also sent through some powerpoint slides of various vegetation and human use maps after our meeting.
Our second discussion as with Raul Fritz Bechtel Teixeira (fritz@funceme.br), head of Weather Forecast, Meteorological modelling lab, Department of Meteorology. This department monitors and projects climatic variation, with predictive modelling for three months into the future.
Overall, there was strong resonance between our project and their efforts to model vegetation responses to climatic variation over time, and in particular with regard to anticipating and ameliorating desertification.
24 May 201927 May 2019

External organisation

NameInstituto de Ciências do Mar (Labomar), Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.

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