Bringing the Ocean to Society
25 Sep 2018
Former EurOcean Staff Member wins the GBIF’s 2018 Young Researchers’ Award
Raquel Gaião Silva's research focused on how climate change is affecting the distribution of macroalgae on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

Raquel, a Master's student in marine biodiversity and conservation who was based at the University of Algarve (Faro, Portugal), worked in EurOcean in the summer of 2017. She contributed primarily to our communications and outreach activities, but she also supported infrastructures database development and administration tasks. Afterwards she spent a semester of her degree at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Ireland) which led to the work awarded by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. The good news continues… Raquel has just joined the Bluebio Alliance, the Portuguese network for marine bioresources. Congrats Raquel!

Raquel's research aimed to use species occurrence records from the GBIF network and other sources to examine whether and how rising ocean temperatures may be altering the distribution of macroalgae along the Atlantic coasts of Spain and Portugal.

Raquel employed online data sources like the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) and the Macroalgae collection of the University of Coimbra (MACOI) combined with Portuguese herbarium collections in Porto, Aveiro, Lisbon and Faro, and Marine Forests, an international open-access citizen science project. The results of her research could benefit researchers, policymakers and coastal residents, both within and beyond the study area.

“There are large amounts of data from the past state of biodiversity for many regions across the world that are not used because they are not easily accessible to the researchers and the general public,” said Prof. Ester Serrão, Raquel's supervisor at the University of Algarve. “It is therefore extremely useful and important to have a resource like GBIF integrating data on global scales, allowing researchers like Raquel to integrate all such sources efficiently and to analyse what has been changing in the biodiversity of ecosystems along large regions.”

Find out more about Raquel and her award-winning research.