Miguel Pessanha PaisMARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre
Miguel Pessanha Pais
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Marine Environmental Biology graduate, MSc in Ecology and Environmental Management, PhD in Marine Biology, presently a Postdoctoral research fellow at MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre. My research focuses on applied marine ecology and environmental management, particularly with coastal fish assemblages. Research interests include fish ecology, environmental monitoring and assessment methodology and individual-based models.
June 2010 - July 2010
- Expedition to the Selvagens Islands
- Member and spokesman of a SCUBA diving team involved in visual census and collection of fauna and flora and further identification in the field laboratory. Partner Institutions/Companies: EMEPC / M@rbis
February 2009 - October 2010
Universiy of Lisbon
- Sensitivity and capabilities chart of Cascais coastal zone and its monitoring programme (AquaSIG Cascais)
- Participation in monitoring surveys for fish and macrobenthos (otter trawl, SCUBA diving visual census, Day grab), data analysis and writing the report. Partner Institutions/ Companies: Agência Cascais Atlântico, Instituto Hidrográfico, Exclusive Divers.
January 2009 - June 2009
- Wintering and migratory birds as indicators of the quality of estuarine environments (MIGRATAGIS)
- Participation in monitoring surveys for macrobenthos (Van Veen grab).
Underwater visual census (UVC) methods are used worldwide to monitor shallow marine and freshwater habitats and support management and conservation decisions. However, several sources of bias still undermine the ability of these methods to accurately estimate abundances of some species. The present study introduces FishCensus, a spatially-explicit...
In fish community assessment, measures of functional integrity have shown to be the most suited to detect anthropogenic impacts in a background of natural variation. However, minimising background noise involves the establishment of homogeneous areas, which is still mostly done based on taxonomic approaches or by relying on abiotic factors. The pre...
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) require effective indicators to assess their performance, in compliance with the goals of relevant national and international commitments. Achieving and prioritizing shortlists of multidisciplinary indicators demands a significant effort from specialists to depict the multiple conservation and socioeconomic interests,...
Marinas are a gateway for the introduction and establishment of non-indigenous species (NIS). In these habitats, competition and predation are crucial determinants for NIS establishment and invasiveness. However, fish trophic preferences and biotic effects inside marinas are poorly known. This study proposes a novel method that combines the deploym...
Marine megafauna serve valuable ecological and economical roles globally, yet, many species have experienced precipitous population declines. The significance of marine megafauna is particularly evident in Macaronesia, a complex of oceanic archipelagos in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Macaronesian islands provide important habitats for marine megaf...
We characterized the transport pathways of pharmaceuticals released from wastewater outfalls in one of Europe's largest estuarine systems (Tagus estuary, Portugal), to identify areas of ecological relevance prone to environmental degradation due to increased exposure to these emerging contaminants. Particle source, Lagrangian trajectories and arriv...
Antidepressants such as fluoxetine are frequently detected in estuaries and can have profound effects on non-target organisms by interfering with the neural system and affecting essential physiological processes and behaviours. In this context, short-term effects of fluoxetine exposure were analysed in the common goby Pomatoschistus microps, an est...
We investigated the presence of 66 human and veterinary pharmaceuticals from seven therapeutic groups insurface waters of the Tejo estuary. Collection sites covered the entire estuary and included areas near main riverinﬂows and wastewater treatment outfalls, traversing urban, agriculture, aquaculture, and nature reserve areas.Detection of pharmace...
Bias in underwater visual census has always been elusive. In fact, the choice of sampling method and the behavioural traits of fish are two of the most important factors affecting bias, but they are still treated separately, which leads to arbitrarily chosen sampling methods. FishCensus, a two-dimensional agent-based model with realistic fish movem...
In the last decades increasing records of morphological abnormalities in many amphibian populations have become subject of scientific interest. Once considered a mere curiosity, this worldwide phenomenon has been highlighted as a potential local conservation issue, for it appears to be yet another threat to amphibian diversity. Our study reports th...
The Selvagens Islands are located in the northeastern Atlantic between the Canary Islands and Madeira Island. As a result of their small dimensions, remote location and harsh sea conditions only a few studies have been conducted to describe their marine species diversity. We were able to identify 29 new coastal fish species, an increase of 33% in t...
As recently reinforced in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), knowledge on the location and intensity of human impacts on marine ecosystems is critical for effective marine management and conservation. Human interaction with ecosystems has to be accounted for in order to efficiently implement marine management strategies. In the pres...
As scientists we are often unprepared and unwilling to communicate our passion for what we do to those outside our professional circles. Scientific literature can also be difficult or unattractive to those without a professional interest in research. Storytelling can be a successful approach to enable readers to engage with the challenges faced by...
1. Conservation science increasingly focuses on how ecosystem functioning is affected by anthropogenic pressures, which implies an understanding of the structural and functional changes in biological assemblages and requires indicators to detect such changes within a suitable time frame. 2. A novel approach that combines the spatial analysis of fi...
While fisheries scientists are still struggling with uncertainties in stock assessments for single species (Nature 494, 282; 2013), a giant leap towards a whole-ecosystem approach is being embedded into international policies for fisheries management. However, underwater monitoring of a huge and complex range of environmental and biological process...
Policy-makers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of coastal fish communities for the integrity of marine habitats. However, initial assessments are often done prior to any major funding and available published data is sometimes seen as a low-cost approach to this problem. The present work constituted an exercise on marine fish assemb...
In this paper the Marine Fish Community Index (MFCI) for the assessment of ecological status of marine environment is proposed. The MFCI was divided into 4 typologies: Rocky subtidal; shallow, intermediate and deep soft-bottoms. Based on the typical community associated to each typology and the DPSIR analysis performed, a set of metrics were select...
The assessment of ecological status of marine fish communities required by the marine strategy framework directive (MSFD) emphasises the need for fish-based ecological indices in marine waters. In this study we adapt five estuarine multimetric indices to the marine environment and apply them in three types of substrates, analysing the metrics respo...
I am running a GA to optimise a few parameters for a stochastic model. It is my first time using GAs so this question is probably basic, but still intriguing. As the GA runs, the overall best fitness improves, but sometimes the best of the best occurs in the middle of the process. If I have a population size of 20 and run the GA for say 50 generations, should I look at just that time where the model had great fitness in generation 25 or should I also look at the most frequent combinations of parameters that "survived" until the final population of 20.
Most of the times the parameter combinations that survive are similar to the best solution, but when they are not, what should I value more, considering the outcome is stochastic? Let's say the best solution found along the way says a parameter should be 3, but then 17 out of 20 models in the final generation have a value of 5. Should I even consider the 5 instead of the 3?
This paper is not mine, but I think it is a very interesting subject for discussion. I fear it can go unnoticed because it was published as a book chapter, so I thought I'd put it here so it can be read and discussed (link attached).
Assis, C.A., 2014. Binomial nomenclature: The aphorism that Linnaeus never proposed. in: Professor Carlos Almaça (1934-2010) - Estado da Arte em Áreas Científicas do Seu Interesse. Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência, Lisboa, 2014, pp. 161-195.
A quote from the abstract:
"Nowhere in his works did Linnaeus state, or even suggest, that the scientific name of a species should be composed of two words only. On the contrary, Linnaeus explicitly adopted polynomial designations as the legitimate scientific names for species, just as his predecessors did."
A project funded by Cascais Municipality to assess coastal near-shore biodiversity (fish, invertebrates, algae) on intertidal platforms and subtidal reefs, to identify threats (including non-indigenous species) and opportunities for conservation, and establish a long-term monitoring program. Sampling sites include a small, locally managed Marine Protected Area.
As part of ongoing studies, we aim to introduce different types of surveys and research tools to further understand how anthropogenic pressures (e.g. noise, marine litter, marine traffic) and environmental variables affect the distribution and presence of large marine predator species (e.g. cetaceans, seals, sharks) in the pelagic waters surrounding the Madeira archipelago. This project is part of a PhD thesis granted to A.J. McIvor, supported by a fellowship from ”la Caixa” Foundation (ID 100010434).
The BiodivAMP project – Development of tools for monitoring and protection of biodiversity in Marine Protected Areas along the Portuguese coast (ref. FA_96_2017_045) is supported by Fundo Azul programme, in the scope of the public announcement for Monitoring and Protection of the marine environment, by the Directorate General for Maritime Policy of the Portuguese Ministry of the Sea. BiodivAMP is built along 3 main axis: - Elaboration of a Good Practice Guide for monitoring, management and governance of MPAs in the Portuguese coast; - Implementation of a pilot project using environmental DNA as a non-invasive tool for biodiversity monitoring; - Promote Portuguese MPAs and disseminate the project results and activities, aiming to show the public the importance of these protected areas, as well as making tools available for stakeholders to manage AMPS in an effective and sustainable way. For more information, please visit: https://areasmarinhasprotegidasportuguesas.org