I am a marine trophic ecologist who is interested in food web dynamics of intertidal and benthic deep-sea communities. My main focus is to try to understand how natural processes, as for instance upwelling, and anthropogenic processes as pollutions, affects food web dynamics in marine environments and which are the consequences of these variations on ecosystems functioning and associated services.
I am currently a ISblue Postdoctoral Research Fellow and my project aims to understand the role of upwelling in influencing the energy flow from nutrients to higher trophic levels, focusing on the nitrogen cycle and how long chain omega-3 fatty acids are transferred from phytoplankton to zooplankton in the Canary and Benguela upwelling systems. These systems are two of the Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems, extremely productive systems that support some of the most important pelagic fisheries and that thus provide food for humans on both local and international scales. These upwelling systems are located in the northern and southern parts respectively of the African continent, the poorest region on earth, where there is a critical need to understand the role of omega-3 in food production. By using trophic biomarkers and cutting-edge techniques my project will characterize the metabolic pathway of highly important omega-3 fatty acids in the food web, and will investigate how different groups are influenced by upwelling over time.