Claudia Meneghesso (CIBIO-InBIO/UP) February 23, 2018 – 15h30 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão




The North-East Atlantic coastline is characterized by a latitudinal thermal gradient from cold waters in the north to warm waters in the south. From the East English Channel to Southern Portugal, however, coastal temperatures cannot be described by a simple monotonic increase. Topographic, hydrographic and climatic features generate hot and cold water pockets at regional scales, increasing the complexity of both the environment and the distribution patterns of intertidal species. Along the Iberian Peninsula, for instance, there is a phenomenon of seasonal uplift of cold and nutrient-rich water (‘upwelling’), fundamental for sustaining local fisheries and that plays a key role in shaping the nearshore biodiversity. These highly-productive cold waters, in fact, provide unique grounds for cold-adapted species and seem to act as thermal barriers to the expansion of their warm-adapted counterparts. The unique biodiversity that characterizes the coastal communities of the North-East Atlantic is however severely threatened by current global warming. Changes in species abundances and distribution are rapidly being documented. How the combined effect of a warming climate and oceans is affecting upwelling and its associated communities from both physical and biological perspectives is yet unclear and is the driving question of this research project.


Claudia Meneghesso holds a Master’s Degree in Biodiversity and Conservation of Marine Organisms, obtained at the University of Padua (Italy). She is currently enrolled in the BIODIV PhD Program at CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto under the supervision of Dr Fernando Lima (CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto) and the co-supervision of Prof Michael Burrows (SAMS, Scotland). Her current interests are focused on characterising and understanding the biological implications of upwelling processes through the analysis of remotely sensed data and direct measurements of coastal water temperatures, as well as through the study of historical datasets on the geographical distribution of species biogeography. Her studies have a multidisciplinary character, combining ecology, climatology and modelling.

[Host: Fernando Lima, Ecology and Evolution of Aquatic Organisms]

Image credits: Claudia Meneghesso