Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation
 General information on the programme

Ester Serrão

Personal details

Title:Assistant Professor
Institute:University of Algarve

Summary of CV:

Assistant Professor at University of Algarve (since 1997), coordinator of a research team in CCMAR ( )
Education: BSc in Biology (1989, Univ. Lisbon, PT), MSc in Statistics (1992, Univ. Lisbon, PT), PhD in Biology (1996, Univ. Maine, USA)
International publications: 68 SCI indexed research publications, 2 book chapters.
Research projects: Coordination of 1 EU project, national coordinator of 4 EU projects, coordinator of 6 of the Portuguese Science Foundation plus 10 others coordinated by my postdocs, 2 international projects as subcontracted, 6 others as partner.
Editorial board member of 2 scientific journals, referee for 33 international scientific journals, referee for EU and NSF(USA) project applications.
Supervision of students: Completed: 12 undergraduate students, 7 MSc students, 3 PhD students. Ongoing: 2 MSc students, 9 PhD students

Experience Higher education:

Jun 2006-2008 – coordinator of the Bsc degree (1st cycle, Bologna) in Marine Biology
Jun 2006-Oct 2009: coordinator of the MSc degree (2nd cycle, Bologna) in Marine Biology,
Jun 2008-current: co-coordinator of the Erasmus-Mundus MSc degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (led by Univ. Ghent)
Graduate courses taught: Biodiversity, Molecular Ecology, Ecological and Biological Diversity, Biodiversity approaches in marine plants and algae, Marine Population Biology, Scientific Writing.

Participation in Projects:

National projects (as coordinator):
  • (Note: FCT = Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology)
  • POCI/MAR/57499/2004. Ecology and evolution of mating systems in fucoid algae (MATING) Jan 2006-Dec 2008 (89 100 €)
  • POCTI/39431/BSE/2001. Signals for gamete release by intertidal species with external fertilization (GAMETE) Mar 2002-Feb 2005 (45 000 €).
  • POCTI/BSE/35045/99. Local adaptation and population genetic structure in intertidal algae (GENFUCUS) Dec 2001-Nov 2004 (150 000 €)
  • PNAT/1999/BIA/15003/C. Resilience and genetic diversity of seagrasses affected by anthropogenic perturbations in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa (SEAGRASSRIA) Apr 2001-Mar 2004 (75 000 €)
  • PDCTM/P/MAR/5292/1999.The Portuguese coast as a biogeographic boundary: consequences for reproductive success, local adaptation and genetic structure of populations living at their distributional limits (BIOPORT), Feb 2001-Jan 2004 (225 000 €)
  • European Union projects (as national coordinators ):
  • FP7-ENV-2008-1-226248. Arctic Tipping Points (ATP) – 2009-2012, global PI Paul Wassmann, Univ. Tromsø, Norway Mar 2009-Feb 2012 (190 672 € for CCMAR)
  • NEST-2005-Path-COM/043251, Ecological diversity and evolutionary networks (EDEN) - Jan 2007-Dec 2009, global PI: E. Hernandez, CSIC, Spain (295 908 € for CCMAR)
  • EVK3-CT-2000-00044. Monitoring and Management of European Seagrass Beds (M&MS). Feb 2001-Aug 2005. global PI: J. Borum, FBL, Denmark (330 000 € for Univ. Algarve)
  • INCO- ERB IC18-CT98-0292. Prediction of the resilience and recovery of disturbed coastal communities in the tropics (PREDICT). Oct 1998-Apr 2002, global PI: C. Duarte, CSIC, Spain (80 750 € for IMAR)
  • European Union projects (scientific co-cordinators):
  • EU (LIFE 06 NAT/P/000192) “Restoration and management of biodiversity in the marine Park Site Arrabida-Espichel (PTCON0010)” – (BIOMARES) Jan 2007-Dec 2010 (1 145 548 € for CCMAR; the project is co-financed in 1 000 000 € by the cement company SECIL)
  • National projects coordinated by members of my team:
  • PTDC/MAR/72630/2006, Environmental Genomics of Southern Ocean Phytoplankton Communities, 2008-2011, PI Gareth Pearson (190.672 €)
  • PTDC/MAR/65461/2006, Molecular ecology of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, 2008-2011, PI Filipe Alberto (191.441 €)
  • PTDC/MAR/70921/2006, Population genetic structure, molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography in species of the genus Caulerpa, present in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, 2008-2011, PI Elena Varela (182.630 €)
  • PTDC/MAR/64749/2006, The success of invasive species: exploring the joint role of biotic interactions and of founder effect in Caulerpa species, PI Sophie Arnaud (187.140 €)
  • POCI/MAR/61105/2004. Adaptive Population Divergence, and Comparative Population Structure in the Brown Algal Genus Fucus (ADAPT). Feb 2006 – Jan 2009, PI Gareth Pearson (86 400 €)
  • POCI/MAR/60179/2004. Neutral and Non-Neutral Genes: Population Diversity and Stability (DIVSTAB). Feb 2006-Jan 2009. PI Sophie Arnaud (82 800 €)
  • POCI/MAR/57342/2004.Genetic Networks and Evolution: from individuals to populations. Jul 2005-Jun 2007 (NETWORK). PI Sophie Arnaud (45 000 €)
  • POCI/MAR/60044/2004. Genetic diversity and differentiation in the seagrass species Zostera noltii and Cymodocea nodosa across the Atlantic-Mediterranean divide (DIVIDE). Nov 2005-Oct 2008. PI Onno Diekmann (41 400 €)
  • POCTI/BSE/48317/2002. The molecular basis for differential stress-tolerance in sympatric, ecologically similar algal species (STRESSREG), Apr04-Mar 07, PI Gareth Pearson (105 491 €)
  • POCTI / 38863 / BSE / 2001 - Chloroplast gene expression in intertidal macroalgae (CHLORGEN). Sept 2002-Aug 2005. PI: Gareth Pearson (61 632 €)
As subcontractor:
  • Dynamics of kelp forest biodiversity in northern and southern hemispheres: ecological, social and economic aspects (ECOKELP), Agence Nationale de la Recherche, France, Institut Français de la Biodiversité, Jan 2007-Dec 2009, PI: Myriam Valero (30 000 € for CCMAR)
  • Conservación y Gestión de Sebadales, Fundación Universitaria Las Palmas, ICCM – Instituto Canario de Ciencias Marinas, funded by “Gobierno de Canarias”, Spain. 2006-2009, PI: Nieves González Henriquez (8500 € for CCMAR)
As partner (coordinated by other teams):
  • MarinERA 189570. Marine phylogeographic structuring during climate change: the signature of leading and rear edge of range shifting populations (SHIFTING). 2008-2011, PI Vítor Almada, ISPA (78 000 € for CCMAR)
  • PTDC/BIA-BDE/68730/2006. Spatial structure of amphibian (meta)populations in Mediterranean farmland: implications for conservation management. Jan2008-Dec2010. PI P.Beja,CIBIO (53 648 € for CCMAR)
  • POCI/MAR/56149/2004. Population dynamics, geographical distribution and genetic diversity of macroalgal species at their southern distribution limits (LIMITS). Sept 2006-Aug 2009. PI Isabel Sousa Pinto (25020 € for CCMAR)
  • POCI/MAR/55377/2004. The invasive theory of the pest seaweed Sargassum muticum in Southern Portugal (SARGASSUM). Jul 2006-Jun2009. PI Aschwin Engelen. (85 500 €)
  • EU (EVK3-CT2001-00062). “Algal introductions to European shores” (ALIENS). Jan 2002-Dec 2005, coordinator: J. Rico, Un. Oviedo, Spain, (177 205 € for Univ. Algarve)
  • PRAXIS/P/BIO/12203/1998. Molecular responses to water stress in highly salt- and desiccation-tolerant algae (ALGSTRESS). May2000-
As collaborator:
  • Conservation of marine meadows: causes of the regression and effects on ecosystem function.:, CSIC, funded by Fundación BBVA, Spain. 2005-2008, PI: Carlos Duarte (travel expenses)
  • Expansion de Caulerpa prolifera, C. taxifolia, C. racemosa en el Mediterráneo español: dinámica clonal, producción y destino de la producción. REN2002-00701, CSIC, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education. 2003-2005, PI Nuria Marbá (consumables and travel expenses)
  • EU - Q5RS-2001-02456 Effects of nutrient release from Mediterranean fish farms on benthic vegetation in coastal ecosystems (MedVeg), 2001-2004. PI: Carlos Duarte (4580 € plus travel expenses)
  • ANR 06-BDIV-005-02-DEEPOASES, PI D.Desbruyères, IFREMER, funds our deep sea shrimp research.
  • A return to the sea: the seagrass Zostera marina as a new semi-model for ecological and functional genomics (sequencing the full genome of Zostera marina), PI J.Olsen, core partner E.Serrao. Joint Genome Institute (JGI) - Community Sequencing Program (CSP2009).
  • FIND*KELP – Finding and mapping kelp with community participation (3200 €) Project AWARE Foundation Europe RECENT PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION PROJECTS
  • Jun 2008-current: co-coordinator of the Erasmus-Mundus MSc degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (led by Univ. Ghent)


  • Alberto F, Raimondi PT, Reed DC, Coelho NC, Leblois R, Whitmer A, Serrão EA (2010) Habitat continuity and geographic distance predict population genetic differentiation in giant kelp. Ecology, 91:49-56
  • Serra IA, Innocenti AM, Di Maida G, Calvo S, Migliaccio M, Zambianchi E, Pizzigalli C, Arnaud-Haond S, Duarte CM, Serrão EA, Procaccini G (2010) Genetic structure in the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Disentangling past vicariance events from contemporary patterns of gene flow. Molecular Ecology, 19: 557-568.
  • Rozenfeld AF, Arnaud-Haond S, Hernández-García E, Eguíluz VM, Serrao EA, Duarte CM. (2008) Network analysis identified weak and strong links in a metapopulation system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 105: 18824-18829
  • Schmidt PS, Serrao EA, Pearson GA, Riginos C, Rawson PD, Hibish TJ, Brawley SH, Trussell GC, Carrington E, Wethey DS, Grahame JW, Bonhomme F, Rand DM (2008) Ecological genetics in the North Atlantic intertidal: environmental gradients, replicated clines, and adaptation at specific loci. Ecology, 89(11) S91-S107
  • Alberto F, Massa S, Manent P, Diaz-Almela E, Arnaud-Haond S, Duarte CM, Serrão EA (2008) Genetic differentiation and secondary contact zone in the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa across the Mediterranean-Atlantic transition region. Journal of Biogeography 35: 1279-1294

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