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Researcher Catarina Frazão Santos honoured by the European Research Council (ERC) for innovative and interdisciplinary research
News | 08 November 2023 Researcher Catarina Frazão Santos honoured by the European Research Council (ERC) for innovative and interdisciplinary research

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a start-up grant of 1,499,819.00 euros to Catarina Frazão Santos for her project "Planning the Sustainable Use of the Ocean in Antarctica in a Context of Global Environmental Change (PLAnT)".









The project's proponent institution is FCiências.ID - Associação para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento de Ciências. It will last 60 months and begin in the first quarter of 2024. For the first time, a large-scale marine spatial planning process will be designed for an internationally managed area (outside national jurisdictions). "The main objective of the PLAnT project is to promote the development and implementation of sustainable, equitable marine spatial planning processes that contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, both in Antarctica and globally," says Catarina Frazão Santos.

Over the last seven years, the scientist has focussed her research on an innovative and interdisciplinary line of work, in international collaboration, on marine spatial planning, climate change and ocean sustainability. With the PLAnT project, Catarina Frazão Santos and her team aim to develop an integrated vision of the current state, future conditions and challenges for the use, conservation and governance of marine socio-ecological systems in Antarctica. "Ocean-based climate adaptation and mitigation solutions will be explored, as well as mechanisms to promote dynamic and adaptive planning in the region," she adds. According to the scientist, this project will also make it possible to analyse the social, economic and political idiosyncrasies that have been limiting marine spatial planning in Antarctica. The focus of this project is also to try to transfer the solutions and lessons learnt that are identified to other regions. "We need to raise awareness of the need for a 'paradigm shift' in terms of sustainable ocean management in a changing context," she concludes.

Catarina Frazão Santos completed her PhD in Marine Sciences at ULisboa in 2016. Her basic training in Marine Biology (bachelor's degree) and Ecology and Environmental Management (master's degree) was also obtained at Ciências ULisboa. Catarina has scientific publications in top journals, such as "Nature Sustainability" and "Nature Geoscience"; she has provided support to the European Commission, the United Nations and the World Bank as an expert in marine spatial planning and climate change; and she is also the founding editor-in-chief of the new journal of the "Nature" group, dedicated to ocean sustainability - "npj Ocean Sustainability". The ULisboa Sciences researcher also works as a guest researcher at the University of Oxford and the NOVA School of Business and Economics in the Environmental Economics Knowledge Centre.

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