Projects

OLEAdaptA climate-smart pest management strategy for resilient and sustainable olive growing.  OLEAdapt is a recently approved FCT project in which I am the Principal Investigator (PTDC/BIA-CBI/1365/2020). The overarching goal of the proposed research agenda, OLEAdapt, is to provide a climate-smart pest management strategy for olive (Olea europaea var. europaea) growing, one of the most widespread and economically relevant crop in mainland Portugal. This strategy will focus on exploiting the phenotypic diversity related to climate –or climate diversity– currently present within O. europaea, and how this diversity may be best exploited for adapting to climate change. To achieve this challenging goal, OLEAdapt will perform a fine-scale ecological and economic assessment of climate change impacts on the abundance and incidence of a major olive pest (Bactrocera oleae), combining climate projections with biocontrol servicesbased management strategies provided bats to suggest varieties that maximize owner’s aims.
OLEAdapt will be truly interdisciplinary and will actively involve stakeholders throughout the research process. Overall, OLEAdapt will help the olive industry better adapt to continued climate change and will provide key incentives that effectively will motivate farmers to integrate biodiversity into daily farm management. These incentives will be economic (higher crop yield and quality) and societal (better reputation by using environmentally and wildlife-friendly farming practices), helping to bridge the large communication gap between the scientists investigating biodiversity-based farming practices and the farmers that have to implement them.

SHOWCASEShowcasing synergies between agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem services to help farmers capitalizing on native biodiversity. SHOWCASE, lead by Dr. David Kleijn (University of Wageningen) is a recently approved H2020 project in which I act as the main Portuguese coordinator. In SHOWCASE, leading scientists in the field of agro-ecology and socio-economy from twelve European countries join forces with farmer and citizen science networks, nature conservation NGO’s and science communication specialists to achieve a breakthrough in the integration of biodiversity into farming. The overall objective of SHOWCASE is to make biodiversity an integral part of European farming by identifying effective incentives to invest in biodiversity in diverse socio-ecological contexts, providing the evidence that these incentives result in biodiversity increases and biodiversity-based, socio-economic benefits, and communicating both the principles and best practices to as wide a range of stakeholders as possible.

In Portugal, both olive groves and vineyards will take part of a multi-actor network of Experimental Biodiversity Areas (EBAs) for the development, testing and showcasing, together with farmers, of approaches to effectively integrate biodiversity into farm management across different European landscapes. Namely, biocontrol services provided by birds and bats will be used as ecological and economic incentives for the conservation of biodiversity.

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SUSTAINOLIVE – Novel approaches to promote the Sustainability of Olive cultivation in the Mediterranean. SUSTAINOLIVE is a recently approved H2020 project in which I take part as a research associate. The overall objective of SUSTAINOLIVE is to enhance the sustainability of the olive oil farming sector throughout the implementation and promotion of a set of innovative sustainable management solutions that are based on agro-ecological concepts, and on the exchange of knowledge and co-creation involving multiple actors and end-users.

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TORUÑOSPlan de gestión y conservación del control de plagas forestales por murciélagos en el Parque Metropolitano Marisma de los Toruños y Pinar de la Algaida (PMMTPA; Cádiz, Spain)”. This project, hosted by AGADEN and in which I am the scientific corrdinator, seeks to reinforce the local population of the Soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) and, in turn, natural pest control services against the pine processionary (Thametopoea pitycampa) in the PMMTPA.

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