My experience as early career researcher in DEVOTES


Sónia after her defense

Hello Devotees and colleagues! Remember me? I am Sónia Cristina, a DEVOTES Early Career Researcher (ECR) and I was the PhD Student of the Month of July 2014.

I want to share my experience in DEVOTES with you. My PhD in the DEVOTES project gave me an excellent opportunity to work with different researchers from several backgrounds and from different nationalities and the DEVOTES website allowed me disseminated my research. So, thank you Devotees!

During the last 4 years, the Devotes project gave me the opportunity to meet several scientists to whom I am very grateful for letting me work with them and share their knowledge and experiences. They are Dr. Vyacheslav Suslin, Dr Tanya Churilova, Dr John Icely, Gerald Moore, Dr. Davide D’Alimonte, Dr. Clara Cordeiro and of course my three supervisors Dr Ángel del Valls, Dr. Alice Newton, Dr. Samantha Lavender.


Moreover, the contact with other ECRs in the DEVOTES project taught me to think globally about the marine and coastal issues and act locally, because we’re all interconnected.


Sonia Cristina and her jury PhD panel after her defense (from the left: the secretary Prof. Roberta Guerra (Univ. of Bologna), the vocal of the jury Prof. Alfredo Izquierdo (Univ. of Cadiz), Sonia Cristina and the president of the jury Prof. Javier Viguri Fuente (Univ. of Cantabria).

As a DEVOTES ECR I was able to  demonstrate my abilities in a number of ways. I disseminated my results through six oral presentations and eight posters; I attended meetings of the MERIS validation team and Sentinel-3 Validation team and DEVOTES; I attended an ECSA conference; I participated in  symposia of the ESA Living Planet; I participated in workshops as the Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-2 Science.

It was 4 years of great learning not only in academic terms, but also in personal terms, because during this time I became a mother of a lovely boy that provided an interesting interlude during my research.

I studied the features of the ocean colour spectral signatures near Sagres in the southwest coast of Portugal using remote sensing data acquired by ocean colour sensor Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS). My work assesses the uncertainties associated with remote sensing products that is one of the innovative monitoring techniques mentioned in the WP5 (Innovative tools) of the DEVOTES project and I also have demonstrated how a MERIS product can be used as an indicator to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Descriptor 5: Eutrophication.


The findings of my research were published in three ISI papers (Cristina et al., 2014 doi:10.1080/01431161.2014.894657 in the International Journal of Remote Sensing; Cristina et al., 2015 doi:10.1016/j.csr.2015.03.011 in the Continental Shelf Research and Cristina et al., 2016 doi: 10.1109/LGRS.2016.2529182 in the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE and Cristina et al., 2016b doi:10.3390/rs8060449 in Remote Sensing) in open access.

They are also presented in 2 European Space Agency reports and 1 ARGANS deliverable.