Priscila Goela

What is the aim of your PhD Research? My main goal is to understand the relation between the biodiversity of phytoplankton communities of the water column, (SW coast of Iberian Peninsula), and the optical properties (light absorption and scattering processes).
What is the most appealing part of your PhD? The most motivating factor is that my findings could contribute to future marine management and the improvement of ocean color remote sensing algorithms. Using robust analytical techniques and applications such as HPLC and CHEMTAX are also very appealing to me.
How will your thesis contribute to DEVOTES project? My PhD will contribute to the evaluation of the effectiveness of the innovative monitoring techniques (e.g. ocean color remote sensing, CHEMTAX), as well as providing data for indicator testing and development.
What do you consider your most important accomplishment here so far?  This year (2013) we published a paper defining the local range of absorption coefficients for phytoplankton, which is very useful in terms of algorithm development. More recently, using CHEMTAX, I’ve been able to study the small sized phytoplankton classes individually, which has not been done before in the area.
What has been your most exciting experience in the project so far?  The sampling is the most exciting. The Atlantic off Sagres is very energetic (rough!). The waters teem with wildlife: birds, turtles, sharks, dolphins and the occasional whale! There is great teamwork in the boat and I feel my effort can make a small contribution to the overall aim of maintaining this spectacular environment in good status.
What other important information about yourself would you like us to know? I’m an early stage researcher with a chemistry background and a master in water and coastal management. I’m also a mother of two and understand that the mission of taking care of the water resources will only be fulfilled globally if we act individually, so that our future generations can inherit a healthy environment.