FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Ciências do Mar

Unidade de I&D

Unidade de Investigação em Eco-Etologia [MAR-LVT-Lisboa-331] visitada em 14/01/2008

Classificação: Excellent

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
Publications in excellent international journals, research that reaches from highly required basic research to the implementation of marine protected areas and the uniqueness of the groups’ expertise - within Portugal and on the international level - prescribe this unit for an excellent ranking.
The two groups of the unit operate in concert. Thus, questions that remained to be clarified have been essentially the same for both groups: Regarding the extent and the nature of international collaborations, what kind of international student and scientist exchanges do occur, does the unit participate in organizing international meetings, and what is the amount of external funding? The unit requests more funding and more personnel, necessary to carry out its labour intensive research. How this lack of personnel influences the research of the unit needs to be clarified.
The research of the unit spans fish larval biology, behavioural biology, and neurobiology and fish bioacoustics to phylogenetic, phylogeographic and biogeographic questions. The productivity of the unit is outstanding (excellent) regarding scientific results but also regarding nature conservation.

The unit’s publications in high ranking journals are internationally recognized. The scientific expertise of the researchers of this unit is unique, inside and outside of Portugal. Thus it is of overall importance that experts from this unit can continue with their research after having accomplished a Ph.D. The committee considered it as highly regrettable that no extra funding is currently available for postdocs and/or additional permanently employed senior scientists.
Being located in a medically orientated institute, the group has established noticeable facilities and working conditions. The research of the unit (especially behavioural biology and biogeography) suffers, however, from a lack of technical personnel. This is because many studies conducted by the researchers of this unit are extremely time consuming and labour intensive. The committee has the impression that the students in this unit are well supervised, well supported and well embedded in the group’s research. The students explicitly emphasize their satisfaction. They are encouraged to publish their theses. The committee was highly satisfied how questions emerging from the preliminary evaluation were answered during the site visit.

The committee panel is convinced that the unit will profit from its plan to become a member of an associated laboratory. The committee is also convinced that a lack of technical personnel is a bottle-neck for the labour intensive research of this unit and thus the panel proposes to provide this unit with additional funding for technical personnel. Finally, the panel also suggests providing this unit with additional funding for postdoc positions and for permanent positions for researchers because the fluctuations in the number of highly trained specialists provide a major problem for this unit.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Biology and conservation of aquatic organisms [RG-MAR-LVT-Lisboa-331-2351]
The research of the group integrates phylogenetic, phylogeographic and biogeographic studies. Other research areas relate to fish ecology, fish larval biology, behavioural biology and fish bioacoustics. The research in fish bioacoustics is of special significance since only a few experts world-wide are active in this important branch of fish biology. The group’s initiative in setting up a marine protected area is highly laudable. The group’s productivity regarding publications is outstanding (excellent). The group publishes in the highest ranking international journals. The publications of this group are internationally recognized.
The group provides unique and fundamental data that are important for the understanding of fish biology and for the understanding of the function of aquatic ecosystems. This group provides highly needed basic data for a sustainable management and for the conservation of aquatic resources. The significance of the groups' research can not be overestimated.
Under the given circumstances, the group has established impressive facilities and working conditions. The relevant research suffers however from a lack of technical personnel as some studies are extremely time consuming and labour intensive. Also the fact that highly qualified experts can not continue their research after having accomplished a Ph.D. causes problems. The group would profit from being integrated in an associated lab.
Students are well supervised, well supported and well embedded in the groups' research. The students explicitly emphasize their satisfaction. Students are encouraged to publish their thesis.
Integrative Behavioural Biology [RG-MAR-LVT-Lisboa-331-2352]
The two groups of the unit 331 work close together and their research is interlocked. Thus the more detailed comments provided for group 331-2351 also apply to this group. Outstanding in publications. Excellent in the research field but also open to new questions, politically involved. Excellent, many very satisfied students
Need more permanent positions as well as equipment support in order to maintain this excellent work.