FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Ciências da Terra e do Espaço

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Geologia - Lisboa [EASP-LVT-Lisboa-263] visitada em 27/01/2009

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
Overview
Unit is well-managed with clarity of purpose and goals. The Unit is forward looking and has aspirations towards Associate Laboratory status. It has good international contacts and a good understanding of high-quality international science. The Unit enjoys ample and excellent space, facilities and positive support from the Faculty. The Assessors found clear indicators of international cooperation with collaboration with EU and National Environment Research Council, UK (NERC) programmes and international industrial links with firms such as Petrobras. There is a clear upwards trend in terms of productivity. The graduate students were proud of their Unit and commented very favourably upon the standards of supervision and the available facilities. They appreciate the industrial links that the Unit enjoys and felt that experience gained on such joint projects improves their employment prospects. The Assessors appreciated the clear, quantifiable and appropriate presentations given by the Unit and the Groups.

Management
The Unit has a very good management structure which allows for representation of all members and fosters strategic links with the Faculty.

Facilities
The Unit is housed in an attractive new building which is well equipped and has sufficient high- quality space to facilitate expansion.

Recommendations to the Unit
The Unit is on the threshold of becoming excellent and could achieve this by including more international scientists in their research programmes. This should not be difficult as the quality of the research, management and facilities make this Unit an attractive partner for foreign institutions. We would also recommend that the Unit consider formalising their doctoral training programme and develop a scheme for giving doctoral students credits for attending appropriate seminars and other programmes.

Commendations
The Assessors would like to commend the Unit on its panel of external advisers, its enthusiastic and motivated students and the Unit's positive attitude to the assessment process.

Conclusions
We would currently grade the Unit as being 'Very Good' with the clear potential to become 'Excellent'. We find that this is a Unit in which most groups did high quality international research which lead to some contributions to the field and the remaining did good, solid research at international level leading to incremental contributions to their fields. We are confident that this Unit is on the fast track to establishing a firm international reputation for itself.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Applied and Environmental Geology [RG-X-EASP-LVT-Lisboa-263-1768]
Introduction
This is a moderate-sized integrated group of researchers which was formed in 2003.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
The scientific activity of the “Applied and Environmental Geology” research group at the international level is documented by the production of a high number of papers in ISI journals as well as by intense activity in an international context including bilateral cooperation with Morocco and joint research projects with Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Morocco. The group has also organized an international conference in 2005 and has collaborated with the organization of 8 national meetings. The positive socio-economic impact of the research group activities is high as clearly demonstrated by the relatively high number of industry contracts. The relevance of the research group may be considered exceptional.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
The scientific production of the “Applied and Environmental Geology” research group (leader Manuel Oliveira da Silva) since its constitution in 2003 includes 10 papers on ISI journals, 7 papers in congress proceedings, 1 chapter in a scientific book, and 2 books. Taking into account the relatively small number of involved researchers (13), the total productivity of the research group may be considered as very good.

Training
The research group has trained 8 graduate students (8 MSc theses) and supervised 6 PhD theses (1 in collaboration with the University of Paises Bascos). The group has provided an excellent training environment.

Overall Perspective
From the above listed activities, the research group appears to be very well organized and equipped with good scientific skills capable of developing high level research projects with a high impact on the international scene. The Group has exceeded expectations and produced internationally recognized outstanding research which contributes to the advancement of the field.
Chemical Geodynamics [RG-EASP-LVT-Lisboa-263-1771]
Introduction
This medium-sized to large, newly-constituted group is built around a core of staff from the pre-existing Petrology and Geochemistry Group.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
The general research focus is on integrated studies of the composition, structure and evolution of the Solid Earth, and its interfaces with Hydrosphere, Biosphere and Atmosphere. Compared with its predecessor, there is to be an increasing emphasis on environmental geochemistry. This Earth System approach is a topical research area in the Earth Sciences which should lead to significant contributions to knowledge and understanding at national level and significant contributions at international level.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
Based on previous reasonable to high levels of productivity by members of the group in terms of publications in peer-reviewed international journals, notably in EPSL and Mineralium Deposita, future productivity in similar journals is also expected to be high.

Training
5 PhD and 2 MSc theses completed in the review period in the previous Geochemistry and Petrology group, and 7 other PhD submissions expected by 2010, is evidence that the new group will provide a very good research training environment.

Overall Perspective
This newly structured group is based on previous groups whose overall achievements have met expectations with significant indications of the impact and relevance of this work at international level. Future plans and objectives are well developed and realistic. The proposed work is likely to lead to outcomes of international relevance and importance.
Coastal processes, land managment and sustainable development [RG-EASP-LVT-Lisboa-263-1769]
Introduction
This is a moderate-sized integrated group of researchers which was formed in 2007.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
The general research focus is on the coastal zone, groundwater and land and related sustainable development, risk assessment, mitigation and remediation all in the context of ongoing global change. This research includes landslides, tsunamis and rouge waves. These are very topical research areas in the Earth Sciences which are leading to significant contributions to knowledge and understanding at national level and significant contributions at international level. The space and facilities provided for the group are of high quality.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
For its size, the group has achieved a very high level of productivity in terms of publications and a substantial number of these are in peer-reviewed international journals. The group recognises that they need paynology for their climate change related projects and are encouraged to pursue this. The group has appropriate international contacts and a comprehensive understanding of high-quality international science. The group is commended for their role in co-organizing the 35th Congress of the International Association of Hydrogeologists in 2007.

Training
1 PhD and 4 MSc projects completed in 2007 and the large number of PhD students registered indicates that the group is providing a very good research training environment.

Overall Perspective
The groups overall achievements are exceeding expectations with significant indications of the impact and relevance of this work at international level. Future plans and objectives are very well developed, and ambitious and will lead to outcome of international relevance and importance
Petrology/Geochemistry [RG-X-EASP-LVT-Lisboa-263-1766]
Introduction
This is a moderate-sized group of staff and PhD level researchers. It is noted that from 2007, the group will be inactive and incorporated into the newly formed Chemical Geodynamics Group.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
The general research focus has been on fundamental and applied research in petrology and geochemistry covering a wide range of topics. These are established research areas in the Earth Science which have led to significant contributions to knowledge and understanding at national level and significant contributions at international level.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
For its size, the group has achieved a moderate to high level of productivity in terms of publications. A reasonable number of these are in peer-reviewed international journals, notably in EPSL and Mineralium Deposita, including a “best paper of the year award” in the latter.

Training
5 PhD and 2 MSc thesis completed in the review period and 7 other PhD submissions expected by 2010 is evidence the group provides a very good research training environment.

Overall Perspective
The group’s overall achievements have met expectations with clear and significant indications of the impact and relevance of this work at international level.
Sedimentary Systems, Palaeoecology and Palaeobiodiversity [RG-EASP-LVT-Lisboa-263-1770]
Introduction
This is a large, well funded, active group, investigating a range of sedimentary processes in the Portuguese basins, including biotic data and global change.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
This application logically develops the themes explored in 263-1767 further into the areas of biodiversity and palaeoecology together with palaeobiogeography, building on the high-resolution stratigraphies and alpha biotic data established during the previous research cycle. In particular the new cycle will target palaeoclimate change and palaeoecology in the Mesozoic of the Lusitania Basin, biotic events during the late Triassic and Jurassic rifting phases and Neogene molluscs in the Caribbean basin. Some funding has already been secured. The continued cooperation with petroleum companies and the more international dimension to this new programme are commended. The strong focus on geological hazards and heritage will continue.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
The group has already shown excellent productivity with over 40 peer-reviewed papers (top-ten publications with some citations), ten conferences, six contracts with industry and good international networks.

Training
Good student production (2 PhD and 6MSc), joint research possibilities with other European universities together with an active group of graduate students, some from overseas, suggest an active research and training environment.

Overall Perspective
The group’s overall achievements meet expectations with very good potential indications of the impact and relevance of this work at international level. Future plans and objectives are entirely reasonable and realistic.
Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Palaeontology [RG-X-EASP-LVT-Lisboa-263-1767]
Introduction
This large, well funded, group active from 2003-7, was situated in an attractive new building, and investigated a range of sedimentary processes in the Portuguese basins, including biotic data and global change.

Focus, Relevance and Feasibility of the Research Aims
A positive focus of the group was the application of a range of techniques, biologic and nonbiologic, to develop high-resolution stratigraphies and assess environmental change in a variety of basins of various ages, additionally using microbiotas and palynomorphs in environmental analyses. Collaborative research programmes with petroleum companies using onshore stratigraphic data to help predict offshore reservoirs, which raised significant external funding, is commended. There is also a strong focus on geological hazards, for example flooding, heritage and clear evidence of strong outreach activities.

Productivity (including evidence of international levels of attainment)
The group has shown excellent productivity with over 40 peer-reviewed papers (top-ten publications with some citations), ten conferences, six contracts with industry and good international networks.

Training
Good student production (2 PhD and 6MSc), joint research possibilities with other European universities together with an active group of graduate students, some from overseas, suggest an active research and training environment.

Overall Perspective
The group’s overall achievements have met expectations with very good indications of the impact and relevance of this work at international level.