Isabel Henriques
Marta Tacão; Isabel Silva; Filipa Bessa; Maria Paula Marques
MICRANT: Microplastics in Estarreja rivers and their role in the spread of pathogens and antibiotic resistance
The intense industrial activity in Estarreja region predictably resulted in contamination of aquatic systems with microplastics (MPs). These contaminants provide an ideal niche where pathogens and antibiotic resistant bacteria can proliferate, being transported along rivers and entering the food chain. However, risk assessment of MPs and associated microbes is limited by the scarce information available for these ecosystems. This project aims to determine the abundance and diversity of MPs in Estarreja rivers and to quantify and characterize pathogenic agents and antibiotic resistant bacteria associated to these contaminants. Mesocosm-based studies exposing MPs in rivers will also be carried out to compare the microbes that settle on different types of MPs and in different locations. MICRANT will provide solid quantitative and qualitative data for assessing and predicting the risks related to exposure to MPs and associated microbes.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • OHM Estarreja
Biochimie, Biologie, Chimie, Génomique, Santé publique


Isabel Henriques is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, where she is the director of the PhD programme in Biosciences. She is a Microbiologist, member of the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), where she leads the “Microbial and Cell Biology Lab”. She earned her PhD in Biology in 2006 from the University of Aveiro. She was an Assistant Researcher at University of Aveiro (2013-2018) funded by the “FCT Investigator” program and acted as Special Visiting Researcher (2013-2016) at Federal University of Pará (Brazil) financed by the Brazilian government. Her research has been oriented to address the ecology of antibiotic resistance in the environment. She has been interested in the mechanisms of transfer and evolution of antibiotic resistance, and how environmental and anthropogenic factors affect these mechanisms. A main interest has also been the impact of global changes in the microbiome (including soil and water microbiome) and microbiomes’ role in adaptation of organisms (plants and animals) to stressors. She participated in several research projects funded by FCT (2 as PI and 9 as team member), by FCT through the Water JPI program (1 as PI at UA) and by CNRS-LAbex DRIIHM (2 as PI). She made important contributions to her field of research, which were published in more than 100 papers in WoS journals, cited more than 3100 times, corresponding to an H factor of 31. Supervises/co-supervises 6 PhD students (plus 7 concluded). Supervised more than 20 MSc students.


Maia Paula
Maria Paula M. Marques received her MSc in Physical-Chemistry (1987), her PhD in Biochemistry (1995) and her habilitation in Biosciences (2018) from the University of Coimbra (Portugal). M.P.M. Marques is currently an associate professor at the Dep. Life Sciences of the University of Coimbra, assistant-coordinator of the R&D Group “Molecular Physical-Chemistry” (QFM-UC) and head of the “Chemoprevention, -Therapy & -Toxicology” laboratory. QFM-UC encompasses the vibrational spectroscopy laboratory VIBIMA (Vibrational Spectroscopy Laboratory for Bioprobing) which is a facility of excellence in the field of optical vibrational spectroscopy, comprising state-of-the-art versatile equipment: both macro- and microRaman and FTIR (far and mid-IR, with transmission and ATR configurations).
M.P.M. Marques has authored about 175 scientific papers, 8 book chapters and co-edited 3 books. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a member of the Clinical Infrared and Raman...