Patrícia Silva
Roberto Martins, Ana Rita R. Silva, Carlos Pinheiro, João Tedim, Susana Loureiro
SENSE: SustainablE Nano Strategies for water remediation: Estarreja as a case study
Global sea-level rise and eutrophication constitute serious threats to freshwater bodies worldwide, posing severe risks to economy and to environmental and human health. Given its location and its higher industrialization and population density, coastal regions are particularly in danger. It is predicted that coastal areas will suffer from seawater intrusion, causing salinization of freshwater and terrestrial systems. Furthermore, the excessive nutrient loadings from industrial and domestic effluents and leaching from agricultural fields may increase the risk for eutrophication. Consequently, these phenomena may potentially cause the deterioration of water quality and loss of aquatic fauna and flora. Even though some technologies are available in the market to remediate waters, there is a need to find more environmentally safe alternatives to overcome this problem without harming aquatic life. Innovative remediation alternatives based on nanotechnology, such as the use of layered double hydroxides (LDHs), are emerging and have proven to be suitable alternatives for remediation. The overarching aim of this proposal is to evaluate the potential of LDHs to remediate waters of Estarreja region. Even though waters from any region could be used for this purpose, waters of the Estarreja municipality are ideal for this project due to their low-lying coastal lagoon location and to the historically pressure from the intense industrial and agricultural activities. This study will provide information on the water quality and the degree of eutrophication and salinization of waters of Estarreja, and will promote the use of more sustainable alternatives for water remediation and water quality improvement.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • OHM Estarreja
Biologie, Chimie, Écologie, Sociologie


Patrícia V. Silva holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology and Geology from the University of Aveiro (UAVR) (2009), a Master Degree in Applied Biology – Toxicology and Ecotoxicology specialization (UAVR, 2011), where she worked with terrestrial plants and invertebrates, and a PhD Degree in Biology and Ecology of Global Change (UAVR, 2021), where she worked with freshwater species. She has extensive experience in ecotoxicology of both terrestrial and aquatic compartments. She has been a member of several national and international R&D projects, namely the European FP7 project NanoFATE, where the toxicity of nanoparticles in soil and aquatic organisms was investigated, and the national project RePULSE, where she continued working with nanoparticles and freshwater organisms. She conducted her PhD within the European project NanoFASE (Horizon 2020), where she gained extensive experience in investigating toxicokinetics and bioaccumulation of nanoparticles in freshwater species, performing single-species and mesocosm experiments. Currently, she is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering and CICECO (UAVR) and a collaborator of CESAM (UAVR), focusing her research on nanomaterials (LDHs). Her research interests include ecotoxicology testing in aquatic and terrestrial organisms, with special focus on bioaccumulation and toxicokinetic assessments. She is (co)author of 7 SCI papers (3 as first author) and 23 communications to national and international conferences and has also been involved in the dissemination of scientific knowledge for specialized audiences (e.g., providing courses, organization committee of a national congress in biological sciences held at UAVR).


Susana Loureiro is an Assistant Professor with Habilitation at the University of Aveiro. She is graduated in Biology (1997) and MSc in Ecology (2000) by University of Coimbra. She obtained her PhD in 2004 on the assessment of contaminated soils, at University of Aveiro (UAVR). In 2017, she obtained her Habilitation in Biology (UAVR). Her research activities are mainly focused on the effect of combined stressors or chemical mixtures both in environmental or human models. She is also interested on the impact of emergent chemicals as a source of exposure to organisms and humans. Within these thematic she has succeeded on several National funding applications as PI that are boundary areas of research with agricultural sciences: in 2007 the project AGROMIX, on soil mixture toxicity; 2010, CLIMAFUN on the combined effects of abiotic factors and chemicals in soils. Additionally, she has built an international, multidisciplinary network which enabled her to participate in EU FP7 NanoFATE...