Biodiversity Data Science | - CCMAR -

Biodiversity Data Science

Short Title 

We are a team of young researchers using data science to aid biodiversity conservation and management, in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our research employs cutting-edge technologies, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big-data computational frameworks, to unravel the underlying mechanisms driving biodiversity and to forecast global distribution patterns, ranging from genes to entire ecosystems, and from past climate fluctuations to future climate change scenarios. Our analyses consider anthropogenic impacts, such as climate change, habitat degradation, overexploitation and the introduction of invasive species. We share our data under the FAIR principle (easy to find, access and reuse) to citizens, managers, and policymakers so that they can make informed decisions on the best strategies for protecting, conserving, and managing biodiversity. We believe our work is crucial for ensuring a sustainable future for both human society and the natural world.




Climate change, habitat degradation, overexploitation, and biological invasions are among the major threats to global biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. These threats are leading to the regional loss of species and altered energy flows, which can have severe impacts on human health, well-being, and economic activities. Current efforts to halt the biodiversity crisis are falling short of international needs, highlighting the urgency for policy-relevant research that quantifies the effect of anthropogenic impacts under contrasting scenarios to inform citizens, managers, and policymakers on the best strategies for protecting, conserving, and managing biodiversity. Our team is devoted to developing the necessary tools and providing the relevant information for evidence-based, long-term proactive actions to protect our planet's biodiversity and ecosystems. 


Central Question

Our central question is “what are the consequences of anthropogenic impacts to global biodiversity and ecosystem functioning?”. In particular, we aim to (1) understand the underlying mechanisms driving the global distribution of biodiversity, (2) project the consequences of anthropogenic impacts to the distribution of biodiversity, in particular, those associated with global climate change under contrasting scenarios (e.g., Paris Agreement expectations vs. reduced mitigation strategies), and (3) identify priority conservation areas safeguarding biodiversity for future generations (e.g., climatic refugia) to inform global conservation and management strategies.



If you are interested in conducting your postdoc, PhD or MSc project in our team, we can discuss the possibility of helping secure your own funding. Please review available funding schemes (list below) and send us a one-page summary of your research idea, along with your CV. If you don’t have a clear research idea, have a look at our publications, and book a meeting with us.



Table view
Coordinator Position
Jorge Assis Postdoc
Grid view
Eliza Fragkopoulou's picture
PhD Student
Térence Legrand's picture
All Publications
Gouvêa LP, Horta PA, Fragkopoulou E, et al. Phenotypic Plasticity in Sargassum Forests May Not Counteract Projected Biomass Losses Along a Broad Latitudinal Gradient. Ecosystems. 2023;26(1):29 - 41. doi:10.1007/s10021-022-00738-9
Gouvêa LP, Fragkopoulou E, Cavanaugh K, et al. Oceanographic connectivity explains the intra-specific diversity of mangrove forests at global scales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2023;120(14). doi:10.1073/pnas.2209637120
Balogh V, Fragkopoulou E, Serrão EA, Assis J. A dataset of cold-water coral distribution records. Data in Brief. 2023;48:109223. doi:10.1016/j.dib.2023.109223
Fragkopoulou E, Gupta ASen, Costello MJohn, et al. Marine biodiversity exposed to prolonged and intense subsurface heatwaves. Nature Climate Change. 2023. doi:10.1038/s41558-023-01790-6
Fragkopoulou E, Assis J. Intense and prolonged subsurface marine heatwaves pose risk to biodiversity. Nature Climate Change. 2023. doi:10.1038/s41558-023-01796-0
Fragkopoulou E, Serrão EA, De Clerck O, et al. Global biodiversity patterns of marine forests of brown macroalgae. Tittensor D, ed. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 2022;31(4):636 - 648. doi:10.1111/geb.13450
Assis J, Serrão EA, Duarte CM, Fragkopoulou E, Krause-Jensen D. Major Expansion of Marine Forests in a Warmer Arctic. Frontiers in Marine Science. 2022;9. doi:10.3389/fmars.2022.850368
Marquez L, Fragkopoulou E, Cavanaugh KC, Houskeeper HF, Assis J. Artificial intelligence convolutional neural networks map giant kelp forests from satellite imagery. Scientific Reports. 2022;12(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-022-26439-w
Fragkopoulou E, Serrão EA, Horta PA, Koerich G, Assis J. Bottom Trawling Threatens Future Climate Refugia of Rhodoliths Globally. Frontiers in Marine Science. 2021;7. doi:10.3389/fmars.2020.594537