Graduated in Biology/Biomedicine, in 2009 and MSc in biomedical sciences in 2009, both from the University of Algarve (Faro, Portugal). She participated in 3 R&D national projects (SEABIOMED, XtremeBio and XtremeGourmet) as a research technician, and in 2019 completed the PhD in Marine, Earth and Environmental Sciences (branch of biological sciences, speciality in biotechnology). She also participate as team member in othe11 R&D projects regarding the biotechnological valorisation of halophytes, namely SEABIOMED – Marine photosynthetic organisms of the Algarve coast with biomedical applications; XtremeBio – Halophytes: a precious resource nutritional elements and bioactive compounds; MaNaCruzi – Looking for marine origin molecules against Trypanosoma cruzi; XtremeGourmet – Halophytes: a precious resource nutritional elements and bioactive compounds; XtremeVet – Potential of halophyte plants from extreme maritime environments as sources of innovative products for use in veterinary parasitology; GreenVet – Unravelling the potential of marine halophyte plants as sources of innovative products with veterinary uses; HaLoFarMs – Development and optimization of halophyte-based farming systems in salt-affected Mediterranean soils; XtremeAquaCrops – Implementation and optimization of an integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) system for marine fish and hydroponic extremophile medicinal halophytes production; SaltyCrops – Exploring Sarcocornia as a halophyte biofilter for mariculture effluents and a source for lucrative foods and speciality biochemicals; GreenValue – Exploring salt tolerant plants as sources of innovative food additives; and SaltyBeauty – Smart valorisation and sustainable use of natural resources in the coastal areas of Portugal and France in the cosmetic industry.
During this time, she was involved in the assessment of biochemical properties (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, neuroprotective, anti-melanogenic), metabolomic and nutritional profile of halophytes, and in their sustainable cultivation under saline and non-saline conditions. Obtained results increased knowledge on those plants and disclosed their possible commercial exploitation as animal feed, food, beverages, cosmetic and nutraceutical ingredients. My contribution to those R&D projects, and to an extensive international network involving 16 countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, Poland, Belgium, Tunisia, Pakistan, Israel, Morocco, and Algeria) led to the publication of 72 articles in refereed international journals (Scopus h-index 19). She also contributed to the development of CCMAR research strategy on the thematic area “Unlocking the potential of marine resources” by actively leading the implementation of two new research lines: 1) creation of an IMTA system for marine fish and halophytes production, and 2) development of in vitro tissue culture systems to improve the propagation of halophytes for the synthesis of bioactive metabolites. Recently, she was contracted by CCMAR to develop the Halo-In project – How can tissue culture be used for biodiversity preservation and biotechnological valorisation of selected salt tolerant species from the Algarve coast?, aligned with CCMAR research strategy on the thematic areas “Unlocking the potential of marine resources” and “Management and conservation of marine resources”, aiming at the establishment of in vitro tissue culture techniques to improve the multiplication of selected halophytes with commercial applications, and development of cryopreservation methods for the conservation halophyte species at risk.
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