Ana Colaço is a researcher at the University of the Azores for more than 20 years. She specializes in hydrothermal vent ecosystems, trophic ecology of deep-sea systems, benthic ecology, ecosystem functioning and conservation. She has large experience in international cooperation participating in several projects as the institutional PI dedicated to observatories and tools for extreme environments (ESONET; EXOCET/D; FIXO3), and ecology and impact on the Deep-sea (CHEMECO; DeepFun- FCT MIDAS, JPIO MiningImpact I & II, Sponges-H2020; FunAzores-Açores2020). She participated on the Second World Ocean Assessment of the United Nations and contributed to The Portuguese Agenda for the Ocean promoted by the Portuguese Science Foundation. She was involved as an expert in several science-policy panels of the European Commission, International Seabed Authority, and the Portuguese government, and as nominee in CBD processes such as EBSA and the post 2020 GBF. She participated to over 35 oceanographic cruises with submersibles (including 12 as a PI) and to five manned submersible dives (Alvin, Nautile and Lula1000).
Nélia Mestre is assistant researcher at the Centre for Marine and Environmental Research at the University of Algarve, Portugal. She obtained her PhD in Ocean and Earth Science in 2009 from the University of Southampton, UK. She is a deep-sea ecologist developing work related to marine ecotoxicology, with special emphasis on the environmental threats to fauna by deep-sea mining, and other human activities in the deep sea, and with interests in the environmental impact of emergent contaminants (microplastics, technology critical elements, nanoparticles, pharmaceuticals). She is currently leading the project BiDIRisk - Biomarker discovery for risk assessment in the deep sea (2022-2025) and has participated in several international projects. https://www.cienciavitae.pt/portal/en/D71D-759D-F6FC