Cláudia Viegas, PhD student, University of the Açores (Portugal)

Cláudia Viegas is a PhD candidate at the University of the Azores, supervised by Dr Ana Colaço and Dr Manuela Juliano. During her PhD project, she implemented a hydrodynamic and biogeochemical model for the Azores region. In conjunction with the physical oceanographic model, she applied a particle-tracking model to assess connectivity between deep-sea sponge populations in the Azores. Her background is in environmental engineering, with a degree from the Nova School of Science and Technology (FCT NOVA). She starts working on numerical modelling at the MARETEC, a Research Centre for Marine, Environment and Technology at Lisbon University.

Using 3-D hydrodynamic nested ocean and coastal models, and water-quality and lagrangian models to study the dispersal and fate of pollution plumes and objects. In 2016, she moved to the Azores, where she started working at the University of the Azores, pursuing her objective to apply modelling tools to the Azores region, including the deep-sea environments. In the Deep Rest project, her task is the study of species connectivity at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, using modelling tools, applying hydrodynamic and biophysical models, throughout larvae dispersal, considering known life-history traits and larval patterns for these species. Larvae dispersal plumes and connectivity matrices will provide information to enhance better ecosystem management and conservation.