Dr Catarina Meireles has started work as a technician in the Biodiversa ‘EC21C’ project (project ‘European Conservation for the 21st Century’), which I am leading. Catarina is based at the Rui Nabeiro Biodiversity Chair, University of Évora. She is collating data on species’ traits and habitats, and managing various GIS databases, in order to support researchers carrying out ecological modelling.
In her own words:
I am a botanist, specialized in plant ecology and cartography. My research focuses primarily on rare and protected species present in the Mediterranean, and on mountain flora and ecosystems. During the past 15 years I have been working in conservation, which was my goal when I finished my degree in Biology. I worked mainly for the Portuguese National Institute of Nature Conservation (currently referred as ICNF), where I was responsible for the development of several national-scale projects in species and habitat cartography as well as in ecosystems management and recovery. In 2007, I led the team responsible for carrying out the habitats section of the national report for EU on the Implementation of the Habitats Directive in Portugal. This included assessment, monitoring and reporting of conservation status of habitats and species with European importance.
I completed my PhD in Geobotany in 2010 at the University of Jaén, Spain. My current main research interests include climate change impact on Mediterranean biodiversity (mainly at the species and ecosystem level, in mountain environments).