Projects as PI


Potential for multiGENerational acclimation of fishes to ocean warming and acidification (2018-2021)


The rate and scale of climate changes and ocean acidification have already resulted in consequences for marine ecosystems. Yet, evolutionary responses may help marine species counter stressful conditions. The question is can they respond fast enough? Empirical evidence is accumulating that marine species might be able to adapt to rapid environmental change if they have suffcient standing genetic variation and/or phenotypic plasticity to mount fast responses. Phenotypic plasticity, whether within a generation (developmental) or across generations (transgenerational), may be a particularly effective mechanism that can buffer populations against immediate impacts of global change and provide time for genetic adaptation to catch up. Here we aim at investigating whether developmental and transgenerational exposure can improve fish species’ resilience to future global changes. The focus will be on the phenotypic variation in reproduction, growth, condition, behaviour and aerobic metabolism.


Lopes, A.F.; Faria, A.M.; Dupont, S. (2020). Elevated temperature, but not decreased pH, impairs reproduction in a temperate fish. Scientific Reports 10, 20805 (2020).


Acidification effects in temperate fish larvae (PTDC/MAR-EST/4627/2012) (2013-2015)


Here we proposed an integrated comparative approach to the study of acidification on sensory systems, early life history traits, performance and brain function of temperate fish larvae, and, ultimately, on how these aspects may influence behavioural patterns relevant for dispersal and habitat detection, using a range of treatments relevant to predicted future ocean pH levels. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: (1) Will ocean acidification affect the ability of larvae to use olfactory cues for predator detection? (2) Will larvae reared in acidification conditions be able to detect reef sounds? (3) Is ocean acidification affecting brain function mechanisms, therefore compromising important behaviours, such as lateralization? (4) What are the effects of CO2-induced ocean acidification on the embryonic and larval life histories of temperate reef fish species and on the size, shape and symmetry of otoliths (key structures for larval orientation and sensorial detection) of larvae exposed to acidification conditions?; (5) Will exposure to acidification affect individual swimming performance?


Our mains results are published here:

Silva, S. E.; Lemos, M.F.; Faria, A.M.; Lopes, A.F.; Mendes, S.; Gonçalves, E. J.; Novais, S.C. (2018). Sand smelt ability to cope and recover from ocean’s elevated CO2 levels. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 154:302-310. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.02.011

Faria, A. M.; Filipe, S.; Lopes, A. F.; Oliveira, A. P.; Ribeiro, L. (2017). Effects of high pCO2 on early life development of pelagic spawning marine fish. Marine and Freshwater Research. DOI: 10.1071/MF16385

Castro, J.M.; Amorim, M.C.P.; Oliveira, A.P.; Gonçalves, E.J.; Munday, P.L.; Simpson, S.; Faria, A.M. (2017). Painted Goby Larvae under High-CO2 Fail to Recognize Reef Sounds. PLOS ONE 12(1): e0170838. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170838.

Lopes, A.L.; Morais, P.; Pimentel, M.; Rosa, R.; Munday, P.; Gonçalves, E.J.; Faria, A.M. (2016). Behavioural lateralization and shoaling cohesion of fish larvae altered under ocean acidification. Marine Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-016-3026-4.

Silva, S. E.; Novais, S.C.; Lemos, M.F.; Mendes, S.; Oliveira, A.P.; Gonçalves, E.; Faria, A.M. (2016). Effects of ocean acidification on the swimming ability, development and biochemical responses of sand smelt larvae. Science of the Total Environment, 563–564: 89–98. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.04.091

Projects in collaboration

SARDITEMP – Impact of climate change on the ecology and dynamics of small pelagic fish (2018-2021)
In this project I will be running experiments aiming at addressing the impacts of ocean warming on behaviour and development of Sardina pilchardus larvae.

FISHNOISE – Impact of anthropogenic noise on fish fitness (2018-2020)
In this project I will be responsible for experiments aiming at addressing the impacts of anthropogenic noise on behaviour and development of larvae of two species, Argyrossomus regius and Halobatrachus didactylus.

Past Projects

REEFFISH – Identifying the drivers of recruitment success in temperate reef fish (PTDC/MAR-EST/4356/2012) (2013-2015).

MATRIX– Understanding temperate reef fish connectivity (PTDC/MAR/115226/2009) (2011-2014).