Project Leader

Sofia Graça Aranha

Throughout her academic and professional career, she has always pursued her development in the marine area working with the ecology, biology and conservation of elasmobranchs. For her bachelor’s and an undergraduate degree, she studied the taxonomy of shark species of the genus Squalus and Cirrhigaleus. As part of her post-graduate studies in Brazil, she developed a shark conservation project called ‘Shark FREE’ aiming at indirectly impacting the shark targeted fisheries. During her master studies, she assessed the nutritional status of deep-water shark species on the southwest coast of Portugal, using a little-explored methodology in sharks – RNA / DNA – as well as the evaluation of the diet and trophic position of these sharks using stable isotope analyses (d13C and d15N). Currently, as a doctoral student, Sofia is continuing the same work developed in her master’s degree, expanding the focus to deep-water sharks, skates and chimaeras, and evaluating their survival rates from crustacean bottom-trawl activities in Algarve, Portugal. As part of her PhD project, the project DELASMOP will contribute to understanding the factors affecting the survival of elasmobranchs and it is expected to propose new fishing procedures and handling for these animals on board commercial fishing vessels to diminish their bycatch and increase their survival after they are discarded at sea.

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