It’s all about Brazil these last months

14 Oct 2022
Photo call with some of the Cabra-Bom team at the Oceanography Institute, Universidade de São Paulo. Fourth from the left: Profs. Michel Mahiques, Andy Wheeler, Paulo Sumida and Luis Conti

Ó, in the past months it has all been about deepening and developing collaborations with scientists in Brazil for the UCC Marine Geosciences Research Group with two related activities.

Firstly, I was fortunate to travel to Brazil at the end of my sabbatical research leave in August. Central to this visit was the development of a multi-partner Irish-Brazilian research proposal focussed on quantifying carbon transfer and storage from surface waters to cold-water coral habitats on the equatorial Brazilian Margin. This involved visits to potential project partners meeting Professors Paulo Sumida, Michel Mahiques and Luis Conti in the Universidade de São Paulo. Luis “Meco” Conti is an old friend of UCC Marine Geosciences Research Group having contributed to several publications, projects with reciprocal visits. From discussions, and also with Professor Alex Bastos (Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo) we developed Cabra-Bom (Carbon Budget Research on the Brazilian Ocean Margin). A visit by Meco and myself to Dr. Lohengrin Fernandes at IEAPM in Arraial do Cabo, east of Rio, helped us cover the surface productivity component. IEAPM is part of the Brazilian Navy affording an interesting lunch with the new base command Captain Uedell and the local priest – you couldn’t make it up. Finally, with the prolific Professor Helenice Vital on board from the Universidade Federal Rio Grande do Norte it was time to meet with potential funders in Rio: Petrobras and Shell. Positive discussions continue and a fun and productive visit looks like it may materialise into some really exciting research. Foi sucesso!





Post Lunch IEAPM in Arraial do Cabo. From left to right: Lohengrin Fernandes, Andy Wheeler, Capt. Uedell, a local preist and Luis Conti





At Petrobras headquarters we also had the opportunity to discuss their environmental work and see how we can help. Always a pleasure.

After this intense visit, I now find myself back in Brazil attending the iAtlantic General Assembly in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina State. It is so good to get most of the iAtlantic partners together to discuss data and results in this EU project focussed on Atlantic ecosystems in time and space. So much work has been done despite COVID difficulties and now we are here to discuss how we can join up our efforts to address joint challenges across the programme themes and make impact in support of policy. Why Brazil, because the Atlantic does not respect political boundaries and iAtlantic work across both the North and South Atlantic’s which are of course connected. The Belem Agreement recognises that this north-south cooperation is critical to solving trans-Atlantic problems that affect us all.





A short stretch of the legs between plankton sampling in a military controlled area, IEAPM





Adeus por agora, it’s the weekend here so maybe some time to find some Chorinho playing in a local bar and perhaps a caipirinha e um pão de queijo mais tarde, excelente.

Até a próxima


Professsor Andy Wheeler

Marine Geosciences Research Group

University College Cork

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, North Mall Campus, University College Cork, North Mall, Cork City, T23 TK30