CBA Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology
CBA Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology
CBA Laboratory of Cytogenetics and Developmental Biology
CBA Light Microscopy and Image Analysis Laboratory
CBA Cell Culture Room
CBA Field Station (Herdade da Ribeira Abaixo)



CBA Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology


The Aquatic Ecology Laboratory serves several research lines within the CBA, and its researchers share skills and equipment with other research groups outside the CBA. The major research lines within this laboratory focus on: i) general limnology and nutrient cycles; ii) aquatic invertebrate ecology including meiofauna and macrofauna; iii) stream fish ecology; and iv) species connectance in aquatic ecosystems and food web dynamics.
Research in-charge: Prof. M.J. Boavida
Techniques available: Basic histology techniques, fish age and gut content analyses, algal culture, nutrient and chlorophyll determination by fluorometry and fluorescence techniques, lipid extraction and preparation of FAMEs for fatty acid analysis, extraction of carotenoids from periphyton and microcrustacean samples. The researchers in this laboratory routinely perform identification of aquatic invertebrates and fish.
Major equipment: Microscopes and binocular microscopes (Wild, Leica, Olympus); Autoclave (Selecta); Fluorimeter (Jasco 750); Spectrophotometer (Jasco 530); Temperature controlled chambers (Selecta); Water filtering apparatus (Whatman); Water purification system (Desminágua; Multiparametric Probe (Yellow Spring Instruments 610-D); Temperature dataloggers (Onset Computer Corporation); Tag kits for fish and freshwater mussels.
Supporting field equipment: Oxygen, conductivity and pH probes; Flow meters; Portable balances (Sartorius); Plankton nets and kicknets; Hess and Surber samplers; Electrofishing gears and fish nets; Inflatable boat.
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CBA Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology


Investigation carried out at the Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology is mainly centered on evolutionary biology and conservation studies in animal organisms. Main research interests concern the application of molecular genetic markers on the study of phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genetics and hybridization processes in diverse animal species such as fruit-flies, freshwater fish, marine species, reptiles, birds and domestic and wild mammals, among others. The automatic Sequencer is regularly available to other teams in CBA and outside the CBA.
Researcher in-charge: Prof. M.M. Coelho
Techniques available: Electrophoresis gels, alloenzymes, DNA extractions (also for non-evasive samples), PCR, microsatellite isolation and screening, sequencing, AFLP, RFLP, RAPD, SNPs, cloning and in situ hybridization.
Major equipment: ABI Prism 310 Genetic Analyzer; LI-COR DNA Analyzer Gene Reader 4200;· PCR machines [Applied Biosystems GeneAmp PCR System 2700 (5); Perkin Elmer DNA Thermal Cycler 480 (1); Perkin Elmer GeneAmp PCR System 2400 (1)]; Heidolph Unimax 1010 + Inkubator 1000; Kodak Scientific Imaging System; Dual-Intensity transluminator + Kodak EDAS290 dark chamber and camera.
Available software and hardware for genetic analysis: Hardware: PCs and Macintosh computers; Software: Sequencer; Genotyper; GeneMapper; PAUP; MaClade.
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CBA Laboratory of Cytogenetics and Developmental Biology


The Cytogenetics and Developmental Biology Laboratory serves several research lines within the CBA and the equipment is regularly made available to groups outside the unit. This laboratory centers on cytogenetic, developmental biology, cell biology and histology techniques.
Researchers in-charge: Profs. M.J. Collares-Pereira and S. Thorsteinsdóttir
Techniques available: flow cytometry, chromosome banding techniques, fluorescence in situ hybridisation, immunohistochemistry, mRNA in situ hybridisation, embryo micromanipulation and basic histology techniques.
Major equipment: Coulter Epics- Profile II flow cytometer; Refrigerated Hettich Universal K2S centrifuge; Bright Clinicut 3020 cryostat; LKB Ultrotome III ultramicrotome; Wild M8 stereomicroscope with Olympus Camedia C-4040digital camera; Incubators Memmert.
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CBA Light Microscopy and Image Analysis Laboratory


The Light Microscopy and Image Analysis Laboratory offers facilities to all research lines within the CBA as well as some external to the unit. It is equipped with three microscopes, with a variety of optics and digital image acquisition software. Image processing and analysis includes the use of public tools (e.g., ImageJ) as well as commercial 3D rendering and analysis software.
Researcher in-charge: G. Martins (pos-doc researcher)
Techniques available: Observation and image acquisition of biological samples with fluorescence, Normaski, phase contrast, bright field and dark field optics. Digital image acquisition, processing and analysis.
Major equipment: Olympus BX-60 microscope equipped with epi-fluorescence and Nomarski (DIC) optics, coupled to a DP-50 CCD camera and dedicated computer with image acquisition software; Olympus BH2 microscope equipped with epi-fluorescence, dark field and phase contrast optics, Sony DXC-930P video camera, and computer with ANALISYS DOCU image analysis software; Nikon Fluophot microscope equipped with epi-fluorescence and bright field optics.· 3D image analysis PC workstation and Mercury Amira 3D reconstruction and analysis software, with Stereographics 3D viewing glasses.
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CBA Cell Culture Room


The Cell Culture Room offers facilities for several research lines within the CBA. It consists of a positive-pressure, sterile-filtered chamber equipped with two laminar flow hoods, incubators working at different temperatures, that enables the culture of cells derived from different species, and additional complementary equipment. This cell culture room is suited for the manipulation of biological material of bio-safety level 1 and, eventually, bio-safety level 2 standard conditions. In addition, a sterilization facility exists where a technician helps with the washing and preparation of sterile material needed in the cell culture room.
Researcher in-charge: Prof. G. Rodrigues
Techniques available: cell culture of continuous cells lines; primary culture of cells isolated from fish for cytogenetic analyses, birds and mammals; whole embryo culture and embryo explant culture (chick and mouse).
Major equipment: Vertical flow hood (PMV); Horizontal flow hood (Heraeus HPH12); CO2 incubator (Nuaire 4750E); CO2 incubator (New Brunswick); Incubator (Memmert); Inverted light microscope (Olympus CK2); Water bath (Memmert); Bench centrifuge (Hettich); Refrigerator (Singer); Electronic air purifier with electrostatic filter (DS164).
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CBA Field Station (Herdade da Ribeira Abaixo)


The Field Station of the CBA occupies the "Herdade da Ribeira Abaixo" (HRA), a state property with an area of 221 ha owned by the Ministry of Agriculture ("Direcção Geral de Hidráulica e Engenharia Agrícola" - IHERA). It is located in the eastern slope of Serra de Grândola (Baixo Alentejo), 100 km south of Lisbon (latitude: 38º 05' N - 38º 08' N; longitude: 8º 33' W - 8º 38' W).
The Field Station is mainly covered by cork-oak woodland ("montado") and is crossed by several temporary small streams. The "montado" is a typical Mediterranean woodland ecosystem resulting from the traditional human use of the landscape and constituting one of the best examples of the relative harmony between long-standing human activities and the conservation of biodiversity. This ecosystem is considered a habitat of EU interest not only from the botanical point of view, but also because it supports a fauna of high conservation importance. In fact, the first biological characterization of the Field Station [M. Santos-Reis & A.I. Correia, 1999: Caracterização da Flora e Fauna do Montado da Herdade da Ribeira Abaixo, Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Lisboa, 262pp.], showed that its floristic and faunistic communities are considerably rich and diverse, with over 200 species of mushrooms, 400 species of plants, 130 species of vertebrates and about 140 species of insects recorded, several of them of conservation concern.



The overall goal of the Field Station is to provide a location and other facilities for students, researchers and visiting scientists to undertake their research in the area of Ecology. Furthermore, educational programmes promoting public awareness of the importance of cork-oak woodlands are also being carried out. Over the years, the Field Station has been used for undergraduate and as well as the study site in general research programmes, including Ph.D. and Master theses.

The Field Station has also been used for teaching and recreational activities for Grândola Basic School children, and for the "Biology during the summer" activities. Furthermore, the "Ecoteca" was also used for open sessions for forest producers and for technical courses directed to the local population. During 2004, the HRA was one of the case studies for the "Portugal Millennium Ecosystem Assessment". Furthermore, 19 ha of the HRA are now a demonstration area for the project "Southern Portugal Cork-Oak forests landscape restoration", of the WWF - Mediterranean Program. Since 2004 that the Field Station has been a demonstration area of sound silvicultural management practices as the result of a project funded by the "Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Pescas" (INIAP) focusing on the regeneration of cork-oak woodlands.
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