Dr Petra-Manuela Schuwerack
Lecturer in Marine Environment
BRNC (Faculty of Science & Engineering)
· Teaching and Research in Marine Sciences
· Supervisor of internal and external undergraduate and postgraduate student projects
· Founder (since 2008) and Leader of the UoP Brazilian Connections (UBC); an academic staff and postgraduate exchange programme between UoP and the Federal universities of Joao Pessoa, Paraiba (UFPB) and Santa Catarina (UFSC, Florianopolis), Brazil.
· Founder (since 2010) and Leader of the Integrated Disaster Management Programme (IDMP) between UoP and the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and the Government of Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean and UFPB and UFSC in Brazil.
- Baccalaureate (Theodor-Fliedner High School, Duesseldorf, Germany)
- Hotel Management (Hotel School, Bad Hof-Gastein, Austria)
- Tourism and Management (University of Salzburg, Austria)
- BSc (Hons) Marine Biology (Bangor, University of Wales, UK; 1993)
- MSc Environmental Diagnostics (Cranfield University, UK; 1994)
- PhD (Lond) Aquatic Ecotoxicology (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; 2002)
- PGCE (University of Plymouth, UK; 2005)
- Scuba Instructor PADI/OSI-95094 (Bonaire, Netherland Antilles, Caribbean; 1988)
Previous positions held
Senior Lecturer in Marine Sciences ( Britannia Royal Naval College, RN; 2003-9)
Research Fellow & Lecturer for MSc course (Bio-medical engineering, EU-grant, Keele University; 1999-2000)
Manager of Dive Base, Bolifushi, Maldives (2000)
Research Fellow and Lecturer (Leverhulme grant, Royal Holloway, University of London and Keele University)Research project in ecotoxicology (University of Potchefstroom, South Africa; 1997-9)
- Asistant Director of LEA Sailing and Diving Charter, (Caracas, Venezuela)
- Assistant Director of Aquateventura Water Sports (Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela)
- Maitre d'Hotel on motor and sailing Maxi yachts of the America's Cup (featured in the Magazine 'Boat International': No. 14, 1986 and No. 25, 1988)
- Purser (German Wings, Munich, Germany)
- Flight Attendant (LTU Airlines)
2008 - Society of Remote Sensing and Photometry (RSPSoc)
2004 - Marine Biological Association (MBA)
2004 – 2005 Marine Conservation Society (MCS)
1997 – 2004 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)
1998 -1999 Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI)
1997 – 2003 British Society for Parasitology (BSP)
1995 - Society or Experimental Biology (SEB)
1985 - Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
Roles on external bodies
2009 - Nominee for the Vice Chancellor’s Enterprise Award 2009 and featured in the 2. Issue of the Enterprise Magazine at UoP.
External Assessor for Postgraduate examinations
2008 - (External examiner): Royal Holloway, University of London (UK): MSc in Biological Sciences Research: Student’s name: Anna Sadowska
2009 - (External examiner): Royal Holloway, University of London (UK): MSc in Biological Sciences Research: Student’s name: Rachel Bicker
Referee for journal articles
Cell Biology International
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Environmental Science and Technology
Journal of Crustacean Biology
Referee for International Foundation
Association of Education and Communication and Technology
Organised conferences, seminars and talks
International conference meeting
2009 – Organiser and co-ordinator for Videoconference between 50 delegates at UoP, UFSC and UFPB
2008 – Co-organiser and guest speaker at the Federal University of of Santa Catarina, Brazil, Broadcasted video conference between UoP and UFSC.
2010 – (October) Organiser and coordinator of the Integrated Disaster Management Meeting (IDMP). Seminar ‘Information on the IDM programme’ to all academic staff and postgraduate students’ at Lecture Theatre ‘Plymouth’, Portland Square (15th October 2010, 1300-1500).
2009 - Organiser and coordinator of visit of delegates from UFSC, Brazil 20th -23rd of May 2009. Seminar ‘Information on UoP Brazilian Connections programme (UBC) to all academic staff and postgraduate students’ at Lecture Theatre ‘Plymouth’, Portland Square (22nd May at 1300-1500).
Talks of invited Guest speakers at BRNC
Visit and talk ‘Global aspects of Climate change’ by Dr. Ian Totterdell, MET Office, November 2006.
Visit and talk ‘Global risk from extreme Geophysical events’ by Prof. Bill McGuire at BRNC; VIP Guests: Rear Admiral Richard Ibbotson from Portsmouth and Prof. Geoff Millward from Plymouth University, January, 2006. (featured in articles in Western Morning News and Herald Express, 3rd February, 2006).
1995-1996 - Research Project, University of Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Field of Study: Crustacean biology and the dynamics of disease and ecotoxicology
Goals and achievements: The design of a novel multi-disciplinary approach to evaluate the health status of diseased and pollution-effected freshwater invertebrates.
Contribution to industry and the public sector
2009 – Interview with Radio Devon ‘ What is UBC and how does the newly founded exchange programme benefit our communities’.
2008 – Talk to the U3A: ‘Natural Protection from coastal flooding’ at Flavel Centre, Dartmouth, Devon.
2008 – Interview on BBC Spotlight in support of local inventor and his wave energy maker ‘Searaser’
2006 - Interview with Western Morning News and Herald Express ‘Natural Disasters show delicate state of Planet’
2002 – Organiser and coordinator for Operation Wallacea. Organising and planning of enterprise visit to Californian Universities with the aim to recruit students. With the offer of the Senior Lectureship at BRNC I left the organisation prior to the visit been realised.
2002 - Scientific research, survey and community awareness project on the coconut crab, Birgus latro, at Hoga and Kaledupa Island, TuKanBesi Atoll, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia. The project aimed at raise awareness to protect the endangered species from human consumption.
1996 – Private investigation into radio-active pollution assaults in NW Province SA and national alarm through media resulting into a national outcry and government investigation.
1992 - Press conference and interview on ‘Natural heritage and storm protection versus land clearance.‘ with Radio Cayman and Cayman Compass newspaper at the Natural Resources Unit, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Dynamics of marine and estuarine processes
Interactions of meteorological and oceanographic processes
Man-made and natural impacts on aquatic systems
Integrated disaster management
Previous university teaching commitment (especially highlighting major differences from current teaching)
2000 1. Year BSc / Hons Microbiology, 80 students; Royal Holloway, University of London Module (designed and taught): ‘Microbes in extreme environments’
(20% contribution to course work)
1999-2000: MSc Course in Biomedical Engineering, 6 students.
Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Keele University, Keele Staffs. ST5 5B
(50% contribution to course work, 6 hrs lectures and 6 hrs laboratory work)
1997-1999: Academic tutor for 3rd year Single Hons. Biology; 40 students.
10 tutor sessions in Marine Biology
Department of Biological Sciences, Keele University, Keele Staffs. ST5 5B
Integrated approach to complex interactions of man-made and natural impacts/hazards on aquatic systems
Integrated ecotoxicology in non-linear aquatic systems
Coastal protection against natural hazards,
Integrated disaster management
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
1 Bruna Dias (facilitator and tutor) currently enrolling in PhD programme at the University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (MSc awarded 2010, UFSC, Brazil) MSc Research project in Micropaleontology (output: article with supervisor and co-author, Prof. Malcolm Hart), project in non-linear modelling with Dr. Vanesa Magar and in Geomatics at ARGANS with Dr. Sam Lavender).
2 Rafael Trevisan (external) starting his PhD at the University of Santa Catarina - UFSC (MSc awarded 2010; UFSC, Brazil) MSc Research project in Aquatic Ecotoxicology at UoP was supported by UBC and funded by the British Council INYS grant between May and August 09). Output: 2 publications in Aquatic Ecotoxicology.
3 Joe Buxton-Smith (internal) was offered an exciting position in his field of expertise (MSc awarded 2009 at UoP, UK). Output: 1 publication.
4 Marcela Uliano (external) currently studying for an MSc at UFSC (BSc awarded 2010 at UFSC, Brazil) BSc Research project in Aquatic Ecotoxicology at UoP was supported by UBC and funded by the British Council INYS grant between Jan. to May 09). Output: 1 publication.
5 Laura Tapp (external facilitator) MSc in Genetics of Oysters (awarded 2006; University of Wales, Bangor, UK)
Assessor for Postgraduate examinations (internal and external)1. 2008 - (External examiner): Royal Holloway, University of London (UK): MSc in Biological Sciences Research: Student’s name: Anna Sadowska
2. 2009 - (External examiner): Royal Holloway, University of London (UK): MSc in Biological Sciences Research: Student’s name: Rachel Bicker
3. 2009 - (Internal co-examiner): University of Plymouth (UK): MSc in Geomatics Research: Student’s name: Joe Buxton-Smith
4. 2010 - (internal co-examiner): University of Plymouth (UK): MSc in Geomatics Research: Student’s name: Mike Knul (February to September 2010)
Grants & contracts
June 2010: £12340 Integrated Research, Networking and Collaboration (IRNC) awarded by the University of Plymouth for the Integrated Disaster Management Programme (IDMP) meeting in October 2010.
Programme co-ordination: SMSE, UoP @ BRNC
Position within project: Leader and main co-ordinator of programme
March 2009 – September 2010: £ 10000 International Networking of Young Scientist (INYS) Grant awarded by British Council for the Postgraduate and Academic staff exchange programme ‘UoP Brazilian Connections’ (UBC)
Programme co-ordination: SMSE, UoP @ BRNC
Position within project: Leader and main co-ordinator of programme
The Story of an Adventurer, Lecturer and Scientist (in prep.)
Authored articles in refereed international journals
Buxton-Smith, J., Schuwerack, P-M.M. and Lavender, S. An investigation into the damage of the 2004 Hurricane Ivan on the mangroves of Grand Cayman: assessing the role and feasibility SPOT and Landsat 7 Imagery. (in prep.)
Trevisan, R., Fisher, A.S., Schuwerack, P-M.M., Dafre, A.L. and Moody, A.J. Dormant contaminant pollutant sinks in river estuaries. A case study: The Dart Estuary. (in prep.)
Uliano da Silva, M., Schuwerack, P-M.M., Fisher, A.S. and Fisher, D. Chemical dynamics in the Dart Estuary (in prep.)
Schuwerack, P-M.M. Man-made and natural Impacts on the Mangrove Ecology of the Cayman Islands, B.W.I. (in prep.)
Schuwerack, P-M.M. and Allen, P.M. The barriers in integrated environmental modelling. (in prep.)
Schuwerack, P.-M.M. Environmental protection and the barriers of man-made habitats: A case study on dynamite fishing and the endangered coconut crab, Birgus latro on Hoga Island, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia. (in prep.)
Trevisan, R., Danielle Ferraz Mello, D., Fisher, A.S., Schuwerack, P-M.M., Dafre, A.L., Moody, A.J. Selenium in water enhances antioxidant defenses and protects against copper-induced DNA damage in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis (accepted, Aquatic Toxicology)
Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Lewis J.W. and Jones, P.J. (2009). The dynamics of protein and metal metabolism in acclimated and Cd-exposed freshwater crabs (Potamonautes warreni). Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 72(4): 1220-1227.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Lewis, J.W., Jones, P.W. (2007). Interactive cellular and physiological responses of the freshwater crab, Potamonautes warreni, to cadmium and microbial gill infestations. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 67: 302-310.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Neal, M. and Neal. C. (2007). The Dart estuary, Devon, UK: a case study of chemical dynamics and pollutant mobility. Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences 11(1): 382-398.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Barnes, R.S.K., Underwood, G.J.C. and Jones, P.W. (2006). Gender- and species differences in sentinel crabs (Macrophthalmus spp.) feeding on an Indonesian mudflat. Biology of Crustacea 26(2): 119-123.
Hoole, D., Lewis, J.W., Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Chakravarthy, C., Shrive, S.K., Greenhough, T.J. and Cartwright, J.R. (2003) Inflammatory interactions in fish exposed to pollutants and parasites: a role for apoptosis and C reactive protein. Parasitology S71-S85.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M. and Lewis, J.W. (2003) The mode of action of acute and chronic concentrations of waterborne Cd in the digestive gland of the acclimated infested freshwater crabs (Potamonautes warreni). Cell and Tissue Research 312(2): 249-263.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M. and Lewis, J.W. (2003) Cellular responses to increasing Cd concentrations in the freshwater crab, Potamonautes warreni, harbouring microbial gill infestations. Cell Tissue Research 313(3): 335-346.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M. and Lewis, J.W., Hoole, D. and Jones, P.W. (2003) Cd-induced cellular and immunological responses in Cyprinus carpio infected with the blood parasite, Sanguinicola inermis (Trematoda: Sanguinicolidae). Journal of Helminthology 77: 341-350.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Lewis, J.W., Hoole, D. and Morley, N. (2001) Ammonia-induced cellular changes in juvenile Cyprinus carpio infected with the blood fluke Sanguinicola inermis. Parasitology 122: 339-345.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Lewis, J.W. and Jones, P.W. (2001) Pathological and Physiological Changes in the South African Freshwater Crab, Potamonautes warreni Calman induced by Microbial Gill Infestations. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 77(4): 269-279.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Lewis, J.W. and Jones, P.W. (2001) The potential use of the South African river crab, Potamonautes warreni, as a bioindicator species for heavy metal contamination. Ecotoxicology 10: 159-166.
Buxton-Smith, J., Schuwerack, P-MM and Lavender, S. (2009). An investigation into the effects of hurricane damage on subtropical mangroves and their potential protective role through remote sensing and GIS: The Cayman Islands. Proceeding of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society Conference, Leicester University.
Schuwerack, P.-M. M. and Lavender, S. (2008). An Investigation into the protection of tropical and sub-tropical coastlines by mangroves using remote sensing. Proceeding of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society Conference, University of Exeter.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M. (2002). PhD Thesis. Aquatic Pollution and Disease: Stress responses in an Invertebrate and vertebrate Host. Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M. (1994). MSc Thesis. Environmental Modelling: Evaluating an integrated river model, The Escaut/Scheldt Basin. Cranfield University, UK.
Schuwerack, P.-M.M. (1993). BSc Dissertation. Mangrove Ecology of the Cayman Islands. University of Wales, Bangor, UK.
Reports & invited lectures
Invited lectures, seminars and international collaboration 1992 - 2010
Formation of the Integrated Disaster management programme (IDMP) with collaborators at UoP: Profs. Iain Stewart, Geoff Wilson, Dominic Reeve, Martin Attrill, Mick Fuller and Drs. Alison Hunt-Raby, Sam Lavender and Mr. Andrew Fox; at UFSC: Profs. Paulo Lovato, Jarbas Bonetti, Giorgini Ventiueri, Professora Maria Herrmann; at UFPB Prof. Tarcisio Cordeiro, Paulo Marsola and Isac Medeiros; at UPR: Prof. Aurelio Mercado and at the Department of environment and Coastal resources at TCI: Director Wesley Clerveaux and Dr. Eric Salamanca. February 2010
MSc project facilitator for Fabiola Pedrotti, student of UFSC, Brazil. Aquaculture (supervisor and UBC collaborator: Prof. Simon Davies) February to May 2010
Paper presentation ‘An investigation into the effects of hurricane damage on subtropical mangroves and their potential protective role through remote sensing and GIS: The Cayman Islands’ at RSPSoc09 by J. Buxton-Smith, MSc student jointly supervised by Dr. Sam Lavender (UoP, ARGANS) and myself, September 2009
Organiser of visit of UoP delegation to UFSC and UFPB in Brazil in June 2009
Invited guest speaker at the Federal University of Paraiba, Rio Tinto and the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, Broadcasted video conference between UoP and UFSC, December 2008.
Drafted Memorandum / agreement on cooperation between UoP and UFSC, Brazil, Nov. 2008
Talk: Natural protection of mangroves from storm surges and Tsunamis, at RSPSoc2008 September 08.
Organising visit and talk of Dr. Ian Totterdell, MET Office, November 2006.
2 Talks at Portsmouth University, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, July, 2006.
Organising visit and talk of Prof. Bill McGuire at BRNC; VIP Guests: Rear Admiral Richard Ibbotson from Portsmouth and Prof. Geoff Millward from Plymouth University, January, 2006. (see articles in Western Morning News and Herald Express, 3rd February, 2006).
Poster: Schuwerack, P.-M.M, Lewis, J.W. and Jones, P.W. Cadmium-mediated responses of metal-binding protein in the digestive gland of the freshwater crab, Potamonautes warreni Calman. SETAC, Prague, Czech Republic, April, 2004.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M, Lewis, J.W. and Jones, P.W. Physiological responses of the freshwater crab, Potamonautes warreni Calman to waterborne cadmium and microbial gill infestations. SEB, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, April, 2004.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. Integrated Ecotoxicology, Departmental Seminar, Organiser Prof. Awadesh N. Jha, Department of Biological Sciences, Plymouth University, 2004.
Meeting at MBA, Plymouth with Prof. Steve Hawkins and Keith Hiscock, 2003.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. and Lewis, J.W. Histopathological responses in the gills of the freshwater crab, Potamonautes warreni exposed to microbial infestations and cadmium. SEB, Southampton University, Southampton, UK. April, 2003
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. An account of the survey results and behaviour in Birgus latro, the endangered coconut crab species, on Hoga Island, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia. August, 2002.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. An integrated approach to pollution monitoring of aquatic systems, Hoga Island, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia, September, 2002.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Lewis, J.W. and Hoole, D. Progressive cellular changes in the common carp, Cyprinus carpio, infected with the blood fluke, Sanguinicola inermis prior to and after exposure to ammonia. Pollutant responses in Marine Organisms (PRIMO 11), Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK. July, 2001.
Poster: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Lewis, J.W. and Hoole, D. May, 2001. Ultrastructural and immunological assays for detecting pathological changes induced by cadmium in the common carp, Cyprinus carpio. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) European Meeting, Madrid, Spain. May, 2001.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Hoole, D. and Lewis, J.W. Progressive cellular changes in the common carp, Cyprinus carpio, infected with the blood fluke, Sanguinicola inermis prior to and after exposure to cadmium. British Society for Parasitology (BSP) at Keele University, Staffordshire, UK. April, 2001.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. Pollution and parasites, stressors and biomarkers of the fish immune system? Marine Research Station, Male, Maldives. August, 2000
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Preston, M. and El Haj, A..J. The application of the NESTING Multiple Electrode Array Chamber, University of Genoa, Italy. March, 2000.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Preston, M. and El Haj, A..J. The primary results of successful synapses of neural cells on the NESTING Multiple Electrode Array Chamber, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Keele University, UK. December, 1999.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Hoole, D. and Lewis, J.W. Does Cd and NH4+ pollution affect stimulation or depression of the immune system of Sanguinicola-infected carp? British Society for Parasitology (BSP) at University of Warwick, Warwick, UK. April, 1999.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M, Hoole, D. and Lewis, J.W. Are Pollution & Parasites, Stressors & Biomarkers of the Fish Immune System? University of Derby, UK. March, 1999.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Hoole, D. and Lewis, J.W. A multiple response assay, to test immunological and histo-pathological responses in carp (Cyprinus carpio), simultaneously infected with Sanguinicola inermis and exposed to cadmium or ammonia. Keele University, Staffordshire, UK. October, 1998.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Hoole, D. and Lewis, J.W. Immunological and histo-pathological responses in carp (Cyprinus carpio), when simultaneously infected with Sanguinicola inermis and exposed to cadmium or ammonia. Third Symposium of Aquatic Animal Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. August, 1998.
Talk: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. A preliminary integrated study of the effects of cadmium and ammonia on the immunological and histopathological responses of carp (Cyprinus carpio) infected with Sanguinicola inermis. Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA, USA. August, 1998.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. Stressors & Biomarkers of the Fish Immune System. Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory, UCDavis, University of California, Bodega Bay, CA, USA. August, 1998.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. Multiple responses in the immunology and histo-pathology of infected fish exposed to cadmium and ammonia. UCDavis, UCLA, Davis, USA. August, 1998.
Poster: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Hoole, D. and Lewis, J.W. Integrated study of the effects of simultaneous infection by Sanguinicola inermis and cadmium or ammonia pollution on the immunological and histo-pathological responses of juvenile carp (Cyprinus carpio). BSP, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK. April, 1998.
Poster: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Hoole, D. and Lewis, J.W. Preliminary study on the use of immuno-toxicological responses of Sanguinicola inermis-infected Carp (Cyprinus carpio) to Cadmium and Ammonia. Society of Experimental Biology (SEB) at University of York, York, UK. March, 1998.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M., Hoole, D. and Lewis, J.W. "Effects of Infestation and Heavy Metal Pollution on The Biology of the Freshwater Crab, Potamonautes warreni Calman." Keele University, Staffs, UK. October, 1997.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. Multiple biomarker responses of the South African Freshwater Crab, Potamonautes warreni Calman to Cadmium. University of Wales, Bangor, UK. June, 1997.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. Cadmium–induced histo-pathological and molecular effects in the South African Freshwater Crab, Potamonautes warreni Calman. Heinrich-Heine Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany. February, 1997.
Poster: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. Metallothionein of Potamonautes warreni Calman – a possible ecotoxicological biomarker? Meeting of Biology of Crustacea, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK. April, 1996.
Poster: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. Isolation Of Native And Cd-induced Metallothionein (MT) From The Freshwater Crab, Potamonautes warreni Calman. SEB, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, UK. March, 1996.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. "Environmental Modelling: Evaluating An Integrated River Basin Model, The Escaut / Scheldt Basin, designed as a multinational project (EU)." at the University of Potchefstroom, Potchefstroom, South Africa, February 1995.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. "Environmental Modelling: Evaluating an Integrated River Basin Model, The Escaut / Scheldt Basin, designed as a multinational project (EU)." at Cranfield University, UK, August, 1994.
Seminar: Schuwerack, P.-M.M. “Natural and man-made impacts on the Mangrove Ecology of the Cayman Islands” – A case study on the tree-climbing Mangrove crab, Aratus pisonii, Cayman Islands, B.W.I. at the University of Wales, Bangor, June, 1993.
Press conference and interview with Radio Cayman and Cayman Compass newspaper at the Natural Resources Unit, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Schuwerack, P.-M.M. ‘Man-made and natural hazards and the rediscovery of the endangered mangrove crab, Aratus pisonii. September, 1992.
Dr. Petra-Manuela M. Schuwerack is the leader of the "UBC” and “IDMP” research groups at UoP, UK and UFPB and UFSC, Brazil and UPR and TCI, Caribbean at the School of Marine Sciences and Engineering, University of Plymouth.
Background, rationale and objectives of the programmes
The UoP Brazilian Connections (UBC) – In Brief
The UBC students and staff programme was founded in 2008
A memorandum between UoP and UFSC and UoP and UFPB was set up Drs. Alcir Dafre (UFSC) and Manuela Schuwerack (UoP at BRNC), Prof. Isac Medeiros (UFPB) and facilitated by Prof. Mick Fuller between May and August 2009
A business case for UBC was drawn between Prof. Mick Fuller, Dr. Manuela Schuwerack and Mr. Peter Ingram in November 2009.
The rationale behind UBC is to facilitate and promote collaborations between colleagues at UoP and Brazilian similar sized universities to develop multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary cutting-edge research to benefit our communities.
The programme plays an important part in the internationalisation at UoP and has unfathomable potential
The growing network currently consists of 9 disciplines within Science, Engineering and Social Sciences at UoP and its Brazilian partners.
So far links have been established and are continuously developed in the research areas of ecotoxicology, biochemistry, chemistry, aquaculture, geology and geography, micro-palaeontology, oceanography, remote sensing, disaster management, nanotechnology, engineering and psychology.
UBC consists of a team of coordinators (at UFSC: Prof. Giorgini Ventuieri and at UFPB Prof. Tarcisio Cordeiro) who report to the main coordinator and leader (myself) who in turn coordinates with Prof. Mick Fuller (Head of Graduate School), Peter Ingram (Director of International Office) and Prof. Neil James (Head of School of Marine Science and Engineering), Prof. Martin Attrill (Director of Marine Institute) and Prof. Richard Gibb (Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology).
The purpose of the above communication is to develop and monitor the progress of the UBC programme and research projects in the Caribbean.
At UoP I act as mentor to all Brazilian and UoP exchange students of UBC and financially supported 4 students with my British Council INYS grant.
The output of the INYS grant supported research is:
o 1 published article in Micropaleontology
o 1 accepted article in Ecotoxicology/Biochemistry (Aquatic Toxicology)
o 2 papers in Ecotoxicology in preparation
Changes and updates are discussed together in meetings with the academic and managerial staff at UoP and the associated head at UoP at BRNC.
The Integrated Disaster Management Programme (IDMP) – In Brief
The proposed joint research programme aims to strengthen existing collaboration between UoP, its Brazilian partners and collaborators in the Caribbean and to develop a new holistic approach in 'Integrated Disaster Management' combining expertise of Social and Natural Science with Engineering at UoP with the outcome to secure large selected grants which will sustain the proposed Integrated Disaster management programme (IDMP) over a long-term period.
We offer an integrated novel cutting-edge research approach in natural disaster management bringing together a team of researchers at UoP, UK, Brazil and the Caribbean.
IDMP offers an extraordinary opportunity to develop and strengthen multi-disciplinary teamwork in natural and social sciences and engineering and allowing a more complex/holistic programme approach in disaster management to benefit our global coastal communities.
Specific areas of study:
historical data collection of natural disaster events,
coastal engineering and non-linear modelling of coastal flooding,
community vulnerability and resilience assessments,
communication networking programme,
Brief background and description of proposed IDMP to be discussed and developed during the proposed research meeting in June/July 2010:
Ever-growing economic challenges of our governments demand de-centralisation of tasks and support towards community-orientated self-governance. To date no disaster management programme exists which prepares communities for natural hazards as they occur more and more frequently in recent years. The lack of coordinated action between the government(s), support agencies and the affected community/ies and the absence of effective plans prior, in the wake and aftermath of natural disasters still lead to chaos and hamper a quick recovery. Scientific studies are mostly fragmented and do not link with social science or coastal engineering.
The IDM programme aims therefore to bring together for the first time international cutting-edge research and knowledge from natural and social sciences and engineering to develop an integrated strategy, designed to support coastal communities prior, in the wake and aftermath of natural disasters.
Spaceborne imaging technologies play a vital role in measuring and monitoring physical exposure to coastal flooding from tropical storms and tsunamis but it is less clear whether they can also inform assessments of community vulnerability and resilience, which instead require time-intensive, ground-based studies.
In this project we will use an innovative approach that integrates remote sensing of the natural (environmental) capital with coastal engineering and the appraisal of social capital for contrasting communities on the hurricane- and tsunami-prone shores of the Turks & Caicos islands (Caribbean) and those flood-prone regions of Santa Catarina and Paraiba in Brazil and parts of the SW UK. The findings will be used to inform sustainable community-based flood resilience strategies for the region and to better target space-based hazard mitigation capacities. Community vulnerability and resilience will be assessed with remote sensing techniques and ground truthing in 5 sites of 3 countries: Torbay/Plymouth and Scilly Isles in the UK; Turks and Caicos (TCI) in the Caribbean and Paraiba and Santa Catarina in NE and SE Brazil.
This inter-disciplinary programme brings together in an innovative way hazard science practitioners, remote sensing and ground truthing specialists, coastal engineers and social science experts in vulnerability analysis. The aim is to examine the extent to which economic, social and environmental indicators of vulnerability (or signs of resilience) can be detected by remote sensing methods, and appraise the value of quantifying their level. Vulnerability indices are now widely used by hazard practitioners but they are also often considered to be revealed only through detailed, time-intensive surveys. As a result, this study will examine the extent to which the physical environment can exhibit expressions of vulnerability (or resilience) that can be resolved from afar (e.g. road infrastructure, building types). It's an ambitious proposal, but one that is underpinned by sound, tried-and-tested methodologies and practices on both sides of the social and physical divide; the risky element is whether they can be combined.
In the first project proposal, we aim to compare and contrast the social-ecological resilience of contrasting communities in the in the SW UK, Brazil and TCI in the Caribbean. Acknowledging the dual roles of coastal environments to protect and to sustain flood-threatened coastal communities, we devise a four-pronged cross-disciplinary approach to the problem: (1) we evaluate the physical exposure of selected coastal corridors to flood risk using remote sensing (e.g. Schuwerack & Lavender 2008; Buxton-Smith et al., 2009), and aim to determine the capacity for mangrove forests and coral reefs to act as natural flood buffers; (2) we apply community-based vulnerability perspectives (e.g. Wilson 1992, Wilson & Buller 2001, Chaskin 2008) to assess the inherent susceptibility of communities living in these coastal zones, and evaluate the extent to which institutional change on the one hand, and traditional knowledge and practices on the other hand, have afforded them a degree of resilience; (3) we propose to explore ways in which a methodology developed during our participation in the EU-funded FLOODsite FP6 project to estimate the coastal vulnerability to storm impacts at the regional scale in Europe could be extended to the Brasil/southern Caribbean context and (4) we evaluate the degree to which these community factors that predicate the hazard threat could be detected from our analysis of the physical environment.
There are considerable policy and applied dimensions to this research. The techniques and methodologies of this holistic inter-disciplinary study will be transferable to other flood-prone parts of the Europe, the Caribbean, Brazil and the globe in large and the project results will directly inform capacity building and educational awareness efforts in the SW UK, Brazil and TCI.
Background of collaboration with TCI and the Brazilian partner Universities:
Existing contacts, reciprocal visits and video conferences resulted in collaboration with the Department of the Environment of TCI and the Federal Partner Universities of Paraiba (UFPB) and Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Brazil.
The recent visits and meetings of Dr. Samantha Lavender, Honorary reader at UoP and Director of the remote sensing company, ARGANS Ltd., and Professor Tarcisio Alves Cordeiro, the coordinator of the UoP Brazilian Connections (UBC) at UFPB to UFSC have resulted in further strengthening of the UBC exchange programme launched in 2009 and revealed the imminent need of exchange of our expertise to build an international integrated community-orientated disaster management programme.
Relevance to the University research strategy and how the outcomes contribute to Faculty/School/Centre strategies:
The research meeting is a crucial step in developing the IDM programme with its overall aim and purpose to encourage and guide towards:
- strengthening research collaboration within and across faculties of UoP and its international partners
- building strong multi-disciplinary teams with cutting-edge approaches in science, engineering and social science
- higher both qualitative and quantitative publication output for all involved
- increased students recruitment and exchange with Brazilian and Caribbean partners
- strong expanding links with existing Brazilian partners and those on TCI and those to come furthering the development and application of international non-linear community-orientated research models
- aiding the de-centralisation process to strengthen and better prepare communities individually driving and benefit the local, national and international economy
- increased time for creativity and less stress for all involved
- contributing to a more tolerant multi-culture in the SW of the UK
- guiding towards de-centralisation and community-based task
- building leading international strategy in HE
- IDMP will contribute to the enterprise mission of the University by placing an innovative integrated research approach in social and natural sciences and engineering at the heart of our work which will enhance research opportunities
- building research careers so that all academic staff and postgraduate students maintain the dynamic research expertise regionally, national, and international.
- IDMP will strengthen our research culture and improve the visibility of our research activity at UoP and international partners by increasing our networks and collaborations
- IDMP will offer a new cutting-edge research programme in disaster management programme global integration and cooperation, i.e. strategic internationalisation at UoP.
- IMDP aims to bring global expertise together by the colleagues from TCI to share with the Brazilian and UoP colleagues the lessons learned through natural disaster impacts on the British Overseas Territories
- growing participation of UoP in disaster management in other British Overseas Territories, the Caribbean in large and on a global scale.
Key activities and outcomes anticipated:
- 1 edited book
- 3 publications in international high impact factor journals including
- Global Environmental Change
- Environment and Planning A
- Remote Sensing
- Long-term expanding research activities and consultancy work at UoP
- Develop strong community awareness in the UK and internationally
- Draw natural disaster preparation plans promoting coordination, community awareness and faster action prior, in the wake and aftermath of natural disasters
- 2 seminars are held by our Brazilian and TCI colleagues at UoP to which all staff and students are invited
- Meetings of Profs. Lovato and Medeiros and Mr. Clerveaux with the individual heads of Schools and International Office and Deans at UoP to further students recruitment and student and staff exchange
We warmly welcome you to explore the possibilities for research collaborations and exchange and teaching initiatives and look forward to your enquiries about UBC and UDMP activities and teams. Please contact:
Dr. Manuela Schuwerack
School Marine Science and Engineering,
BRNC at University of Plymouth,
1, College Way, Dartmouth TQ6 0HJ, UK
Phone: +44-(0)1803 677234
Mobile: +44 (0)7980000546
The UoP Brazilian Connections academic staff and students' exchange programme (UBC) with information on the Integrated Disaster Management group (IDMP) and activities will be launched and linked to the UoP website in September 2010.