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MARE constitutes a large Centre for research, technological development and innovation. The objective of MARE is to seek excellence in the study of aquatic ecosystems and disseminate knowledge to support policies for sustainable development. This mission is achieved through scientific research, education and knowledge and technology transfer to industry, as well as through the dissemination of science, establishing collaborative networks at the regional, national and international levels.
MARE has presently important R&D groups located at the Universidade de Coimbra [MARE UC], Universidade de Lisboa, Universidade dos Açores, ISPA – Instituto Universitário, Universidade de Évora, and Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
MARE UC is presently organised in 3 Groups:
  GI 01 River Basins
  GI 02 Estuaries and Coastal Zones
  GI 03 Open Ocean and Deep Sea

and 11 Thematic Areas:
  AT 01 Biogeography, Biodiversity, and Evolution
  AT 02 Ecology, Behaviour, and Conservation
  AT 03 Hydraulics, Water Resources, Sedimentary Geology, and Environment
  AT 04 Ocean Dynamics and Processes
  AT 05 Living and non-Living Resources
  AT 06 Environmental Assessment and Ecological Risk
  AT 07 Global Environmental Change
  AT 08 Ecological Processes
  AT 09 Technological Tools for Exploration and Monitoring
  AT 10 Policy and Governance
  AT 11 Marine Biotechnology
MARE UC main research activities involve:
Baseline studies and monitoring of wetlands, estuaries, and coastal marine ecosystems
Long term ecological research and application of the ecosystem services approach to integrate the ecological and economic perspectives
Investigation on processes governing energy and nutrients transferences in freshwater ecosystems and associated landscapes
Investigation on behaviour of natural depositional systems in fluvial basins, estuaries, and near-shore to marine environments
Investigation on sources, fate, routes of exposure, and effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors and their mitigation or management solutions at all levels of biological organization
Investigation on hydraulics and hydrology to solve problems of fluid mechanics and water resources
Ecological modelling and its utilisation in management applications, with particular reference to integrated coastal zone management
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