National R&D


Adsorption of metallic nanoparticles to estuarine sediments: what implication for denitrification?

Principal Investigator

Mafalda Baptista is a postdoctoral researcher working on the microbial ecology of aquatic systems and extreme environments. She got her PhD in Environmental Sciences and Technology from the University of Porto in 2008. Since then she has established a number of collaborations with research institutions, namely the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnologies, University of California at Santa Barbara, in the USA, the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, University of Stockholm, in Sweden, and the International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research, University of Waikato, New Zealand


No results found.

This project aims to study the impact of metallic nanoparticles on denitrification in estuarine sediments. The hypothesis we put forward is that the deposition of metallic nanoparticles in sediments affects the bioavailability and speciation of metals, and these in turn alter the occurrence of denitrification.

The metallic nanoparticles in the aquatic environment end up deposited in estuaries and coastal environments. They can thus affect denitrification by promoting accumulation of N2O and inhibiting specific steps of the enzymatic denitrification system of the estuarine microbial community involved in the nitrogen cycle.
This project will contribute to the better understanding of denitrification, one of the most important biogeochemical cycles and determinant of the productivity of ecosystems. As coastal and estuarine communities are at the forefront of climate change, their monitoring will provide essential information for a timely response.

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