Rafael Trevisan, PhD
Postdoctoral and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale and the Laboratory of Environmental Marine Sciences, France
A scientist and researcher interested in assessing ecological and environmental health in a changing world
Even as a young Brazilian undergraduate, I was already fascinated by the world of science. I was thrilled with the idea of using Biology to face real-world problems. I got my feet dirty helping to assess the harmful effects of pollutants on ecosystem health in our local state. I then decided to become an ecotoxicologist because of the exciting opportunities it offers to combine my interests in experimental biology, environmental sciences, and fieldwork. Since then, I have made it my mission to learn about the effects of pollution on animals, the consequences of global warming for ecosystems, and the role that science can serve in protecting marine environments and preserving marine life.
What do I do? My research program investigates:
- The effects of plastic pollution on animal development and energy metabolism.
- How animals respond to survive and adapt to environmental pollution.
- If climate change contributes to the harmful effect of environmental pollutants.
- Which are some of long-lasting effects of exposure to toxic chemical in aquatic species.
Recent news from my research
I am excited to start a new position as a Postdoctoral and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at UBO and LEMAR in France. My project PlastiCO, funded by the Bienvenüe Program (MSCA COFUND and Región Bretagne), will explore the metabolic costs of plastic pollution on marine bivalves under present and future climatic circumstances.
ISblue, an interdisciplinary graduate school specializing in marine science and technology, also funded me and collaborators from LEMAR to develop metabolic tools for measuring and mitigating the effects of global change on the bioenergetics and fitness of coastal species (EcoATP project).
The implications of plastic pollution from a One Health viewpoint were recently evaluated thanks to a new research partnership with Duke University. Check it out here.
I just published a review with colleagues from Duke University on the impacts of nanoplastics on aquatic species and their interactions with environmental factors and pollutants. Check it out here.
I am really happy to start work as a Postdoctoral Researcher at IFREMER in France, where I will be exploring the mechanisms of toxicity of Karlodinium microalgae to bivalves.
New research has been published as a result of a collaboration on the effects of aging on the mitochondrial toxicity of pesticides in fish. Look it up here.
Check out my latest publication on how organic contaminants adsorbed to plastics might ultimately end up in certain organs and cellular organelles, potentially amplifying the negative impacts of plastics on mitochondrial function loss in fish. Read it here!
Science during the COVID-19 outbreak
These are challenging times for our society and for ourselves. After four incredible years in the United States, I returned to my home country of Brazil in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. I was hired as an Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry and have been working on unfinished projects, submitting proposals, and conducting some online scientific communication. More information about these activities may be found under the Resources tab.
Recent findings from an ongoing experiment show that climate change-induced temperature stress may raise the energy cost of exposure to tiny plastic particles in fish!
Check my recent talk on the effects of small plastic particles on fish health! Where to plastics accumulate? What do they do? Can they reach the gonads, accumulate in the gametes, and be transferred to the offspring? Can they reach the mitochondria and impair energy production? How do other environmental stressors interact with the adverse effects of plastic particles? All of that is available here!