V Forum

Ecological and Economical Impacts of Invasive Species


Venue: Online

6 – 9th december 2021
09:30 – 12:30 (GMT-3 | Belo Horizonte, Brazil)


Biodiversity is essential in keeping natural systems healthy, in balance, and ensuring the resilience of these systems. Most threats to the diversity of natural systems come from human actions such as the occupation and use of land and oceans, the pollution of industrial activities and the burning of fossil fuels, the intense exploitation of systems and biomes, and the dispersion of invasive species, among others.

In view of the urgent context imposed by the serious environmental crisis we are experiencing, any and all tools that can enhance and streamline these processes are extremely welcome. The use of Molecular Biology has evolved rapidly in the identification of species through the analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA).

In this V edition of the Discussion Forum on Invasive Species, we will debate the various facets of using DNA for knowledge and monitoring of biodiversity, and innovations in bioengineering. 


*This programme might change before the date of the conference.

06/12/21 (Monday)

09:30 – 09:40 Welcome & Opening Ceremony Prof. Paulo Santos Assis
(Coordinator of GT-604)
09:40 – 09:50 Welcome and a few words from Cemig (Sponsor of GT-604) Rafael Augusto Fiorine
(Environmental Manager at Cemig)Donorvan Rodrigo Fagundes
(R&D Manager at Cemig)
09:50 – 10:00 A Word from the Secretary of Environment of the state of Minas Gerais Dr. Marilia Carvalho de Melo

(Secretary of Environment in the State of Minas Gerais)

10:00 – 10:30 Environmental DNA: from rare species detection to global biodiversity monitoring Dr. Alice Valentini (Spygen)
10:30 – 11:00 Practical aspects about eDNA Prof. Evanguedes Kalapothakis (UFMG)
11:00 – 12:30 Roundtable I Dr. Alice Valentini
Prof. Evanguedes Kalapothakis
Mediator: Dr. Newton Barbosa


07/12/21 (Tuesday)

10:00 – 10:30 Environmental monitoring through eDNA in the Amazon Prof. Guilherme Oliveira (ITV / Vale)
10:30 – 11:00 Molecular tools for early detection of Limnoperna fortunei and phylogenetic investigations of Cordylophora caspia Me. Rayan Silva de Paula (CBEIH)
11:00 – 12:30 Roundtable II Prof. Guilherme Oliveira
Me. Rayan de Paula
Mediator: Dr. Newton Barbosa


08/12/21 (Wednesday)

10:00 – 10:30 Scalability, Efficiency and Accuracy: Keys for Invasive Species Detection and Management Using eDNA Dr. Vere Ross-Gillespie (NatureMetrics)
Dr. Natalie Swan (NatureMetrics)
10:30 – 11:00 Unveiling the diversity of microorganisms from environmental and industrial samples Dr. Mariana de Paula Reis (CBEIH)
11:00 – 12:30 Roundtable III Dr. Vere Ross-Gillespie
Dr. Mariana de Paula Reis
Mediator: Dr. Newton Barbosa


09/12/21 (Thursday)

10:00 – 10:10 Welcome & Opening Ceremony Prof. Paulo Santos Assis
(Coordinator of GT-604)
10:10 – 10:20 Welcome and a few words from Cemig (Sponsor of GT-604) Rafael Augusto Fiorine
(Environmental Manager at Cemig)Donorvan Rodrigo Fagundes
(R&D Manager at Cemig)
10:20 – 10:30 A Word from the Secretary of Environment of the state of Minas Gerais Dr. Marilia Carvalho de Melo

(Secretary of Environment in the State of Minas Gerais)

10:30 – 11:00 GT 604 R&D Project: Development and Results in 2021 Prof. Antonio Valadão Cardoso
11:00 – 11:10 eDNA: a novel tool for environmental monitoring Dr. Newton Ulhôa Barbosa
11:10 – 11:20 Functional responses of native predators in the presence of the golden mussel Dr. Daniel de Melo Rosa
11:20 – 11:30 Impacts on water quality in reservoirs invaded by golden mussels – monitoring strategies with the aid of satellites and in situ measurements Dr. Fabiano Alcísio e Silva
11:30 – 11:40 Laboratory culture of golden mussels as a support for the research at CBEIH Nubia Resende de Oliveira
11:40 – 11:50 Science communication at CBEIH Me. Arthur Corrêa
11:50 – 12:00 Closing Talk Prof. Antonio Valadão Cardoso


Dr Alice Valentini (Spygen)

Alice Valentini has a PhD in Molecular Ecology at Grenoble Alpes University (France) and at the Tuscia University (Italy). Dr Valentini is responsible for the implementation and follow-up of research projects. Since 2005, she has contributed to the development of biodiversity monitoring approaches based on eDNA. She is specialised in the use of new sequencing technologies and bioinformatics tools and has over 70 papers published in international journals.

Prof Evanguedes Kalapothakis (UFMG)

Evanguedes Kalapothakis has a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology. He is full professor at the Department of General Biology at UFMG and a researcher at CBEIH. At UFMG, he acts as sub-coordinator of the Graduate Program in Genetics and he is involved in the Graduate Program in Physiology and Pharmacology, Professional Master’s Degree in Biopharmaceutical Innovation and the Graduate Program in Genetics. Dr Kalapothakis is the Editor of Toxicon Journal and reviewer of several other Journals. He has expertise in the fields of Pharmacology, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, with an emphasis on characterization of molecules of pharmacological interest, molecular markers, population genetics, isolation and expression of recombinant proteins, and forensic biology.

Prof Guilherme Oliveira (Instituto de Tecnologia Vale – ITV)

Guilherme Oliveira is a biologist and holds a PhD from Texas A&M University. He was a Senior Researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Instituto René Rachou and is a 1D researcher at CNPq. He develops his research in the area of ​​structural and functional genomic studies of eukaryotes and prokaryotes. He coordinated research projects funded by Brazilian, American and European agencies and has organized several events and workshops in the areas of schistosomiasis, bioinformatics, genomics and metagenomics research. Dr Oliveira is a professor in the postgraduate courses in Health Sciences (FIOCRUZ), Genetics and Bioinformatics (UFMG) and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in Tropical Regions (ITV-DS). He is on the editorial board of national and international journals and acts as a reviewer for high-impact magazines and national and international funding agencies. He was President of the Brazilian Association of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and a member of the board of directors of the International Society for Computational Biology. He is currently Head Researcher of the “Environmental Genomics” research line at the Vale Institute of Technology (ITV) for Sustainable Development.

Dr Vere Ross-Gillespie (NatureMetrics)

Vere Ross-Gillespie has a PhD in Zoology from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) for work focused on life-history traits of aquatic insects in relation to thermal and hydrological alteration as well as climate change and genetic factors. Dr Ross-Gillespie has managed numerous projects and impact assessments focusing on a wide range of topics from water quality and chemistry, diatom assessments, biomonitoring, bioremediation, mining solutions, environmental audits, environmental flows (eflows) and river health assessments, river restoration, wetland and ephemeral pan assessments, citizen science, aquatic ecological training courses and workshops. He is a member of the Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientists (SASAqS), a registered Professional Natural Scientist in Ecological Science in South Africa, and has been an accredited SASS5 Practitioner for 10 years. At NatureMetrics, Vere is working with clients across a range of sectors (e.g. agricultural, mining conservation, water, environmental) from NGO’s, to public and private entities to introduce DNA-based methods to clients in order to improve environmental management practices, inform biodiversity monitoring, assist research and ultimately improve conservation measures.

Dr Natalie Swan (NatureMetrics)

Natalie Swan has a dual-PhD in Environmental Science from Lancaster University (UK) and at the Federal University of Lavras (Brazil). Dr Swan has over a decade of experience in conservation research, biodiversity monitoring and project management, with a notable focus in Latin America. As a lead biologist and expedition team leader for FundAmazonia, she has collaborated with organisations and institutions such as Operation Wallacea, DICE and Earthwatch and has assisted with field courses in Brazil with Lancaster University and led conservation-focussed educational trips to Peru with Flooglebinder (a UK BCorp adventure company). As the Research Coordinator for Crees Foundation, Natalie managed a team of biologists and volunteers in an educational field research station, carrying out long-term biodiversity monitoring in a regenerating forest in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. Back in the UK, she has also worked as a marine ecologist for environmental impact assessment within the nuclear industry, focussing on fish impingement in cooling water intake structures.

Dr Mariana de Paula Reis (CBEIH)

Mariana de Paula Reis graduated in Biological Sciences with an emphasis on Biotechnology and environment from University Center UNA (2009). She became a master and a PhD in genetics from the Program in Genetics at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (2012-2015), and a part of her PhD was held in Wageningen, at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (2014). Currently, Mariana is a researcher at the Center of Bioengineering of Invasive Species of Hydroelectric Power Plants (CBEIH) and is currently a Postdoc Researcher in Cellular Biology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). Dr Reis currently researches topics such as Environmental Microbiology, Metagenome, Diversity of Prokaryotes, rRNA 16S, Environment impacted by Mining Activities, and Microbial Resistance.

MSc Rayan Silva de Paula (CBEIH)

PhD in progress (2018-current) at the Postgraduate Program in Cell Biology at the Institute of Biological Sciences of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (ICB-UFMG). Master (2018) in Cell Biology at UFMG. Bachelor and Licentiate Degrees (2014) in Biological Sciences at UFMG. Scientific Initiation at the Laboratory of Oral Biology and Development of the Department of Morphology at ICB-UFMG, with emphasis on the molecular program for the development of skeletal musculature in vertebrates. He is currently a researcher at the Center for Bioengineering of Invasive Species of Hydroelectric Power Plants (CBEIH), focusing on the creation and use of molecular tools for the prevention, detection, control and combat of invasive species. He has experience in Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, Embryology and Molecular Ecology.

Scientific & Organising Committees

Scientific Committee

Coordinating Head:
Antônio Valadão Cardoso

Newton Pimentel de Ulhôa Barbosa
Gabriela Rabelo Andrade

Organising Committee

Coordinating Head:
Gabriela Rabelo Andrade

Amanda Maria Siqueira Moreira
Antônio Valadão Cardoso
Clara Carvalho e Souza
Davi Vilaça Carvalho
Newton Pimentel de Ulhôa Barbosa
Paulo Ricardo da Silva Camargo
Verônica Aparecida Martins do Rosário

Administration Assistant:
Kelly Carneiro de Souza Lima