Ecohydrology means INTERACTION between several areas such as hydrology, ecology, biochemistry, plant physiology, social sciences, among others, requiring professionals with multidisciplinary training or having cooperation with people from other disciplines. In addition to integrating several areas, ecohydrology also associates the different components of the ecosystem, such as water, soil, vegetation, organisms, atmosphere, as well as humans. It is an area widely used today that seeks to solve problems associated with the distribution and quality of water resources in ecosystems, and at multiple scales. This is particularly important because water is a strategic resource for humanity, requiring a better understanding of its role in the functioning of ecosystems and the ecosystem services it provides.
What are your undergraduate and graduate degrees in?
My undergraduate degree was in Mathematics at the Federal University of Rondônia (UNIR), followed by a MSc and PhD in Ecology, both from the University of São Paulo (USP) and a post-doc at the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT), all carried out in Brazil.
How did you arrive at working in/thinking about ecohydrology?
I was a privileged person at the beginning of my academic career. During my graduation course in Mathematics I had the opportunity to participate in an international scientific collaboration project in the Amazon region called LBA (http://lba2.inpa.gov.br), where I worked initially with prof. Jurgen Kesselmeier of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, with precipitation and emission of greenhouse gases and later with researchers from CENA / USP studying aquatic biogeochemistry. In these projects I got involved with many field activities in terrestrial (canopy, soil, riparian forest) and aquatic (rivers and streams) environments in the Amazon. I took the opportunity and decided to do the master's degree with aquatic biogeochemistry, supervised by prof. Alex Krusche (USP), evaluating the effects of land use and land cover change with the hydrochemistry of the Ji-Paraná River, an important tributary of the Madeira River, which in turn is one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River. After studying this river, I decided to better understand the connections between the terrestrial environment and river systems through the dynamics of hydrological flowpaths and their relationship with the nutrients fluxes within a riparian forest with strong anthropic pressure, which was the focus of my PhD project, supervised by prof. Vicky Ballester. At the end of my doctorate, I attended the Fundamentals of Ecosystem Ecology course (https://www.caryinstitute.org/eco-inquiry/undergradgraduate/graduate-opportunities) at the Cary Institute where I had the opportunity to meet some of the major ecosystem ecologists, such as Gene Likens, John Cole, Bill Schlesinger, among others, improving my concepts of Ecology much more deeply. From these experiences, I followed my academic trajectory working with Ecohydrology in a post-doc supervised by prof. Mark Johnson (UBC / Canada) involving carbon dynamics in one of the largest wetlands in the world - the Pantanal Mato-Grossense. Since 2012 I have been an associate professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, in Brazil and currently I have been exploring the influence of urbanization and tourism in the hydrochemistry of streams in the southern region of Brazil (Atlantic Forest biome) and also have evaluated bioinvasions in artificial reservoirs by the golden mussel, supervising students in the Ecology Program at UFSC. Ecohydrology has been present throughout my academic career and will continue to have a strong influence on the work that I will do and on the students that I mentor and guide.
What do you see as an important emerging area of ecohydrology?
I think that interesting studies are coming up, mainly relating urban ecohydrology to emerging contaminants. Man's actions have drastically altered the urban hydrological cycle and many substances / pathogens have reached watercourses, influencing aquatic communities and compromising water quality and people's health. In this context, recent studies have observed a large quantity of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in stool samples (YANG et al. 2020), which with poor or inefficient sanitation (as in many places here in Brazil), could already be present in wastewater (NADDEO & LIU, 2020). Even though there is no evidence that this virus can be transmitted by water or sewage (MEDEMA, 2020), the evaluation of its presence and quantity in environmental samples (water, sediment, aquatic organisms) can be used to monitor its circulation in the human population or even as an important early warning tool to check for an eventual increase in the number of cases or even a recurrence of the epidemic.
Do you have a favorite ecohydrology paper? Describe/explain.
I have several favorite Ecohydrology papers, such as those in the Ecohydrology Bearings - Invited Commentary series, published in the Ecohydrology journal. But I will highlight the review article “Frontiers in real-time ecohydrology - a paradigm shift in understanding complex environmental systems” by Krause et al. 2015, where they present the possibility of using novel technological approaches for real-time ecohydrological research aiming to capture the spatial and temporal dynamics and complexity of ecohydrological processes. Despite the difficulties and challenges in implementing the use of these technologies, the benefits are high, since the acquisition of a substantial mass of data favors better monitoring of patterns (especially in situations of rapid change), refinement of predictive models (and in analyzes of artificial intelligence), in addition to greater engagement of the public through more effective research communication, made possible by advanced visualization tools, which can culminate in greater interest and concern about aquatic ecosystems. The use of real-time technology is an approach that my research group (http://www.limnos.ufsc.br) is adopting in a study carried out in a coastal lagoon in Southern Brazil with the partnership of prof. Mark Johnson of the Ecohydrology Group at the University of British Columbia (https://ecohydro.ires.ubc.ca).
What do you do for fun (apart from ecohydrology)?
I really enjoy exploring the nature around me with my family. The city where I currently live (Florianópolis, Santa Catarina) is very privileged and offers a heterogeneous mosaic of ecosystems, with forests, beaches, rivers, lakes and coastal lagoons, mangroves, sandbank, among others. Unfortunately, our outdoor activities have been very limited lately due to the new Coronavirus pandemic. In this way, we have watched movies at home, cooked a lot, played a lot of board games and assembled puzzles and LEGOs.