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SeaHealth: a new interdisciplinary research group at the UdG to study the complex relationships that exist between marine ecosystems and human's health.

30/07/2018

The new Research Group on Sea Ecosystems and Human Health (SeaHealth) of the UdG is the first group in Catalonia and Spain, and one of the few in Europe, to tackle in an interdisciplinary manner the links between marine ecosystems and human health. Marine ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services essential for the health and well-being of people, but they are also a source of risks, that are still poorly understood. These investigations are essential not only for the health and wellbeing of people but also for environmental, social and economic sustainability in Europe in relation to the so-called "Blue Economy" and "Blue Health" . With the creation of this new research group, which is closely related to the new Chair of Oceans and Human Health of the UdG (www.oceanshealth.udg.edu), the UdG is at the forefront of studies on "Oceans and Health Human " in Europe. Specifically, the new research group will address the following topics:
• The bioactive potential of marine organisms as a source of new medicines.
• Healthy foods coming from the sea
• The health benefits linked to life on the coast and the practice of recreational (tourism) activities at sea
• Risks to health from the sea: parasites, contaminants, biotoxins, etc.
• The conservation of marine ecosystems and their resources to preserve the health and wellbeing of people: impacts of anthropogenic factors (fishing, recreational activities, etc.) and climate change on marine resources and habitats.

The group is formed initially by marine biologists, biotechnologists, physicians and researchers of the social sciences, among others, and will be co-directed by Dr. Josep Lloret (marine and fisheries biologist) from the IEA-Faculty of Sciences and Dr. Joan San (neuroscientist) from the Faculty of Medicine. In addition to the professors of the UdG, the group is collaborating with researchers from the Institute of Marine Sciences (CSIC) of Barcelona who work on particular Oceans and Human Health issues. The group maintains relationships with more than 20 universities and research centers around the world with which it shares different research projects among which currently the European projects Interreg PHAROS4MPAs, GALP Omega 3, Small project, MedPAN and SAFENET. The group is also organizing  the ISSE 2018 course and the day of oceans and human health that will be held in Roses on 28-29th September (http://www.oceanshealth.udg.edu/ca/agenda.html )
The group not only intends to carry out scientific studies, but also wants to promote the transfer of knowledge to society in order to disseminate the idea "Healthy, healthy people" in collaboration with different groups (managers of marine reserves, fishermen, associations of patients and nautical activities such as diving, swimming, recreational fishing or kayaking), while promoting citizen science and co-management systems such as those that have already been successfully carried out by different members of the group in the past. In this sense, participation in different tasks of advice to the administration (such as the membership of a group member to the STECF committee that advises the European Commission on marine resources) supports the potential of the group in the necessary task of to disseminate the results of the investigations to stakeholders.
The group hopes to grow within and outside the UdG with the incorporation of new researchers from different fields of the subject "Oceans and Human Health", with an innovative spirit and open to the world and society.
For more information (provisional website): https://www.udg.edu/en/investigation/Recerca/grups-de-recerca/detall?grup=GRCT0101

 

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