The Centre for Studies and Projects in Applied Ecology (GEPE) was created in 1998 to provide services in the areas of management and conservation of biodiversity, and monitoring.
Currently, the technical staff of GEPE includes three full-term members (in which one holds a PhD) and several part-time collaborators (several PhD holders).
The strategic objectives of GEPE are:
- To promote the deepening of scientific knowledge in the fields of ecology and environment, with particular emphasis on issues related to the inventory and ecological monitoring of biodiversity;
- To use sound scientific knowledge in the development of management tools, valuation and conservation of biodiversity;
- To increase the knowledge and public awareness on issues related to biodiversity and the environment;
- To promote the transfer and application of scientific knowledge to the community;
- To stimulate the increase of scientific production in the area of applied ecology.
The activities of GEPE cover a wide range of issues in the area of biodiversity conservation, such as:
- Inventories, distribution and ecological characterization of the flora and fauna in a diversified range of terrestrial and aquatica habitats and ecosystems, including the use of modelling of potential areas of occurrence of threatned and/or invasive species and the production of digital cartography associated (GIS-based).
- Ecological monitoring in a wide range of situations, including the monitoring of environmental impacts of large infra-structures (eg., large dams, railroads) and natural disasters; implementation of detailed monitoring plans for fauna and flora.
- Management and conservation of biodiversity through a direct participation in public projects of regional planning, and by drawing up and/or evaluate proposals for the classification of natural areas.
- Management of game species, including the characterization and monitoring of their populations, the design and implementation of habitat management plans and the technical support to private and public institutions concenned (eg., evaluation of the success of repopulation projects, formation of technical staff)
- Environmental impact assessments, including analysis of the biodiversity descriptors (fauna, flora and natural habitats) in all types of ecosystems and the proposal of compensatory and mitigation measures.
- Valoration of the natural resources, including the proposal of awarness and dissemination projects in nature conservation, the preparation of learning and public dissemination material, etc.
- Development and testing of new methodologies in applied ecology, in particular in the field of experimental design (eg., BACI-related methods) and ecological modelling (eg., risk analysis).
A network of partnerships has been established between GEPE and several private and public companies, as well as with other public institutions, like municipalities and government departments with responsibilities in the biodiversity conservation. A full list of these partnerships can be seen here.
Since its beginning the GEPE was involved in more than 30 projects in applied ecology, encompassing a diversified set of areas.Please find the list of the most relevant projects here.