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Frederico Santarém
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I finished my graduation in Biology in 2011 at the Faculty of Sciences of University of Porto, Portugal, where I started my research on climate change impacts on estuaries, analysing the influence of temperature rising in growing of estuarine species. I completed my M.Sc. degree in Ecology, Environment and Territory in 2013 at the same faculty, where I evaluated the ecotourism potential of hiking trails in Peneda-Gerês National Park. Since then, my research focus has been on examining how ecotourism can be a tool to preserve threatened biodiversity in the poorly funded and underdeveloped Sahara-Sahel region.
During the following years of my Ph.D., in a partnership between the CIBIO/InBIO and the University of Oulu, Finland, I will address the following questions: 1) which desert species can constitute flagship species for ecotourism and conservation campaigns?; 2) which natural and cultural features can attract people to arid environments?; 3) which human-factors can negatively affect ecotourism development and wildlife conservation?; and 4) can ecotourism provide more economic revenues for poor local communities and for wildlife conservation than other land-uses?
Until now, I’ve published four papers in scientific journals as main author, including a letter in the prestigious Nature journal. I am the Principal Investigator of the project “Conserving Desert Biodiversity through Crocodile-based Ecotourism in Mauritania”, funded by the Rufford Foundation, which allowed me to perform an expedition to Mauritania in early 2016. I have been collaborating as a reviewer for many scientific journals in areas of biological conservation, tourism management, and sustainability in ecotourism development. I have been a committee jury member of the Future Ideas Worldwide Academic Competition in the Sustainability category. I am also an environmental consultant.



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