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Lara Loureiro de Sousa

Lara Loureiro de Sousa

PhD Student

PhD Student
Member type
Former Members
CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, Rua Monte-Crasto, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal

My main research interests are the behavioural ecology, distribution and movement patterns of pelagic species. I have been collaborating with the satellite tracking of blue shark, aiming to understand this species’ distribution and movements within the oceanographic context.


Currently I am a PhD student at the University of Southampton and the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO-InBIO/ University of Porto).


My thesis focuses on the behaviour, predator-prey and fisheries interactions of ocean sunfish Mola mola(L. 1758), in the North Atlantic Ocean. This study aims to achieve a better knowledge of habitat selection and resources usage, focusing on the underlying behavioural mechanisms, by tracking this marine predator with recently developed GPS tags. This technology improves our ability to detect much finer scale behaviour patterns within movements, such as foraging and predator-prey interactions. Known to feed primarily on jellyfish, prey fields for sunfish may be simulated and prey encounter performance may be attained, at various spatial scales. This work will also highlight how dynamic prey landscapes enable active habitat selection in large predators, sustaining future conservation measures, by identifying critical habitat, which may be extremely valuable to infer on the behavioural responses to climate fluctuations.

Moreover, I am also interested in the responses of marine populations to both climate changes and fishery activities. Within this context, my MSc was focused on the vulnerability of blue shark to longlining activity in the Northeast Atlantic, and I have collaborated with the research project HINT, mainly assisting in the fieldwork.

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