The CFE

Mission

The Centre for Functional Ecology - Science for People & the Planet (CFE) brings together researchers from all fields of ecology, environmental and territorial sciences, social sciences and humanities. The multidisciplinary dimension of the CFE reflects contemporary societal challenges in interaction with the complexity of the global commitment to sustainability.

Integrates knowledge from genes to biomes to study the mechanisms responsible for biodiversity conservation and the composition, structure and functioning of biological communities and ecosystems; considers the disciplinary diversity essential to understanding the relationship between People and the Planet, the territories and communities.

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The CFE is strongly committed to transferring knowledge to the general public and the productive sector, emphasising the sustainability of territories and the well-being of local communities.

Since its creation in 2007, the CFE has experienced a remarkable growth in size, scope and impact. At present, CFE is composed by 149 integrated PhD researchers and a total of about 400 researchers organized in 10 strategic research groups:

1 - Biodiversity, Conservation and Natural Capital
2 - Terrestrial Ecosystems and Global Change
3 - Marine Resources, Conservation and Technology
4 - Soil Health
5 - Societies and Environmental Sustainability
6 - History, Territories, Communities
7 - One Health
8 - Forensic Anthropology and Paleobiology
9 - Bioelectronics & Bioenergy
10 - Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology

Each of these groups pursues its own clear R&D goals, but with very strong and fluid collaborations among all research groups, a hallmark of CFE since its creation. In addition, CFE inscribes two cross-cutting thematic lines: The UNESCO Chair on Biodiversity Safeguard for Sustainable Development and the Open Science.

CFE's strategy s to consolidate the positive trajectory of the overall performance of the R&D unit, both scientifically and formatively. The vibrant research dynamic achieved in the past, the incorporation of highly qualified researchers with strong international dimension, the number and quality of the approved projects, the established synergies with the private sector, and the participation of CFE researchers in international networks, including the support in decision making, sustain a greater affirmation of CFE nationally and internationally.

Since ecology is the scientific matrix of CFE, with research focused in the fields of climate change, water and food management, protection of the oceans, biodiversity, ecosystem services, among others, CFE researchers will pursue a greater commitment to promote sustainable development, in a concerted, transdisciplinary, transnational and translational vision, supported by knowledge sharing. Therefore, the global mission of the CFE fully embodies the priorities of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with researchers being stimulated to give priority to systemic thinking with relevance at local, national and international levels. The permanent commitment to produce state-of-the art science for improving the livelihoods of people and the protection of the environment has originated the new motto of the R&D unit - Science for People & the Planet.

In respect with the guiding principles of the promotion of a truly open and socially responsible science, CFE will continue to strengthen some specific priority areas, chiefly: agro-environment, phytosanitary, Mediterranean diet, forestry, global change, nature conservation, food safety, environmental risk assessment, blue economy, marine and coastal ecosystems, circular economy and sustainable development.

Advanced training and the incorporation of students in the inception and development of ideas and projects is another cornerstone of CFE's strategy, and the next few years will witness a strong affirmation in the field of advanced training and in international academic cooperation, through the involvement in international PhD and MSc programs. Inherent to this is the promotion of scientific employment.

Furthermore, through the UNESCO Chair on Biodiversity Safeguard for Sustainable Development, the relations with Portuguese-speaking countries will continue to be leveraged. Our long-shared history with such countries demands and favors these collaborations, with a crucial focus in the conservation of biodiversity and natural history collections, mentoring and knowledge-sharing.

For all the above, the CFE mission is to push the boundaries of knowledge across all areas of Ecology and its interfaces with technology and society, truly producing top-tier quality Science for People & the Planet.

Team

The Centre for Functional Ecology - Science for People & the Planet (CFE) has a simple and highly effective management structure, organized in four main bodies:

  • the Coordination Board
  • the Steering Committee
  • the Scientific Committee
  • and the External Advisory Board

CFE is coordinated by a Coordination Board that comprises the Coordinator, Helena Freitas, and two vice-Coordinators that are responsible for the daily management of the activity of the R&D unit, Miguel Pardal and Maria Teresa Ferreira.

The Steering Committee of the CFE consists of the elected Coordination Board, the PIs and co-PIs of each research group (RG), one representative of the Post-Doc researchers and one PhD student representative of the non-doctoral members.

The Steering Committee is assisted by the Scientific Committee, which includes all doctorate integrated researchers of CFE, and is responsible for implementing the mission of the R&D unit and for electing the Coordination Board and the Steering Committee.

The scientific activity of the CFE will continue to be evaluated by an External Advisory Board, formed by six high profile external researchers, who meet once a year to evaluate and provide independent feedback on the R&D unit research reports.

Helena Freitas

Miguel Pardal

Maria Teresa Ferreira

The Centre for Functional Ecology - Science for People & the Planet (CFE) has a simple and highly effective management structure, organized in four main bodies:

  • the Coordination Board
  • the Steering Committee
  • the Scientific Committee
  • and the External Advisory Board

CFE is coordinated by a Coordination Board that comprises the Coordinator, Helena Freitas, and two vice-Coordinators that are responsible for the daily management of the activity of the R&D unit, Miguel Pardal and Maria Teresa Ferreira.

The Steering Committee of the CFE consists of the elected Coordination Board, the PIs and co-PIs of each research group (RG), one representative of the Post-Doc researchers and one PhD student representative of the non-doctoral members.

The Steering Committee is assisted by the Scientific Committee, which includes all doctorate integrated researchers of CFE, and is responsible for implementing the mission of the R&D unit and for electing the Coordination Board and the Steering Committee.

The scientific activity of the CFE will continue to be evaluated by an External Advisory Board, formed by six high profile external researchers, who meet once a year to evaluate and provide independent feedback on the R&D unit research reports.

Post-graduate students are actively involved in the research dynamics, and are encouraged to participate in all the regular CFE activities.

In 2019, a Participatory Council composed by approximately 10 members will be created to involve the civil society and important stakeholders in the area of research of CFE, from organizations that promote innovation and the transfer of knowledge, establishing the connection between the scientific and technological environment and the productive sector, private organizations, governmental bodies, to non-profit associations interested in the results of CFE activities.

In all these structures, CFE is fully committed in promoting equal gender opportunities, as well as in dispelling any possible source of discrimination affecting the access and quality of each workplace.

Members

Meet all CFE members by clicking here.

Indicators