The main research goal of AQUAINVAD-ED is to exploit novel molecular advances combined with the power of crowd data sourcing (citizen science) to develop innovative methods of early detection, control and management of AIS.

Teja is based at Swansea University and her research focuses on the Development and application of novel methods for the early detection of freshwater and marine invaders.

Project Title & Synopsis: Development of molecular methods (metabarcoding, eDNA) for early detection of a range of freshwater and marine invasive species, including some of the world’s worst aquatic invaders.

Host Institution: Swansea University

Supervisor(s): Prof. Dr. Carlos Garcia de Leaniz & Prof. Sonia Consuegra

Biography:  

Teja Muha followed her passion of becoming a biologist since little. She has obtained a Master degree in Biology at University of Ljubljana, worked at a number of volunteering programmes focused on marine ecology including research on cetaceans, marine turtles, and invertebrates in Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Brazil, Portugal, Slovenia and Russia. She has continued her studies obtaining a Master degree in Ecohydrology provided by Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, University of Algarve, Portugal and University of La Plata in Argentina. Apart from that she worked at University of Algarve on a number of research opportunities where she gained lots of valuable experiences in one of the best working and living environments. She has successfully combined her interests in ecological science with passion for travelling by obtaining a number of scholarships worldwide. For the number of years she worked as a tourist guide around Europe. Lately she has worked on an EU founded project BALMAS- Ballast Water Management for the Adriatic Sea protection dealing with harmful aquatic organisms as an environmental consultant in Slovenia.

Lately she has obtained a Marie Curie Scholarship for an early stage researcher at Aquainvad-ed project. She is coping with two challenges: how to successfully conduct her research on development of molecular methods for the detection of invasive freshwater species as part of her PhD position in a combination with being a mum. Based on Swansea University with lovely colleagues the positions appears just perfect for obtaining new valuable experiences within the research community.

In her free time she adores hiking in the mountains, long distance running, scuba diving, caving or any other adrenalin based activities in a combination with photography, traveling and joyful moments spent with her family.

Publications:

  • Faria A. M., Muha T., Morote E., Chícharo A. 2011. Influence of starvation on the critical swimming behaviour of the Senegalese sole Solea senegalensis and its relationship with RNA/DNA ratios during ontogeny. Scientia Marina, 75 (1): 87-94.
  • Muha T.P., Chícharo L., Morais P., Pereira R., Ben-Hamadou R., Cruz J., Chícharo M. A. T. 2012. The effect of distinct hydrologic conditions on the zooplankton community in an estuary under Mediterranean climate influence. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology, 12(4): 327-335.

Degrees:

  • 2005-2011: Academic Higher degree in Biology, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, Department of Biology.     Thesis: Influence of starvation on swimming behaviour and its relationship with RNA: DNA ratios of the Senegalese sole Solea senegalensis during ontogeny.
  • 2011-2013: Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Ecohydrology, University of Algarve, Faculty of Science and Technology, Portugal; University of La Plata, Argentina; Christian- Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany.       Thesis: Jellyfish species food web modelling and their impact on the estuarine ecosystem: Guadiana study case.

Interests:

  • Freshwater and coastal ecology
  • Species interactions, population dynamics
  • Ecosystem services
  • Early warning system development for aquatic invasive species
  • Freshwater ecosystem dynamics
  • Impacts of aquatic invasive species
  • Ecohydrology
  • Citizen science
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