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.

The Aquainvad-ED network involves academic and non-academic partners providing a cross-sectorial programme of research led training on Aquatic Invasive Species AIS.

Swansea University – Project Coordinator

Swansea University (UK)


Swansea University is a research led university that has been making a difference since 1920. The University community thrives on exploration and discovery, and offers the right balance of excellent teaching and research, matched by an enviable quality of life. With 15,921 students and 2,510 staff, Swansea’s multicultural campus community provides a global perspective and opportunities to gain skills that last a lifetime.

Prof. Sofia Consuegra

Dr.Sofia Consuegra

Prof. Consuegra leads the Aquainvad-ED project and consortium. A Professor in Biosciences and Deputy Director of the Centre for Animal Health and Welfare for Sustainable Food Production at Swansea University, Sofia holds a PhD in Conservation Genetics (2002) from the University of Cantabria (Spain) and undertook her postdocs at the Institute of Zoology in London and the University of St Andrews. Her main expertise is on Evolution of aquatic organisms, focusing mainly on aquatic invasions, immunogenetics and the consequences of declining populations.

Prof. Carlos Garcia de Leaniz

Prof.Carlos Garcia de Leaniz

Chair in Aquatic BioSciences and Director of Fish & Fisheries Research at the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) – Department of BioSciences, Swansea University, Professor Garcia de Leaniz background is in fish biology with expertise on Behavioural Ecology, Conservation, Food security and Aquaculture. He works mostly with salmonids as model systems to understand how organisms adapt and respond to change and is generally more interested in the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ than in the ‘whats’.


Heidi Rehwald


Heidi is Project Manager for Aquainvad-ED and will assist the P.I. in running this four year collaborative training research project.  She will oversee the research programme and be responsible for ensuring the project milestones and deliverables are achieved and reported on via periodic reports, track project finances to ensure value-for-money, facilitate communication between the consortium and European Commission and manage all events/conferences/social media and marketing.



Universidad de Oviedo (UNIOVI)

Universidad de Oviedo (Spain)


The University of Oviedo is a public institution of higher education and research in the Principality of Asturias. With over 400 years of history, it offers a full range of undergraduate degrees adapted to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in all branches of knowledge and postgraduate degree programmes in collaboration with national and international universities and more than 250 companies.

Prof. Eva Garcia-Vazquez


Professor Eva Garcia-Vazquez is Professor in Genetics and has published more than 190 peer-reviewed articles and coordinated or participated as PI or Co-I in more than 50 international and national research projects.

She is Visiting Scientist at the University of Victoria (Canada) and her main research interest is on conservation genetics. Eva has supervised 15 PhD students between 1993 and 2014, all of them with at least four SCI-indexed articles published from their thesis, 7 awarded with the International Mention and 10 with the Extraordinary Prize of Doctorate.

Dr Jose M. Rico


Jose M. Rico undertook his PhD at the University of Oviedo, Spain. His current research focuses on the ecology of invasive seaweed species, nutrient dynamics in coastal ecosystems and cultivation of red seaweeds. He is a member of the SEBI 2010 EG5 expert group on invasive species, has coordinated the EU project ALIENS and has been Principal Investigator in the EU PALMARIA and other European and national research projects.

Dr Yaisel J. Borrell Pichs


Yaisel is a Biochemist with a PhD in Genetics at the University of Oviedo, Spain. His research lines include Conservation Genetics and Genetics in Aquaculture, besides the use of NGS methods for the identification and characterization of Marine Invasions and Foods traceability. He is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Oviedo and member of the Group of Genetics for Natural Resources UNIOVI

Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI)

Università degli Studi di Firenze – UNIFI (Italy)

The University of Florence is an important and influential centre for research and higher training in Italy. It is one of the largest and most productive public research systems in Italy. This result is accomplished thanks to the number of permanent and temporary researchers working in a wide range of disciplinary and scientific fields, and the numerous junior scientists in training. It is also due to an intensive participation in research programmes of national and international relevance and to the significant scientific results achieved. External funds support the research and knowledge transfer activities. This combination of factors qualifies the Florentine institution as a modern research university and accounts for its excellent position in national and world rankings.

Prof. Felicita Scapini


Felicita works on coastal and freshwater ecosystems, studying the behaviour and ecology of amphipods (native and alien), particularly the orientation, and investigating also the management issue of these areas. She teaches several courses at UNIFI, including for the PhD School of Ethology, Ecology, Anthropology and Biosystematics; Biology; currently she is member of the Doctorate School in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology.

Dr Elena Tricarico


Elena has participated in 15 national and 10 European projects (inc.DAISIE, IMPASSE) mainly on alien species, investigating also the predictive aspects of this problem (e.g. risk assessment), especially in relation to the climate change. Currently, she is involved in the COST Action TD1209 (Alien Challenge), and is invited researcher at Université de Poitiers (France).


AZTI (Spain)

AZTI is private non-profit technological centre specialising in Marine and Food Research. Their objective is the social development and the improvement of competitiveness in its area of influence by means of technological research and innovation.


Dr. Rodríguez-Ezpeleta

Naiara works as senior researcher at the Marine Ecosystem Functioning Area of the Marine Researc Division at AZTI, where she manages the Molecular Biology Laboratory and leads the Molecular Ecology research line. More information can be found at:

Oihane C. Basurko

Oihane has been involved in projects related to energy efficiency of fishing and aquaculture, including energy auditing, fuel consumption optimisation through engine monitoring and modelling using intelligent algorithms; the Life Cycle Assessment and sustainability assessment of marine innovations.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW)


Natural Resources Wales is the largest Welsh Government Sponsored Body – employing 1,900 staff across Wales with a budget of £180 million. They were formed in April 2013, largely taking over the functions of the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and the Environment Agency in Wales, as well as certain Welsh Government functions.


Peter Gough

Peter is a member of the Institute of Fisheries Management and Chartered Environmentalist. Principle areas of recent work have involved the management of salmon and sea trout populations in the rivers of Wales, with a broader overview role on national salmon management technical groups. He has been involved in a large number of projects to improve the status of fish stocks, including specification and construction of fish passes and fish counters and the management of exploitation by nets and anglers.

He has been directly involved in project specification and supervision of c20 PhD and Masters students at 4 universities in Wales and England, and has represented Natural Resources Wales on the steering groups of 15 major funded projects including one LIFE+ project.

Cardiff Harbour Authority


CHA (UK) is part of Cardiff Council and is responsible for the management of the large urban regeneration project centred around Cardiff Bay in South Wales.

David Hall

David has a BSc in Biochemistry & Microbiology, and MSc degrees in Applied Hydrobiology and Environmental Conservation Management. He works closely with academia and has funded and co-supervised three PhD studies, looking at the development of the ecology of Cardiff Bay, zooplankton and zebra mussels.

The Wye & Usk Foundation

The Wye & Usk Foundation (UK)

WUF (UK) is a charity concerned with restoring the habitat, water quality and fisheries of the rivers Wye and Usk. Their conservation and restoration program includes invasive species, habitat degradation, poor water quality and diffuse pollution, barriers to fish migration and over-exploitation of fisheries.

Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith O.B.E.

Stephen is the Executive Director of the Wye & Usk Foundation. In 2011 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his restoration work as Director of WUF. As part of his environmental work, Stephen has been involved since 2007 in a long-term project for eradication of invasive weeds in Welsh catchments, in collaboration with the several government and NGO organisations, including NRW, Countryside Council for Wales, Natural England and Keep Wales Tidy. As part of the WUF work, Stephen is involved in a number of outreach activities including schools engagement and volunteering supervision.

NEMO (Italy)

NEMO (Italy)

Nemo is one of the few companies specialising in the management and control of alien invasive species in Italy. Their work involves developing risk assessment protocols and effective control methods for invasive species.

Dr Paolo Sposimo

Paolo is a founder member of the society NEMO (1985) and works on management plans for protected areas and control of alien species, dealing mainly with vertebrates (mammals and birds). He wrote and was involved in several LIFE projects, particularly for the conservation of native birds/native habitats and control of rats/alien vertebrates and flora and has 64 related scientific publications.

Dr Alberto F. Inghilesi

Alberto is a Collaborator with  NEMO and UNIFI and has a PhD (2013) in Ethology, Animal Ecology and Anthropology. He works on alien species, both terrestrial (insects) and aquatic (crayfish and vertebrates as coypu, red eared slider turtle and American bullfrog), dealing with their behaviour ecology and developing efficacious control methods.


Natural Aptitude (UK)


Natural Apptitude work with researchers and organisations to help them use smartphone technology to leverage the power of citizen.

David Kilbey

David  is the Director of Natural Apptitude, a software development company specialising in the creation of smartphone apps and online solutions to facilitate the crowd-sourcing of data on ecological issues.



A young SME devoted to developing new algal products and applications, particularly native algae from the Cantabrian Sea, where they are based.

Jesus Fidel Delgado

Fidel is the Co-founder of Neoalgae and is Head of Innovation. He has a Bachelor degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Oviedo, an MBA and a Masters in Industrial and Product Design and Innovation from the School of Industrial Organization (EOI).



Ecohydros is an environmental consulting company working on management of freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystems.

Agustin Monteoliva

Founder and leader of Ecohydros (2003). He has a Bachelor degree in Biology from the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM), and a PhD gained at the Department of Environmental and Water Sciences & Techniques of the University of Cantabria. He has devoted his professional life (1990 – 2015) to the study, assessment and research of aquatic ecosystems as a technical consultant for both public and private institutions, always looking for new technologies and applications for improving the management of these complex systems. During 25 years has participated and directed more than 100 technical projects in this field, including nine regional, national and European R&D projects, some of them as coordinator. He is currently involved in some initiatives for developing and integrating remote devices and models in ecohydrology and specific issues in lakes and reservoirs (like HABs and AIS early detection and also aquatic species habitat preferences).


Itinera Certa (Italy)

Itinera Certa

Itinera Certa is an SME working on territorial development in Tuscany and involved in research of alien species, particularly in relation to crayfish. It is a Multi-disciplinary SME working on ecological management and territorial development.

Established in 2007, ITINERA is an SME composed of natural scientists and humanists. It deals with projects in the field of ecological management and territorial development (understood in a complex perspective as unitary development in the social, human and environmental areas). ITINERA together with UNIFI has participated in several projects on invasive species on both a local and European scale with the aim being to develop and apply innovative techniques to control the spread of invasive crayfish.

Itinera will co-supervise and host a 6 month secondment of an E.S.R working at UNIFI on the development of risk assessment protocols and control methods for AIS. They will provide supervision and training in monitoring and management methods.

University of Évora

University of Évora

University of Évora

Pedro Anastácio has a PhD in Biology, a MSc in Animal Ecology and a degree in Biology. He is Auxiliary Professor at the University of Évora, Portugal and a Senior Researcher at the MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre research center. He lectured subjects such as Ecological Modeling, Quantitative Methods in Ecology, and Invasive Species Impact and Control, which reflect his major areas of research and methods used. He also lectured Environmental Impact Assessment.
His main current research interests are modeling freshwater invasive fauna distribution, dispersion and impact. Most of its published research involves the ecology of water-associated organisms, namely freshwater, brackish water and sandy beach crustaceans (freshwater crayfish, crabs and amphipods), freshwater and brackish water bivalves, anurans, freshwater fish, waterfowl, rice, wetland macrophytes and freshwater algae. Pedro Anastácio authored 61 scientific papers in international peer reviewed journals and successfully supervised 4 PhD Thesis and 8 MSc Thesis.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center(SERC)

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center(SERC)


Smithsonian Environmental Research Center(SERC)

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) provides science-based knowledge to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. SERC leads research on coastal ecosystems—where the land meets the sea—to inform real-world decisions for wise policies, best business practices, and a sustainable planet.