Dr Geslaine Rafaela Lemos Gonçalves

PDRA Coastal & Mangrove Micro- & Macro-Plastic

I am a PhD in Biological Science – Zoologist, researching the plastic pollution of aquatic environments and its effect on aquatic ecosystems and species. My current research focus is macro and microplastic pollution in coastal and mangrove environments in Ghana. Before SAMS, I studied coastal crustacean marine ecology in Southeast Brazil, including the species’ relationship and interaction with their environment, energy transfer, and the effects of anthropogenic pressure.

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Coastal regions are composed of complex and distinct ecosystems. These regions suffer from anthropogenic pressure, which generates a loss of habitat and pollution, negatively affecting the species that depend on the environment. My research interest is the community structure, reproduction, food habits, trophic web interactions, symbiotic relationships of coastal species (especially benthonic), and how these relate to different environmental factors and anthropogenic pollution. My current focus is plastic pollution in the coastal regions and mangroves. Macro- and microplastics are a real concern, as we know they can cause different damage to animals and plants. The consequences of plastic pollution in coastal and mangrove regions are not well known. However, it is known that these areas are plastic traps, increasing the accumulation of microplastics in the sediment. Investigating plastic input sources, transport routes, accumulation, and the dangers to different organisms are fundamental topics to understanding the impacts of plastic pollution and generating mitigation measures in these environments.


Current research project

One Ocean Hub - OOH: Funded by Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) - 04/07/2022 to 03/02/2024


Past projects

Ecology and trophic structure of the spider crab Libinia ferreirae (Decapoda: Majoidea) on the south Coast of São Paulo - São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) - May 2018 to Sep 2020

Application of the isotopic mixing models in the ecology to trophic structure of the spider crab Libinia ferreirae (Decapoda: Majoidea) - São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) - May 2019 to Feb 2020

Decapod crustaceans: multidisciplinary in the characterisation of marine biodiversity in the State of São Paulo (taxonomy, spermiotaxonomy, molecular biology and population dynamics - São Paulo - São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) - 2013-2015



Santos MP, Fransozo V, Gonçalves GRL, Costa RC, Negreiros-Fransozo ML. 2023. Relative growth and sexual maturity of the spider crab Libinia spinosa Guérin, 1832 (Brachyura: Majoidea: Epialtidae), from the Southeast Brazilian coast. Invertebrate Reproduction & Development, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/07924259.2023.2175731

Gonçalves GRL, Sousa AN, Wolf MR, Soares IM, Castilho AL. 2023. Unravelling the stomach contents of fish and crab species from Cananéia, São Paulo: Are they eating plastic?. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 63, e202363001-e202363001. https://doi.org/10.11606/1807-0205/2023.63.001

Denadai AC, Costa VE, Wolf MR, Gonçalves GRL, Castilho AL. 2022. Isotopic signature and the trophic interactions of Aegla castro Schmitt, 1942 (Crustacea: Anomura: Aeglidae). Nauplius, 30. https://doi.org/10.1590/2358-2936e2022024

Gonçalves GRL, Wolf MR, Antunes M, Amorim FW, Negreiros-Fransozo ML, Castilho AL. 2021. Ontogenetic niche specialization in the spider crab Libinia ferreirae associated with Lychnorhiza lucerna medusa. Current Zoology. https://doi.org/10.1093/cz/zoab095

Gonçalves GRL, Denadai AC, Souza AN, Castilho AL, De Troch M. 2021. Fatty acid profiles of three commercial shrimp from southeastern Brazil. Regional Studies in Marine Science. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsma.2021.102032

Gonçalves GRL, Santos PVM, Costa VE, Negreiros-Fransozo ML, Bearhop S, Castilho AL. 2021. Trophic relationships between the crab Libinia ferreirae and its symbionts. Marine Environmental Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2021.105479

Azevedo-Santos VM, Blettler M, Perroca JF, Rodrigues-Filho JL, Paschoal LRP, Gonçalves RLG, Wolf MR, Manoel PS, Andrade MC, Nobile AB, Lima FP, Ruocco AMC, Silva CV, Perbiche-Neves G, Portinho JL, Giarrizzo T, Brito MFG, Lovejoy TE, Arcifa MS, Pelicice FM. 2021. Plastic Pollution on Freshwater biodiversity. AMBIO. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-020-01496-5

Gonçalves GRL, Palomares LFS, Sousa AN, Stanski G, Sancinetti G, Costa RC, Castilho AL. (2020) Geographical ecology of the symbiotic crabs Libinia ferreirae and Libinia spinosa: distributional patterns in south and southeastern coast of Brazil. Marine Ecology 41(4), e12606. https://doi.org/10.1111/maec.12606

Costa MM, Hoffmann P, Gonçalves GRL, & Negreiros-Fransozo ML. 2020. Sexual maturity of the small shrimp Potimirim brasiliana Villalobos, 1959 (Crustacea, Atyidae), from the southeastern coast of Brazil. Revista de Biologia Neotropical/Journal of Neotropical Biology 17(1), 1-14.

Gonçalves GRL, Miazakic LF, Bolla Jr EA, Grabowski RC, Costa RC, Castilho AL. 2020. Growth and longevity of the spider crab Libinia ferreirae (Majoidea, Epialtidae). Nauplius 28. https://doi.org/10.1590/2358-2936e2020003

Gonçalves GRL, Negreiros-Fransozo ML, Fransozo A, Castilho AL. 2019. Feeding ecology and niche segregation of the spider crab Libinia ferreirae (Decapoda, Brachyura, Majoidea), a symbiont of Lychnorhiza lucerna (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae). Hydrobiologia 847, 1013-1025. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-019-04158-0

Azevedo-Santos VM, Gonçalve, GRL, Manoel PS, Andrade, MC, Lima FP, Pelicice FM. 2019. Plastic ingestion by fish: A global assessment. Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex: 1987) 255(Pt 1), 112994. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.112994

Stanski G, Gonçalves GRL, Grabowski RC, Wolf MR, Castilho AL. 2019. Decapod abundance and species richness in the bycatch of Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (Heller, 1862) fishery, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. Nauplius 27. https://doi.org/10.1590/2358-2936e2019007

Stanski G, Carvalho MM, Garcia JR, Gonçalves GR, Costa RC, Castilho AL. 2018. Geographical variation and local environment effects in the reproductive output and fecundity of the shrimp Exhippolysmata oplophoroides (Decapoda: Caridea) in southeastern Brazil. Invertebrate reproduction & development 62(2), 119-124. https://doi.org/10.1080/07924259.2018.1547225

Gonçalves GRL, Bolla Jr. EA, Negreiros-Fransozo ML, Castilho AL. 2017a. Morphometric and gonadal maturity of the spider crab Libinia ferreirae Brito Capello, 1871 (Decapoda: Majoidea: Epialtidae) at Southeastern Brazilian coast. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 97(2),289–95. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315416000370

Gonçalves GRL, Grabowski RC, Bochini GL, Costa RC, Castilho AL. 2017b. Ecology of the spider crab Libinia ferreirae (Brachyura: Majoidea): ontogenetic shifts in habitat use. Hydrobiologia 795,313–25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-017-3153-z

Moraes IRR, Wolf MR, Gonçalves GRL, Castilho AL (2017). Fecundity and reproductive output of the caridean shrimp Periclimenes paivai associated with scyphozoan jellyfish. Invertebrate Reproduction & Development 61:1-7. https://doi.org/10.1080/07924259.2017.1282890

Gonçalves GRL, Wolf MR, Costa RC, Castilho AL (2016). Decapod crustacean associations with scyphozoan jellyfish (Rhizostomeae: Pelagiidae) in the Southeastern Brazilian coast. Symbiosis 69, 193-198. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13199-016-0395-x


Employment history

July 2022 onwards  - PDRA Coastal & Mangrove Micro & Macro-Plastic - SAMS