SEE ME Project

Research: Consequences of singular environmental events on the cycle of metals in coastal lagoons and their influence on the incorporation of metals by primary producers. Location: Mar Menor, Murcia (Spain)

Ref: PID2019-109355RA-I00. MCIU/AEI/FEDER, UE

Study the biogeochemical cycle of metals in the the Mar Menor lagoon under stationary conditions and singular environmental events.

Determine metal bioavailability for phytoplankton and potential internalization in the Mar Menor.

Determine the bioaccumulation factor of trace metals along the food chain of the Mar Menor.

Project Progress

Updated quarterly

YEAR 1

Last News and divulgation activities

Master’s Thesis by Pilar Ponce Roa in the framework of the SEEME project.

The SEEME project has also served to train university students. In this sense, the student Pilar Ponce Roa, from the University Master’s Degree in Oceanography, has carried out her final master’s degree work in our Pollution Group at the Oceanographic Centre of Vigo (www.marinepollutionieo.org). The study is entitled “The cycle of dissolved iron in the Mar Menor under different singular…

Presentation in the DGT 2023 Conference, Paris (France) 12th October 2023

During the DGT2023 international congress, which brings together world experts in the use of passive samplers of environmental pollutants, our colleague Juan Santos presented a paper entitled “The utility of passive samplers to monitor changes in trace metal levels in a coastal lagoon under different singular environmental events”. This work highlights the suitability of using this type of sampler in…

New publication: Levantine winds cause increased levels of metals in the waters of the Mar Menor

A paper has recently been published in the international journal Science of the Total Environment on the influence of the easterly wind on the levels of metals in the waters of the Mar Menor. The strong easterly winds cause the sediment in this shallow lagoon to resuspend, causing an increase in the concentrations of metals in the dissolved and particulate…

New Master thesis in the framework of the SEE-ME project!

In 2023 we had the great pleasure of having two master’s students join the project. Mari Sol Hernández conducted speciation analysis of Cu in (many!) samples from the Mar Menor and defended her master’s thesis titled “Copper Complexation Capacity and its Relationship with Dissolved Organic Matter in the Mar Menor” in July 2023. As a result of this work, we…

Paper released: Effect of dissolved organic matter on copper bioavailability to a coastal dinoflagellate at environmentally relevant concentrations.

This article, published in open access in The Science of the Total Environment (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.165989), applies the use of stable Cu isotopes and demonstrates that Cu internalization depends on labile Cu at relatively high Cu concentrations (greater than 30 nM), while at lower concentrations, Cu organic complexes are partially bioavailable to the dinoflagellate. This fact questions the applicability of the Biotic…

New publication. Dissolved organic carbon in the Mar Menor.

As a result of a collaboration with the Oceanography and Coastal Pollution Group of the University of Cadiz, an article has been published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. This work studies the levels and composition of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) in the Mar Menor lagoon, both in the water column and in the water contained in the…

Presentation in the Congress ASLO 2023 Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Palma de Mallorca 5th June 2023

The international congress ASLO 2023 Aquatic Science Meeting was held in Palma de Mallorca where our colleague Juan Santos, in addition to moderating the session SS038P entitled “Trace Metal and Macronutrient Behaviour in Large Rivers and Estuaries”, presented a poster entitled “The potential importance of bioavailable iron regarding eutrophication events in coastal lagoons”. In this work, a study is carried…

New publication: The macroalgae of the Mar Menor from space

In the last year, and as a result of the imbalance caused by recurrent eutrophication events in the Mar Menor, there has been an increase in the growth of macroalgae in the lagoon, which has significantly harmed fishing activities by clogging the nets. In this regard, a study has recently been published in the journal Remote Sensing. This study analyses…

Presentation in the XII Congreso Ibérico de Gestión y Planificación del Agua, Murcia, 27th January 2023

During this congress, organised by the New Water Culture Foundation and the University of Murcia, our colleague Juan Santos presented a paper entitled “The historical and recent problems of metals in the Mar Menor”. During his presentation, he gave a historical overview of the mining exploitation of the Sierra de Cartagena-La Unión and its associated environmental impact. He also stressed…

Attendance to ISMS/SIQUIMAR conference in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

From 6 to 8 July 2022, Esther Barber and Paula Sanchez attended the XXI Iberian Seminar on Marine Chemistry in Gran Canaria and gave two oral presentations: “Copper and lead complexation by dissolved organic matter in the Mar Menor coastal lagoon” and “Effect of dissolved organic matter on copper bioavailability to a coastal dinoflagellate”. We also presented this poster, have…

New publication: Distinguishing chlorophyll and turbidity in the Mar Menor from the satellite

One of the main problems occurring in the Mar Menor in recent years is eutrophication events, caused by nutrient inputs and consequent increases in chlorophyll levels. A study has been carried out on the levels of chlorophyll and turbidity in the Mar Menor over the course of a year by sampling the lagoon. These data have been used to calibrate…

Stay at the LEMAR Group at the University of Western Brittany (Brest, France)

During the month of June 2022, the project researcher Juan Santos, has made a 15-day stay at the Laboratory of Marine Environmental Sciences within the European University Institute of the Sea (LEMAR/IUEM) in Brest (France). He has been received by Dr. Geraldine Sarthou, external collaborator of the SEEME project and expert in the iron cycle in coastal and oceanic waters….

Bioavailability studies have begun: we introduce you Prorocentrum micans

Prorocentrum micans is an unicellular dinoflagellate species with a longitude ranging between 35 and 75 µm, a cellulose theca and two unequal flagella. It is an euryhaline and mixotrophic species that reproduces by asexual binary fission. Prorocentrum micans could be considered as a harmful algae responsible of coloured water episodes, known as red tides. However, there are no studies confirming…

Master thesis in the framework of the SEE-ME project!

Juan Estévez has been working with us during five months, getting skills on microalgal cultures, measurement of cell densities, and evaluating the viability of centrifuged cells using different methods. As a result, he has defended his Master’s degree project in June 2020 with great qualification. Good job Juan!  

New collaborations arising from the SEEME project

Thanks to the achievement and development of the SEEME project, we have established synergies with two groups of recognised national prestige such as the Marine and Environmental Biogeosciences Research Group (MERS) belonging to the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the Department of Ecology and Coastal Management of the Andalusian Institute of Marine Sciences (ICMAN-CSIC). Together with the former, as…

Article: Contempt for the environment turns against humans.

Critical article in which it is demonstrated how the successive damages made by the human being on the Mar Menor have come back to him. LINK TO ARTICLE

Article: Adaptation of the San Javier treatment plant.

Interesting article published in a Spanish newspaper about the investement devoted to the adaptation of the San Javier treatment plant that will benefit the ecological status of the Mar Menor. LINK TO ARTICLE

Appearances of the project in the media

2021-03-23 El IEO comienza un nuevo proyecto para estudiar el efecto de los metales en el Mar Menor  // 20 minutos 2021-03-23 El IEO comienza un nuevo proyecto para estudiar el efecto de los metales en el Mar Menor // La Verdad 2021-03-24 El Oceanográfico analizará los efectos de los metales pesados en el Mar Menor // La Opinión de Murcia 2021-03-24 Analizan...

Meeting with the General Director of the Mar Menor

Taking advantage of the trip to San Pedro del Pinatar (Murcia) to carry out the first sampling, we had the opportunity to meet with the General Director of Mar Menor, Miriam Pérez Albaladejo, who along with her technical advisor, was very interested in the project and called on us to hold future videoconferences to follow its progress and seek for...

First sampling cruise

Despite the fact that the project officially started nine months ago, different circumstances, including the global pandemic, have meant that the first sampling has not been possible until now. The week of March 22-26, Paula Sánchez and Juan Santos were carrying out the first campaign of the project where they collected the first samples of water and sediment in the...

Here we are!

Here we are! We are pleased to present you the website of the SEE-ME project that we have configured with all our enthusiasm and effort. The project aims to study the biogeochemical cycle of metals in the Mar Menor lagoon complex (Murcia, Spain) and how this cycle is affected by singular environmental events caused by anthropogenic pressures and climate change....

Article: 438 environmental attacks on the Mar Menor in a decade

Useful article in El País, explaining the 438 environmental attacks on the Mar Menor in a decade (Spanish) LINK TO ARTICLE