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Science, Education, Innovation and Society.

Meet LEC

The Laboratory of Ecology and Conservation (LEC) belongs to the Centre for Marine Science (CEM) and is part of the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR). The LEC is located in a small village in Pontal do Paraná, along the southern Brazilian coast. This  strategic location is in the heart of one of the most biodiverse estuarine complexes in the world and is also home to many traditional fisheries communities.


As such, it enables researchers to provide a unique perspective on marine conservation. Moreover, we are located adjacent to the Atlantic Rainforest, which is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Since 2008, a dedicated group of researchers and students have been developing conservation, ecology and education projects and actions as part of LEC, coordinated by Dr. Camila Domit.

Who we are?

We are a diverse group of scientists and students with a passion for marine megafauna, ecological issues, conservation, and sustainable development. We are all united by the challenge to make a real difference to the conservation of this biodiversity hotpot, and optimize the regional environmental quality. Our research aims to incorporate a wide variety of scientific fields and methods in order to optimize the conservation of the marine environment. Apart from our academic work, we also provide support for decision makers to guide environment management, and stimulate actions to valorise the local culture and traditions. 

LEC collaborates with many national and international partners; this does not only include academic collaborations, but also collaborations with the government, management agencies, non-governmental organisations and local communities.


Research themes

Throughout all our research projects, we are using marine megafauna (in particular cetaceans and sea turtles) as sentinels for ecosystem quality and health. These endangered charismatic species are considered "umbrella species" for the entire marine ecosystem.

The research lines within LEC are diverse and include:


  • Behavioural ecology;

  • Population ecology (abundance, density and survival estimation);

  • Population stocks (e.g. genetic analysis and stable isotopes);

  • Foraging ecology (e.g. diet, feeding habitats, diet shifts and trophic positions);

  • Age and growth analyses; and

  • Distributions and habitat use.


Biology and Ecology

  • Assessing the risks and impacts of anthropogenic activities on the marine environment and especially on marine megafauna;

  • Assessing the health condition of marine megafauna;

  • Assessing stranded marine mammals, turtles and sea birds and investigating probable causes of death;


Risk and health assessment


Developing methods and actions to involve stakeholders in co-management conservation plans.

Developing methods and actions to involve stakeholders in co-management conservation plans

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