Meet the (guest) scientist #12 – Mónica Sousa

GeoConnect³d is promoting a series of four short online sessions on the week of the 22 June to discuss four specific topics around our Roer-to-Rhine area of interest (crossing Belgium-France-Germany-Luxembourg-Netherlands). We are pleased to introduce our guest external speakers, GeoConnect³d speakers and organising team behind these events in our ‘Meet the Scientist’ series.

Mónica Sousa is one of the guest speakers in our first webinar: Promoting geoheritage and geotourism on 22 June 2020 from 9:30 to 11am (CEST). Born in Porto, she holds a Master’s degree in Prospecting and Evaluation of Geological Resources by the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, where she graduated in Geology in 2002. She is finishing at the same faculty the PhD thesis in Geosciences, in the specialty of Petrology and Geochemistry. She worked as a geologist at the Metro do Porto, S.A. and at the Porto Municipality. She also developed training courses for geosciences teachers. She was a research fellow at the Geology Centre of the University of Porto and has published several articles in scientific congresses and national and international journals. She is co-author of geology field guides and of the book “Geological Heritage. Geosites to visit in Portugal” edited by Porto Editora, in 2012.

In addition to the research activities in Mineralogy, Petrology, Geochemistry and Geochronology she has dedicated particular attention to Geological Heritage, namely on the conservation, valorisation and dissemination of the Foz do Douro Metamorphic Complex, being responsible for the development of the “Foz do Douro Geological Walk” Project. She has participated in numerous scientific dissemination activities, namely the ones developed in the scope of the Project “Geology in the Summer” (promoted by Ciência Viva Agency), as well as the ones promoted by the Project Porto Cidade da Ciência (“Porto City of Science”) and by the Portuguese Association of Geologists. Since 2010, she has been a member of the Board Commission of the Portuguese Association of Geologists (APG) and in 2016 she became also the APG’s Executive Director. She is a European Federation of Geologists (EFG) delegate. She is also the Coordinator of the EFG Panel of Experts on Geological Heritage.

You can find her on ResearchGate.

Mónica during field work, collecting data for Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility.

Geology as a natural choice

Mónica has been a fan of nature and science since she was a little kid. With a fascination that lasts until today for the beauty of volcanoes, geological landscapes, minerals, rocks and fossils, she wanted to understand all the Earth ‘geomanifestations’, which naturally led to the choice of Geology as a graduation course and a carrier. But this is not all: she also recognises the value of understanding and communicating Geology. Mónica: “I always wanted to contribute somehow to the development and well-being of our Society, so Geology seemed to me one of the ways to accomplish that.”.

Uma imagem com exterior, rocha, água, pessoa

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Mónica during a school field trip.

Another type of rock

It turns out Mónica also likes rock as a hobby. She studied music when she was younger, and played guitar and drums in some bands. And what is her current musical endeavour? Mónica: “I am a drummer in the Portuguese progressive metal band Cosmic Wolves. Music is my other passion!”.

Communicating Geology through geomanifestations

One of the aims of the Portuguese Association of Geologists is to provide useful information and give technical and scientific support to policy development. Therefore, Mónica sees that the methodology under development in GeoConnect³d could be very useful when advising policy makers or other stakeholders. Mónica: “Our National Association is also very committed in improving the public geological understanding and therefore has participated in various projects, many of them as a Linked Third Party of the European Federation of Geologists, covering multiple themes within the scope of geosciences. We also have organized several conferences, courses, seminars and field trips where the participants can learn about the local geology, understand ‘geomanifestations’ and realize the importance of Geology for Society.”.

GeoConnect³d can also be linked to her research at Porto University. Mónica: “I am studying an area which is of great interest in terms of geological heritage and for geoeducation; ‘geomanifestations’ is a concept, developed within the scope of GeoConnect³d project, that I can use and explore in this geosite.”.