Seeking biology based solutions to food, health and environmental constraints in a Mediterranean context - from Landscape to table

MeditBio research is focused in the Mediterranean Diet in its broadest sense, covering from aspects of landscape and biodiversity management, to food production, consummation of healthy foods, plant biotechnology and gourmet gastronomy. Sea related activities are not covered. MeditBio contributes to the development of the regional and national economy through the incorporation of knowledge-based value in the regional plant-based resources.

MeditBio is a research centre belonging to the University of Algarve, gathering at the time of its creation in 2013, 25 integrated members. These members are staff from the University sub-system (Gambelas campus) and from the Politechnic sub-system (Penha campus). Additionally, 22 researchers from the University and other institutions collaborate with the research activities of the Centre.

The integrated researchers produced in the period 2008-2013 a total of 272 research outputs (of the kind considered by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia), most of them papers in scientific peer-reviewed journals. A significant part of these involved collaborations with foreign researchers.

MeditBio is organized in three research groups: Plant bio-resources, Agriculture and forestry and Food studies. In the current strategic research programme these research groups develop their activities through 10 thematic lines that address the regional territory, the agriculture and forestry constraints in a Mediterranean context, the incorporation of value pharmaceutical or industrial or agronomic value in plant resources and the incorporation of value in Mediterranean foods. These thematic lines are transversal to the organization in research groups and promote an integrated research in the frame of the general objectives of the Centre.

MeditBio promotes the advanced training of young researchers through their participation in the thematic lines and its research supports 2nd and 3rd cycle study programmes of the University.

KEYWORDS: Plant resources, Food, Agriculture, Biotechnology