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APEC-Australia Women in Research
Fellowship 2022
Dr. Morelia Camacho-Cervantes
Morelia Camacho.jpg

Economy: Mexico

Host Institution: Monash University

Project Title: Effects of hormonal growth promotants from livestock production on invasive species behaviour

Project Outline:

This project aims to uncover how environmental pollution by hormone-mimicking chemicals affects invasive fish behaviour and is expected to yield important insights into the pervasive influence of chemical contaminants on biological systems. The objective is to find how exposure to a common hormonal growth promotant (17 β-trenbolone), which is used in many countries around the globe alters the behaviour of invasive mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, which is an ideal model for the project because it exhibits representative behavioural traits that are well studied and are amenable to captivity. I will address this objective through laboratory-based behavioural assays to test the effects of 17

β-trenbolone, the biologically active metabolite of trenbolone acetate, and a highly persistent pollutant that has been repeatedly detected in aquatic habitats and agroecosystems globally.

Reasons for applying for fellowship:

International collaboration is important for the development of scientific careers; my main research has focused on biological invasions and the study of these must be carried out globally (because they tend to move between countries and even continents). This opportunity will allow me to grow my international network of collaborators by carrying out hands-on research with a top-notch scientist.

Past Achievements:

I completed my PhD at the University of St Andrews, United Kingdom, and I am now a Research Associate at the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. I lead the Invasive Species Ecology Lab, my research aims to understand the behavioural characteristics that promote invasion success. The most important awards I have received for my research are the Scholarship for Women in Science LOreal-UNESCO and the Bronze Medal in SET for Britain in the Parliament Houses of London. I am part of the expert team for the Invasive Alien Species Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and I coordinated the Mexico Biofouling Management National Status Assessment for GloFouling Partnerships-International Maritime Organization.

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