Mr Igor Pessoa

PhD candidate, 

United States

Portuguese, English, and Spanish

Research Focus

My main research interests include marine biogeochemistry, the influences of anthropogenic activity on marine life, and the use of stable isotope systems and novel analytical instrumentation to better understand marine biogeochemical cycles. My PhD research aims to study trace element incorporation into corals as a tool to evaluate past and present pollutants in coastal waters, using the geochemistry of coral skeletons as indicators of marine pollution. In this work, I’m using both chemical and isotopic tracers in coral skeletons to better understand the anthropogenic pressures on coral reef ecosystems. An overarching goal of my research is to link changes observed in coral reef ecosystems to global changes in seawater composition with an emphasis on human impacts. My current research currently focuses on marine pollution, though I have an interest in coral reef restoration and conservation. The outcomes will help us gain a better understanding of the impacts of coastal pollution as a cause of coral reef decline. This work is part of a multidisciplinary and collaborative project between scientists from research organizations, C4C (Corals for Conservation from Fiji), and conservation authorities. The main challenge in my research is to assess coral biodiversity security and prevent the extinction of certain coral species.

Research Groups

  • Paytan Biogeochemistry Lab - University of California, Santa Cruz.


  • Isotopic Analysis Applied in Marine Protected Areas along the Rio de Janeiro State Coast
  • Trace Metal Analysis of Coral Skeletons: Anthropogenic Influences on Corals at Ilha Grande Bay
  • Monitoring of Anti-fouling Paints Pollution along the Rio De Janeiro State Coast


  • PhD candidate

Global goals

Target 13.1
Target 13.B
Target 14.1
Target 14.2
Target 14.3
Target 14.5
Target 17.6
Target 17.8
Target 17.16
Target 17.17

Professional Organisations

  • Corals for Conservation (C4C)


  • United States

Find me online