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Women in Science – Work Developed by ITV Researcher Gains Worldwide Recognition


Five years ago, February 11 was highlighted in the scientists’ calendar. It became the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The initiative is a reminder that women play a key role in science and technology communities. At Vale, it is no different. One of the many female professionals working in the company or supported institutions is Vera Fonseca, who at the end of 2019 had an article published on Nature – one of the most respected and traditional scientific publications in the world. The article is about pollinators, pollination, and food production.

It is the result of a long research work based on the first evaluation carried out by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The platform was established in Panama, in 2012, by UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) to create an interface between Science and Policy for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, long-lasting human well-being, and sustainable development. The evaluation was coordinated by two co-chairs (Simon Potts, from the UK, and Vera Imperatriz Fonseca, from Brazil) and supported by representatives of UN’s five regional commissions appointed by their respective governments, totaling 77 specialists.

The topics discussed were subject to a public hearing and approved in a plenary session held by IPBES in Kuala Lumpur, in February 2016. Subsequently, the document containing recommendations on global public policies for the use and preservation of pollinators was reevaluated in Cancun during the COP13, and finally approved.

Having your work published on Nature is a great achievement for any researcher,“ said José Oswaldo Siqueira, scientific director at Vale Institute of Technology (ITV, Instituto Tecnológico Vale). ”We hope this example will be replicated and followed by other members of our team"

About the Researcher

Vera Lucia Imperatriz Fonseca is a biologist who graduated from the Institute of Biosciences of the University of São Paulo (USP, Universidade de São Paulo), where she developed her teaching career. She has retired as Professor of Ecology at the Institute of Biosciences of the University of São Paulo. She then worked as Senior Collaborator Professor in other university units. Vera is a CNPq researcher 1B focused on native bees and pollinators. She has been coordinating research projects in various funding agencies. Since 1998, Vera has been working in the development of pollinator studies in Brazil, as a coordinator and organizer of thematic projects and scientific meetings, also participating in and organizing publications and books.

She is an associate editor and reviewer of papers in specialized journals in Brazil and abroad. By indication of the Brazilian government, she is the co-chair of the new evaluation on pollination, pollinators, and food production currently being developed by IPBES.

She is currently a Full Researcher of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, allocated in Sustainable Development at ITV.

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