Brazil Strategy Group

The Brazil Strategy Group is a formally established Sub-Committee of HWU's International Strategy Group. Its main purpose is to provide a focal point for staff with experience and interest in Brazil to work together to firstly develop, and then oversee, the implementation of the University's strategy for this important country. It is anticipated that this will be a research-led approach, with a focus on collaboration with top universities. It will include other forms of education collaboration and partnerships and can provide a focal point for initiatives (such as the Science without Borders scheme).

If you wish any further information or to make a contribution to this site contact the Prof Patrick Corbett.


HWU has hosted students and staff under the SwB programme; HWU Dr Gabriela Medero hosted a visiting Professor, Dr Marta da Luz, under the SwB programme. Dr Patricia A. Vargas (School of Mathematics and Computing) hosted Professor Gina Oliveira from Minas Gerais (UFU) for a one-year academic sabbatical under the SwB scheme in 2014. As result a PhD application has been submitted to the SwB scheme and many joint publications have been published and some are under preparation. Nathalia Passos (PUC Rio) has a SwB scholarship for 12 months working with Dr Florian Doster and Prof Sebastian Geiger. Other PhD students who stayed with IPE (EGIS) under the SwB scheme were Marilea Santos (UENF), Iara Grangiotti Montavoni (UFSC), Denise Kronbauer (UFSC) with Dr Rink van Dijke and Dr Zeyun Jiang. Professors/Assistant Professors who stayed at IPE under the SwB scheme were Prof Celso Fernandes (UFSC) and Dr Luiz de Lima (UFPR).


The Brazil Strategy Group coordinates activity on Brazil across Heriot-Watt University with representation in schools.

Institute of Life and Earth Sciences

  • Ted Henry
  • Hamish Mair

Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

  • Gabriela Medero
  • Patrick Corbett

Mathematical & Computer Sciences

Textiles & Design

  • Not currently active in Brazil

Engineering & Physical Sciences

Management & Languages


  • Camara, Corbett, Tavares, Machado, Jesus, and Borghi, 2014, Carbonate Coquina Reservoirs, New insights for Petrophysical Reservoir Characterisation, presented at EAGE Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June.
  • Camara, Corbett, Borghi, Tavares, Perosi, 2014, FÁCIES PETROFÍSICAS EM ROCHAS CARBONÁTICAS, Paper 016572 presented at 47th Geologia Meeting, Salvador, Brazil, Sept., 2014
  • Tavares, Borghi, Corbett, Camara, 2014, FÁCIES DIAGENÉTICAS EM ROCHAS CARBONÁTICAS, Paper 015994 presented at 47th Geologia Meeting, Salvador, Brazil, Sept., 2014
  • Yuji, Borghi, Corbett, 2014, AVALIAÇÃO DO VOLUME REPRESENTATIVO ELEMENTAR (REV) EM ESTROMATÓLITO DE LAGOA SALGADA, Paper 016140 presented at 47th Geologia Meeting, Salvador, Brazil, Sept., 2014
  • Estrella, Corbett, Borghi, Camara, da Silva Mendes, Tavares 2014 VARIAÇÃO DA POROSIDADE EM COQUINAS DA FORMAÇÃO MORRO DO CHAVES, BACIA DE SERGIPE-ALAGOAS, Paper 016859 presented at 47th Geologia Meeting, Salvador, Brazil, Sept., 2014
  • Corbett, P.W.M., Petroleum Geoengineering Challenges in Pre-Alt Brazilian Carbonates, Brazilian Petroleum Conference, ABGP, SPE Brasil, SPWLA Brasil, SBGf, May 19-21, 2015, Rio de Janeiro (Invited
  • Corbett, Yuji, Alves, Jiang, Wang, Machada, Demyanov, Borghi and Srivistava, 2015, Microbial Carbonates - A Sampling and Measurement Challenge for Petrophysics, Geol Soc Conference, June 18th, London (Geol Soc Special Publication 418, first published on February 26, 2015, doi:10.1144/SP418.9
  • Tavares, Borghi, Corbett, Lopes and Camara, 2015, Facies and Depositional environments for the coquinas of the Morro do Chaves Formation, Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, defined by taphonomic and compositional criteria, Brazilian Journal of Geology, 45(3), 415-429.
  • Corbett, 2015, ‘Reservoir Characterisation Challenges in Pre-Salt Brazilian Carbonates': Search and Discovery Article #51083 (2015) [online], available: [accessed 15 October 2015].
  • Tavares, Corbett, Borghi, and Camara, 2015, Diagenetic Facies in Coquina Carbonates - a New Approach for Complex Diagenetic Reservoirs, presented at the 77th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2015 in Madrid, Spain, June 1-4.
  • Corbett, Estrella, Shoier, Morales, Borghi, 2016, Integration of Cretaceous Morro do Chaves rock properties (NE Brazil) with the Holocene Hamelin Coquina architecture (Shark Bay, Western Australia) to model effective permeability, Re-submitted to Petroleum Geoscience (accepted for publication Jan 2016)
  • FI Vacchi, PC Von der Ohe, AF de Albuquerque, JA de Souza Vendemiatti, CCJ Azevedo, JG Honório, BF da Silva, MV Zanoni, TB. Henry, AJ Nogueira, GA Umbuzeiro. 2016. Occurrence and risk assessment of an azo dye – The case of Disperse Red 1. Chemosphere 156:95-100.
  • Umbuzeiro GA, Artal MC, Vannuci-Silva M, Santos A, Pereira KD, Eldridge M, Luchessi A, Henry TB. “Innovative methods for marine and estuarine ecotoxicology – development of the amphipod Parhyale hawaiensis as a model organism”. The seventeenth meeting of the International Symposium on Toxicity Assessment (ISTA 17); Western Washington University, in Bellingham, Washington, USA, from August 2-7, 2015
  • Chaired session: Umbuzeiro GA, Henry TB, Ford A. Amphipods as models to investigate toxicology of environmental contaminants at the land-sea interface. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry SETAC Europe (Nantes, May 2016)
  • Artal MC, dos Santos A, Eldridge M, Henry TB, Umbuzeiro GA. 2015. Development of the marine amphipod Parhyale hawaiensis as a model organism for ecotoxicology. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, European SETAC annual meeting, Barcelona, Spain 2-7 May 2015. (Poster)
  • Henry TB. Distinguishing realistic environmental risks of engineered nanomaterials: separating evidence from speculation. Universidade de Campinas, Instituto da Química. Campinas, Brazil, 8 April 2015 (Invited Speaker).
  • Henry TB. When biologically active pharmaceutical substances enter surface waters: challenges for ecotoxicology. Universidade de Sao Paulo, Faculdade de Ciencias Farmaceuticas, Departamento de Analises Clinicas e Toxicologicas. Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 October 2013 (Invited Speaker).
  • Henry TB. Ecotoxicity and genotoxicity of nanoparticles in fish: separating evidence from speculation. XII Congresso Brasileiro De Ecotoxicologia. 25-28 September 2012, porto de Galinhas, PE, Brasil. (Invited Speaker)
  • Henry TB. Application of gene expression technologies for investigation of ecotoxciological effects of dyes in aquatic organisms. Workshop sobre Ocorrência, toxicidade e degradação de corantes. 20-21 September 2012, Araraqara, Brazil. (Invited Speaker).
  • Roberts, F. M., Cold Water Corals, 1st Brazilian Symposium on Deep-sea Corals, Petrobras/IBAMA, 24-26 November, Rio de Janeiro (Invited Speaker).
  • Sohrabi, M., Enhanced Oil Recovery in Carbonate Reservoirs, Brazilian Petroleum Conference, ABGP, SPE Brasil, SPWLA Brasil, SBGf, May 19-21, 2015, Rio de Janeiro (Invited Speaker).
  • Farooqui N.M., K S. Sorbie, L. Palermo, E. Lucas.The Effect of Molecular Weight Distribution on the Inhibition Efficiency Performance of Polymeric Scale Inhibitors during Retention” NACE-2015-5663; CORROSION 2015, 15-19 March, Dallas, Texas
  • HAGHIGHI A, MEDERO GM, MARINHO FAM & WOODWARD PK. Discussion: “Critical review of the methodologies employed for suction measurement” by S. Sreedeep and Devendra N. Singh. ASCE International Journal of Geomechanics, 13(3), 326–326, (doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)GM.1943-5622.0000183), 2013.
  • HAGHIGHI A, MEDERO GM, MARINHO FAM, MERCIER B & WOODWARD PK. “Temperature effects on suction measurement using the filter paper technique”. The American Society of Testing Materials: Geotechnical Testing Journal, (doi:10.1520/GTJ103575), 2012.
  • Pereira da Luz, M., Medero, G. M., Resende Angelin, R. & Martines Sales, M. Low cost erosion control structures applied to a Brazilian hydroelectric power reservoir case - the project phase. Oct 2015 15o. Congresso Brasileiro de Geologia de Engenharia e Ambiental. 1 ed. Brazil, Vol. 1, 8 p
  • Dr Patricia A. Vargas recent publications can be found here:


Oil and Gas

  • Carbonate reservoirs – a number of HWU professors (Geiger, Couples, Corbett, van Dijke, Jiang, Lewis) are involved in a major research activity in Brazil with partners in Edinburgh and Oxford Universities supported by Petrobras and BG Group as part of a large research effort.
  • Prof Mehran Sohrabi is working on an EOR Lab project with Prof Paulo Couto at UFRJ.
  • Prof Patrick Corbett is the BG Group Visiting Professor of Carbonate Petroleum Geoengineering and works closely with Prof Leonardo Borghi at UFRJ
  • Prof Rafaella Ocone was Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at UNICAMP to work with Prof Milton Mori in Chemical Engineering
  • Prof Tom Wagner has links in organic and inorganic geochemistry at Universidade Federal de Bahia
  • Prof Eric Mackay works on Flow Assurance with UFPE (Prof Leonardo Guimares) and UFRJ (Prof Elizabete Lucas)
  • Prof Sebastian Geiger works on Fractured Reservoirs with Prof Leonardo Guimares (UFPE)
  • Dr Rink van Dijke works or pore-scale modelling with Prof Celso Fernandes (UFSC)


  • Dr Gabriela Medero works on soil-infrastructure interaction under unsaturated conditions with USP, UFRGS, UnB
  • Prof Murray Roberts presented at the 1st Brazilian Deep Water Coral Meeting in November 2015
  • Dr Ted Henry Co-supervisor (along with G Umbuzeiro) of a postdoctoral fellow, funded (~$30,000) through the U.S. Fulbright program on the project “Nanoecotoxicology of metal nanoparticles” in 2014.
  • Dr Ted Henry Co-supervisor of USP PhD student on the FAPESP-funded project “Developing ecotoxicity biomarkers in the marine amphipod Parhyale hawaiensis and testing toxicity of manufactured nanomaterials”.
  • Dr Ted Henry Visits are planned for 2015/2016 including a two-week visit by collaborator Dra. G Umbuzeiro (UNICAMP), a 30-day visit by technician J Vendemiatti (competitively awarded by UNICAMP), and a 9-month visit by M Artal (USP, funded by CNPq project).
  • A Rain Rivers Reservoirs workshop was held at Universidade de Sao Paulo in September 2015. Prof Patrick Corbett received Newton Funding from the British Council with Prof Gizella Umberto (UNICAMP) and Prof Fernando Marinho and Prof Renato Paes de Almeida (USP). This was also supported by CPRM in Brazil and the BGS in the UK. The summary report and presentations now available on Building on the success of the Sao Paulo 2015 RRR conference the 2016 Conference was held as part of the Geological Society's Year of Water with a strong Brazilian presence. From these two RRR workshops we are pursuing funds for related research projects with a focus on Brazil.


  • Dr Patricia Vargas Vargas has a 1 year joint project (SAS-ROGE) with the School of Mechanical Engineering at UNICAMP (Jun2016 – May2017)
  • Dr Vargas was invited to give talks at UNIVERSIDADE PRESBITERIANA MACKENZIE, Sao Paulo, Brazil and at UNICAMP. Topics were: “Perspectivas de pesquisa em computação natural, em particular no contexto do Laboratório de Robótica da Heriot-Watt University” and “Towards the evolution of non-classical artificial neural networks for autonomous robots: the GasNet model approach”. She was also invited to give a talk at the International Institute of Neuroscience of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte (Santos Dumont Institute) on the outcomes of the 1 year (Jun2015-Jun2016) collaboration under Newton Fund/Royal Society project SOPHIA.


Dr Mario Parra Rodriguez works on Dementia with USP.

FAPESP projects

  • Heriot-Watt University has committed to organising research workshops on an annual basis for five years in an agreement signed with FAPESP.
  • Dr Patricia A. Vargas (Heriot-Watt University), Prof David Corne (HWU) and Prof Ely Carneiro de Paiva and Prof Andre Fioranvanti (FEM, UNICAMP), have just secured funding under the FAPESP/HWU Agreement Scheme. This will support their collaboration for a 1 year joint project (SAS-ROGE) with the School of Mechanical Engineering at UNICAMP (Jun 2016 – May 2017)

Key information

Patrick Corbett