In Lisbon the team will study vegetation, herbivorous mites, lichens, and birds.
Lisbon is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. Pre-Indo-European peoples erected menhirs and dolmens, and left other prehistoric traces. The area was then invaded by the Celts in the first thousand years BC. Phoenician traders were also present since 1200 BC. Fortifications were built in the 2nd century BC. Roman occupation led to the construction of further fortifications and many buildings. In 711 the city was conquered by Berber and Arab forces, who built further city walls, mosques, and other buildings, some of which were destroyed following the Reconquista in 1147. During the 16th century, the city was a major merchant port and profited from the colonial trade in sugar, textiles, spices, slaves . In 1755 Lisbon suffered a large earthquake which destroyed up to 85% of the city's buildings and killed around 20% of its population. This natural disaster, which had a profound impact on European philosophers and thinkers, led to the reconstruction of Lisbon according to modern (18th century) ideas of urban planning, including a regular grid of wide streets and large public squares. This redesign of the former medieval city was planned by the 1st Marquess de Pombal. Currently the city is about 100 km2 in extent.
Lisbon has a number of notable parks and public green spaces, including the garden of the Gulbenkian Museum, completed in 1968 in a modern style, and the contemporary gardens covering one-third of the Park of Nations district. In addition, the Monsanto Forest Park is one of the largest forested parks in Europe, with around 900 ha. Originally an area where crops were planted and cattle were raised to feed Lisbon, the area was forested in the early to mid 1900s to act as a green lung for the city.