portfolio

"A portfolio of one's professional past projects and experiences is certainly more meaningful and representative than a formal and tedious statement of qualifications and certifications, i.e. a curriculum vitae"
Facilitating sustainability transitions in the Doñana region
Last December, 2014, after several years of working in a mixed consultancy and research capacity, I finally managed to put together a PhD thesis that brings together insights from both worlds, combining participatory action research, institutional analysis and the case study method. In particular, my thesis deals with the institutional conditions for sustainability transitions in estuarine socio-ecosystems including nature reserves, with a focus on water management and wetland conservation in the Doñana region.

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Adaptive management of kelp forests

Source: KNEU Project
Kelp forests are key components of the Atlantic coast, contributing greatly to ecological structure and function by providing key ecosystem services. They are highly productive ecosystem engineers of rocky cold- and temperate-water marine coastlines, hosting a high diversity of species that includes fish, mammals, invertebrates, other seaweeds and epibiota. In particular, numerous species of fishes use kelp forests as feeding sites, nursery areas and shelter from predators. However, direct harvest of kelps, overfishing, pollution, diseases and climate-related factors may be causing the decline of kelp forests in several parts of Europe.

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A sectoral agreement in Galápagos - Integration, equity and efficiency in the tourism industry as an engine for sustainable development
Economic development in Galápagos Islands depends heavily on the tourism sector. However, the archipelago is extremely fragile from an ecological standpoint. In this seminar colleague Cristian Cavicchiolo introduced the project "Sustainable Development of the Productive Sectors of Galápagos", funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Provincial Chamber of Tourism.

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Environmental Sustainability in organizations - Social Media Day Palma de Mallorca 2010
In this series of interviews the event's participants told us how they incorporate respect for the environment and sustainability in their organisational policies, as well as how they use social media to promote their environmental values, turning them into a competitive advantage. Doing one-concept interviews let us obtain an audiovisual brainstorming.

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Meeting of the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) 2010
During the last decade, the development of powerful analytical tools in the fields of molecular and population genetics, remote sensing and information technologies has facilitated a revolution in the study of evolutionary and ecological processes, and the time is ripe to facilitate their integration into ongoing management actions.

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Structured Decision Making - General guidance and management recomendations on environmental sustainability and climate change for the Playa de Palma Project
In the context of the Playa the Palma Urban Reform Project, the Playa de Palma Consortium entrusted the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) with the development of the project´s general guidance on environmental quality and climate change. After several internal meetings, IMEDEA started an innovative Structured Decision Making process for catalyzing sinergies among the participating researchers, accelerating a general diagnosis of problems of the so-called Playa de Palma System and offering a series of recommendations on both issues, which were summarized in:

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Evaluation of the Environmental Repercussions of mooring facilities over two special protection sites in Formentera Island
Entrusted by the local environmental authority in this study I led an assessment of the environmental impact of ecological moorings in two locations at Formentera Island with a special conservation status (Ses Illetes beach and Estany d'Es Peix, Mallorca, Spain) as a previous step to a full Environmental Impact Assessment.

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Innovative developments in the management of coastal fisheries in Canada and Spain: from participatory management to adaptive management
Traditional models for the management of high seas fisheries have led, in general, to socio-economic crisis due to various factors such as the overexploitation of the resource, and the lack of flexibility, organizational learning and social participation in decision-making processes within policy making and planning. Scientific-technical management systems have failed to control overfishing, reduce environmental impacts and fully incorporate the scientific recommendations in which they were based.

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Action-research and adaptive management in the Doñana region
Supported by the TRANSAM Project and institutional analysis, I coordinated an action-research program carried out in the Doñana Nature Reserve between 2005-2008, in the context of (and funded by) the Hydro-ecological Restoration Project Doñana 2005 (1998-2006). The latter project, organised by the national authorities within the Reserve, was launched in response to the toxic spill at Los Frailes zinc mines located in Aznalcóllar (Seville, Spain) in April 25 1998, together with the Guadiamar’s Green Corridor project (1998-2002), organised by the regional authorities outside the Reserve. The Doñana 2005 project, aimed at restoring the hydraulic and ecological functioning of the protected marshland and wetlands, which got further deteriorated after years of withstanding intensive economic development in the surrounding region.

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Water management uncertainties in the Guadalquivir estuary
By now, the need for addressing uncertainty in the management of water resources is widely recognized, yet there is little expertise and experience how to effectively deal with uncertainty in practice.

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TRANSAM Project - Transfer of Adaptive Management
The TRANSAM (Transfer of Adaptive Management) project is a long-term research initiative launched in 2007 and currently ongoing at the Spatial Ecology Group of the Doñana Biological Station. The general aim of TRANSAM is to investigate the causes of the limited transfer of ‘adaptive management’ from Canada to the European Union (EU). Adaptive management constitutes one of the most promising approaches to overcome the current limitations of traditional, command-and-control management and policy making of natural resources and nature conservation, at both the operational and decision-making levels. It is an approach initially conceived and developed by C. J. Walters, R. Hilborn y C. S. Holling at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Vienna, Austria), during the 1970s and the 1980s. The aim was to create a robust tool for the management of natural resources while keeping a continuous interaction among stakeholders.

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Habitat suitability study for the Bewick's swan during its wintering stage in the Netherlands
This habitat suitability study for the Bewick's swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii ssp.) in the Netherlands was my first research work. It gave rise to a lifelong passion about science and discovering hidden social-ecological patterns and dynamics. In this study, I analysed the influence of certain factors that could be potentially determining the spatial distribution of the Bewick’s swan over its wintering grounds in the Netherlands.

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