PhD position in plant ecology and ecophysiology in Mediterranean shrublands and forests

We are seeking a motivated PhD candidate to join a new research project to study plant functional traits related to water and nutrient use strategies (e.g. leaf gas exchange, leaf and stomatal morphology, leaf chemistry and the isotopic composition of leaves and stem and soil water) to be analyzed with climate and soil data collected in Mediterranean ecosystems. The main goal is to understand the diversity and distribution of plant water and nutrient use strategies in Mediterranean ecosystems and their implication for ecosystem functioning.

Click here for more information.

Student visiting from University of Twente (Netherlands)

Luca Furii is an Italian MSc Civil Engineering student, Water Management profile, at the University of Twente (the Netherlands). During his stay at CEBAS-CSIC he will be working on the implementation of Sustainable Land Management techniques within the Campo de Cartagena to improve water usage in intensive irrigated agriculture. Techniques as crop rotation and scheduling irrigation will be deployed and assessed by means of the hydrological model SPHY.  Supervision and guidance are provided by Joris Eekhout and Prof M.J Booij of the University of Twente.

Student visiting from Wageningen University (Netherlands)

Pieter Barneveld is an MSc student International Land and Water Management from Wageningen University (The Netherlands) and will do his thesis research here at CEBAS-CSIC. During his stay, he will focus on the implementation of buffer strips in the Campo de Cartagena area within the SPHY model. The main goal of this study is to assess the effect of buffer strips on the water quality in the Mar Menor coastal lagoon. This will make it easier for policy makers to show farmers the potential communal benefit of the buffer strips. This project is planned to be completed in July. Supervision and guidance are provided by Joris Eekhout and Jantiene Baartman of the Soil Physics and Land Management group of Wageningen University.

Student visiting from Wageningen University (Netherlands)

Thedmer Postma is a student in Geo-Information Sciences from Wageningen University and will do his academic internship for the coming 6 months. During his stay, he will primarily focus on developing a methodology for unsupervised land cover classification using satellite imagery to distinguish irrigated vs rainfed agricultural areas in the Campo de Cartagena area. During the research he will use the Google Earth Engine for satellite data gathering, classification and validation tasks. The second goal is to incorporate the methodology developed into a Google Earth Engine application. After completing his internship in July he will have obtained his Masters’ degree and his long career as a student will officially be over. Supervision and guidance are provided by Javier Martínez-López and Sytze de Bruin of the Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing at Wageningen University.

Visiting student with a EIT Food RIS fellowship

Birce Azizli is a Turkish PhD student in Kaposvar University-Hungary. Her major is Environmental Economics and she will spend an internship period within CEBAS for 4 months until the end of December 2019 in scope of EIT Food RIS Fellowship Programme. The target of her stay is to obtain a broader knowledge about agroecology and to integrate this in her own major. Birce is now working on economic valuation of the ecosystem services- particularly soil and sediment carbon sequestration- and the adaptability of these practices in Southern Spain under the supervision of Carolina Boix-Fayos.

Student visiting from Wageningen University (Netherlands)

Eva Lansu, an Earth and Environment student from Wageningen University (The Netherlands), is doing her four month internship at our research group. She is working on a project about CO2 respiration of sediments. The study area is an almond orchard 16 km east of Murcia. During heavy rain events, the area turns into a river bed. Then, both erosion and sediment deposition take place. Eva has been measuring respiration of sediments after rain events and doing experiments in the laboratory. She will try to relate respiration to sediment properties, like soil moisture and organic carbon content, in order to better understand which factors enhance respiration. Besides working on her own project, she enjoys going into the field and helping with laboratory work for the various projects of the research group. At the end of December, Eva will finish her internship and complete her master’s degree, as this internship forms the last part of her studies. Supervision and guidance are provided by Maria Martinez-Mena and the Soil Physics and Land Management group of Wageningen University.

UPCOMING GLF DIGITAL SUMMIT: Large scale restoration of agroecosystems – Opportunities and Challenges of participatory monitoring

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) is a movement dedicated to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement, putting communities first in addressing landscape-level issues. With science and traditional knowledge at the core, we are presenting the digital summit “Large scale restoration of agroecosystems – Opportunities and Challenges of participatory monitoring”.

Restoration practices must be designed in environmentally, socially and economically efficient ways in order to enhance long term farmer adoption. Putting together farmers’ experiences and scientific knowledge through participatory research and monitoring can help to find the most feasible solutions to restore degraded lands and develop resilient agroecosystems. The benefits of stakeholder engagement are multiple, but can lead also to some challenges.

In this Digital Summit, we will present three case studies in which different participatory research and monitoring approaches and methods were used to foster agro-ecosystem restoration.

  1. African thickets and forests
  2. Mediterranean drylands in Spain
  3. Subtropical Atlantic rainforest in Brazil

The webinar will take place on Tuesday 8th of October 2019 from 11am to 12pm CEST.

For more info and registration check this link.

This Digital Summit is hosted by GLF and initiated by J. de Vente and R. Lujan Soto from as a partner in the ENABLE consortium and supported by a research grant from Fundación la Caixa to RLS (LCF/BQ/ES17/11600008).

DIGITAL SUMMIT: From river to coast – Collaboration to restore coastal and rural areas

GLF (Global Landscapes Forum) Digital Summits are conversations with global leaders, experts and influencers on the world’s most pressing issues. Join us for this Digital Summit, which we will address the potential benefits, limitations and challenges of participatory modelling as a methodology to co-create scenarios promoting coastal-rural synergies.

Participatory approaches to map and model system dynamics can help to create mutual understanding of appropriate collective action for ecosystem restoration initiatives. But in contexts with active resource or value system conflicts, this can be a challenging task.

In particular, three examples of ongoing projects in Spain, India, and Portugal will be presented: 1) the Mar Menor coastal lagoon and its contributing catchment area, as part of the COASTAL project; and 2) the Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon and Lower Vouga River Natura2000 sites and 3) A project with farmers about groundwater management in India.

Update: You can now watch the recording in the following link!

This Digital Summit is hosted by GLF and initiated by J. de Vente and J. Martínez-López as partner in the  ENABLE consortium and COASTAL project.

Beca de introducción a la investigación: JAE INTRO 2019

Si te apetece tomar contacto con la carrera científica y trabajar identificando estrategias de utilización del agua y nutrientes en especies semiáridas y su respuesta al cambio climático, solicita un JAE intro con nosotros en el área de Recursos Naturales: REF: JAEINT19_EX_0749

El trabajo se centra en estudiar la relación entre la diversidad de estrategias de uso del agua de las diferentes especies que componen una comunidad y los factores ambientales que más se verán afectados por el cambio climático (precipitación y temperatura), así como sobre los procesos de descomposición de la materia orgánica, para entender la capacidad de adaptación de las especies y comunidades forestales y arbustivas a un aumento de aridez y las implicaciones en el ciclo del carbono.


New MOOC on Business Model Innovation for Sustainable Landscape Restoration

You can now subscribe and start our second Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Business Model Innovation for Sustainable Landscape Restoration. We developed this MOOC with our partners from the European Network for the Advancement of Business and Landscape Education (ENABLE).

The course is launched today, 14 February, and is open for all and free of charge. This is the second MOOC co-created by the ENABLE consortium members. It builds upon ENABLE’s first MOOC, which offered comprehensive knowledge of landscape degradation and restoration from the perspectives of natural sciences, economics and business administration.

This new MOOC is transdisciplinary, designed for environmental and business students, professionals, as well as anyone with an interest in landscape restoration based on sustainable business models. The course takes a partnership approach to take on the challenge of large-scale landscape restoration, reflecting the interconnectedness of ecology, society and economy in landscape management – supporting wellbeing of people and the planet.

This eight-week online course aims to equip learners with practical business tools to restore landscapes. In the course, participants are encouraged to go through the business model innovation process in small groups of their choice, based on a common interest. The course is designed in three phases that move the participants from ideas towards the successful implementation of a new business model for sustainable landscape restoration based on four different returns: return of natural and social capital, return of inspiration and return of financial capital. Each step of the process is illustrated with three real-life cases of landscape restoration to show how the theory looks in practice. These cases are: a case about crop diversification and low input farming in Spain; a large-scale woodland restoration case in Iceland; and a case about the challenges of recovering from forest fires in Portugal.

Worsening land degradation caused by human activities is undermining the well-being of two-fifths of humanity, driving species extinctions and intensifying climate change (IPBES). But there’s a huge potential for restoring landscapes: around two billion hectares of land, about two times the size of China, can be restored. This free online course aims to equip learners from environmental, business or other backgrounds with practical business tools to restore landscapes.

You can now start the course and work on solutions for landscape restoration – one of the biggest challenge of our time. For more information, watch the trailer and see the ENABLE website, and its Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. You can register for the course here.

ENABLE is a strategic partnership of organizations in the private, public and non-profit sector, and is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. The partnership is led by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and consists of the Spanish National Research Council (CEBAS-CSIC), Commonland, United Nations University Land Restoration Training Programme (UNU-LRT), and Nova School of Business and Economics.