Firma en Digital.CSIC (*)
Álvarez Cobelas, Miguel
Centro o Instituto
CSIC - Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN)
Biogeoquímica y Ecología Microbiana
Investigador Cientifico del CSIC
My scientific career has always been dominated by the idea of environmental synthesis: synthesis of structures, process synthesis and global description of the functioning of ecosystems. This is an unusual approach at the present time, resulting in the fact that my scientific performance is impaired when judged under the dominant criteria. Although my first training was as a biologist, initially specialized in continental algae, I gradually drifted towards the comprehensive study of fresh waters, which led me to the biogeochemical processes of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. The work, encouraged by several projects funded by CICYT and the National Parks Authority, resulted in global biogeochemical studies of complex flows at the watershed (surface and groundwater) scale, which aim to describe and model these flows from the farm plot to the lake that experiences the impacts of environmental mismanagement of the former, also considering groundwaters that transport nutrient-rich water and land-water connections. In any case, out of a fashion that the future will surely reveal as cyclical, I have always been interested in the ecosystem as a whole and, hence, the number of books I published on aquatic ecosystems is growing. More recently, I have written a book on the everyday life of the scientist in our country, which is under review by a leading publisher of sociology. Within global ecosystem analysis, I have also wanted to know the role of humans in shaping ecosystems and the human history of some environments, such as Las Tablas de Daimiel wetland (1996) and Ruidera lakes (2006). The meta-analysis studies seem to me a necessary process for the critical review of published information and thus I have undertaken several of them throughout my scientific life, from the seasonality of lake phytoplankton production to the export of nutrients from watersheds, through the emission of methane and the denitrification process in freshwater and marine ecosystems. I was also interested in applied ecology studies, paying particular attention to the problems of water quality. I have also been interested in issues of global change and its effects on the future of inland aquatic ecosystems, participating in the first evaluation of the effects of global change in our country, supported by the Spanish Ministry of Environment in 2005. Finally, I have found very necessary to disseminate my work among people who are not scientists, hence devoting a lot of work to that task. My scientific work has been funded by the EU, the CICYT, the National Parks Authority, Spanish Autonomous Counties, Councils, Municipalities and private companies.
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