Round table panellists

We have gathered these four researchers to discuss the topic Staring into the crystal ball: understanding the past to predict the future. Scroll down to learn more about them!

This round table seeks to better understand how ecosystems have fluctuated over time. Our panelists will go over the history of the Earth, from the past, stopping in the present, and taking a look to the future to explain how our planet is constantly changing in ecological terms.

Dr. Daniel DeMiguel will start talking about several important events of climate change during the Neogene and how we use the fossil record to infer these variations and reconstruct the palaeoenvironments of the past. Dr. Imma Oliveras will explain how we track the influence of the ecological perturbations in the present ecosystems and how we can attribute them as a consequence of the climate change. She will show some case studies on the Mediterranean area and the tropical environments. Finally, Paula Solascasas will demonstrate how monitoring and management of the natural ecosystems can help us to maintain the existing biodiversity in the future, especially in those areas with a strong human activity. As an example, she will show us the work of the Life Cañadas Project, in particular the work they are developing on the drove roads’ network of Madrid. Dr. Pablo Muñoz, a researcher working at the University of Oxford and specialised in botanic and biodiversity, will be moderating this round table.

At the end of the talks, there will be some time for discussion and Q&A.

Dr. Pablo Muñoz Rodríguez (round table moderator)

Post-doctoral Researcher at University of Oxford

Pablo is a biologist currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. His research focuses on the systematics of the tropical plant genus Ipomoea, commonly known as the morning glories, and on the origin and evolution of its most famous member: the sweet potato. He participates in various other studies of tropical plant taxonomy, biodiversity conservation and biodiversity data management. He is an active member of several academic societies, former director of SRUK’s Oxford constituency and president-elect of The Systematics Association. In 2020, the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities awarded Pablo the first E-SCoRe award for excellence in research based on natural science collections.

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Dr. Imma Oliveras

Lecturer and Deputy Leader of the Ecosystems Program at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), University of Oxford

Imma leads a research group in disturbance ecology and global change. She received her PhD at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and worked as a post-doctoral researcher in Brazil, UK and Netherlands and was recipient of prestigious fellowships such as Beatriu de Pinos and Marie Curie. This experience took her to spend many years doing fieldwork in a myriad of tropical environments and fostered her passion for biodiversity conservation. Imma is an ecosystem ecologist with broad research interests on the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems to global change. Her research focuses primarily on deciphering how extreme droughts and wildfires impact ecosystem diversity and functioning, and how ecosystems recover from these disturbances. She uses a variety of multi-level approaches for her research, such as plant physiology and remote-sensing. She is Junior Research Fellow at Oriel College, and Adjunct Professor at the Universidade Estadual do Estado de Mato Grosso (Brazil). She is Board member of the Spanish Association for Terrestrial Ecology, and the Association for Tropical Ecology and Conservation.

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Dr. Daniel DeMiguel

Senior Researcher – ARAID; Department of Earth Sciences, University of Zaragoza

Daniel (Degree in Geology and Ph.D in Palaeontology) is a senior researcher of the Aragonese Foundation for Research and Development (ARAID), associate professor at the Department of Earth Science of University of Zaragoza (Zaragoza, Spain), and associate researcher of the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont ICP (Barcelona, Spain). He develops his work on several fields of Vertebrate Palaeontology, encompassing a variety of problems related to the palaeobiological and climatic evolution of the Neogene and Quaternary. His main work relies on key evidences from the rock record and the use of different proxies (tooth wear, isotopes, ecometrics, etc) for the reconstruction of diet in fossil primates and large herbivorous mammals. His research seeks to provide an accurate reconstruction of past climate and environments to enable better predictions of near-future global warming. Other research interests rely on the systematics and taxonomy of the Ruminantia, and their key innovations through time. More recently, his research activity also focuses on ethical and social implications linked with the palaeontological heritage and geoconservation principles, hereby contributing to the geoethical thinking and the promotion of awareness raising that may guide the development of future research and practices in Palaeontology.

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ARAIDARAID – Aragonese Foundation for Research & Development

Paula Solascasas Cazorla

PhD student at the Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory (SES-Lab) and at the Terrestrial Ecology Group (TEG) of the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM)

Paula’s research, framed within the LIFE CAÑADAS project, focuses on the evaluation of the conservation status of the drove roads’ network of Madrid as well as the monitoring of the ecological restoration actions, through the use of edaphic and biodiversity indicators. She graduated from the UAM in 2016 with a BSc degree in Environmental Sciences, and she finished in 2018 a MSc degree in Ecosystems Restoration from the University of Alcalá de Henares (UAH).