Indigenous knowledge, key to a successful ecosystem restoration

Ecological restoration projects actively involving indigenous peoples and local communities are more successful. This is the result of a study carried out by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB).

ICTA-UAB to organize the sixth edition of the Summer School on Degrowth and Environmental Justice

Proposing pathways outside the growth, closure and depressive narratives.

Future changes in human well-being more likely to depend on Social Factors than Economic Factors

The changes in the perception of personal well-being that could take place in the next three decades, on a global level, depend much more on social factors than on economic ones.

Record-wet and record-dry months increased in regions worldwide: climate change drives rainfall extremes

More and more rainfall extremes are observed in regions around the globe – triggering both wet and dry records, according a new study involving ICTA-UAB researcher Finn Mempel.

Success at ICTA-UAB: Six ERC Grants In Three Years

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been awarded six European Research Council (ERC) grants in three years, from the end of 2015 to the end of 2018. Each project (of between 1.5 and 2 million euros) lasts for five years and allows the recruitment of a team of six or seven doctoral students and postdocs.

ICTA-UAB researcher Gara Villalba receives an ERC Consolidator Grant

The European Research Council (ERC) announced the recipients of its Consolidator Grant competition: 291 top scientists across Europe.

The ICTA-UAB awarded an Erasmus+ for running a project on higher education and research in Biosphere Reserves

For the first time since its founding, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been awarded approximately 1 million euros by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ funding scheme.

ICTA-UAB contributes to bridging science and society in the 100xCiencia.3

ICTA-UAB took part in the 100xCiencia.3 “Bringing Science and Society”, the annual event of the SOMMa Alliance held on November 15th at the CNIO in Madrid.

Citizens prefer landscapes that combine nature with built infrastructure

A pioneering study analyses the photographs shared by citizens in social networks to evaluate the aesthetic consideration of natural landscapes.

Co-managed small-scale fisheries lead to social and ecological improvements

The co-management model of small groups of fishermen contributes to a greater abundance and habitats of species.

ICTA-UAB to design participative and concurred forest fire prevention strategies for the Montseny region

Scientists from the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) aim to design prevention strategies for forest fires occurring in the Montseny Biosphere Reserve through a citizen participation process.

Nace El Observatorio del Besòs: un proyecto de seguimiento de la calidad de los sistemas fluviales de la cuenca

La Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) a través del Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA-UAB), y el Consorci Besòs Tordera evaluarán el estado de calidad a largo plazo de la cuenca del Besòs gracias a la creación de la Observatorio del Besòs.

Shift in large-scale Atlantic circulation causes lower-oxygen water to invade Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Gulf of St. Lawrence has warmed and lost oxygen faster than almost anywhere else in the global oceans.

Climate Change Modifies the Composition of Reefs

Corals devastated by climate change are being replaced naturally by other species such as gorgonians, which are less efficient in acting as a carbon sink.

Pioneering study analyses the effects of forests on human health

A group of volunteers have participated in an experimental study conducted by the ICTA-UAB to analyse the potential health benefits of forests.

Marine Litter on Mediterranean Beaches Triples in Summer

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) analyses and quantifies the waste generated by tourists in eight islands of the Mediterranean as part of the European BLUEISLANDS project.

Agricultural intensification not a “blueprint” for sustainable development

Social and ecological results of increased agricultural intensification are not as positive as expected.

Green urban planning must consider social equity criteria

Cities that do not include social equity criteria into their political strategies to make their urban environment greener and more ecological will not achieve long-term sustainability and risk creating green enclaves only for the social elite.

New ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide'

The new ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide' it is at your disposal now. With this document, we aim to help you discover the basics of the PhD programme, ICTA-UAB’s structure, etc.
MdM SEMINAR SERIES: “Understanding past, present and future carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems: a multidisciplinary challenge” by Prof. Iain Colin Prentice FRS

Date: 2019-01-16


Title: “Understanding past, present and future carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems: a multidisciplinary challenge”


Speaker: Prof. Iain Colin Prentice FRS, AXA Chair of Biosphere and Climate Impacts, Imperial College London

Date: Wednesday, January 16th 2019
Time: 12h
Venue: room Z/022- Z/023

Terrestrial ecosystems are performing a valuable service by taking up, in the decadal average, more than a quarter of the total anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide. Yet the mechanisms involved are still disputed, and numerical models continue to give widely deviating projections of the future of this global uptake. Moreover, despite sustained efforts, these models are not improving (in terms of their agreement with present and historical observations), and their projections of the future are not converging. I will argue that this situation reflects (a) a tradition in biology to focus on the diversity (rather than the unity) of life, which hinders the search for unifying principles; (b) an undue focus on future projection (rather than explanation) as the principal goal of models; and (c) a distortion of research priorities and culture that unconsciously reflects the politicization of climate and carbon cycle science. I will further argue, however, that scientists have a responsibility to be aware of both disciplinary limitations and political pressures, and to consciously resist them. On the other hand, the international “spotlight” on climate and the carbon cycle has permitted huge advances in the availability of relevant data, at scales from individual plant leaves to satellite observations of the whole Earth, and these advances provide immense opportunities: both for improved scientific understanding of the carbon cycle, and for the development of better-founded predictive models. I will show how recent theoretical advances based on eco-evolutionary optimality concepts have led to general, testable hypotheses concerning the most fundamental processes underlying ecosystem function – forming the basis for an emerging new generation of models, resting on firmer theoretical and empirical foundations than those they will eventually replace.

Professor Iain Colin Prentice FRS holds the AXA Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts in the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, and an Honorary Professorship in Ecology and Evolution at Macquarie University in Sydney. He has a PhD in Botany from Cambridge University and has held academic and research leadership positions in several countries, including the Chair of Plant Ecology at Lund University, and a founding Directorship of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena. He led the research programme Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System for the UK Natural Environment Research Council. He developed the standard model for pollen source area, popularized now widely used techniques to analyse species composition along environmental gradients, and led the international development of succcessive generations of large-scale ecosystem models – from equilibrium biogeography (BIOME) to coupled biogeochemistry and vegetation dynamics (LPJ). He was a founding member and, later, co-chair of the Internal Geosphere-Biosphere programme task force on Global Analysis, Integration and Modelling; and co-chair of its successor project Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System. He was co-ordinating lead author for “The carbon cycle and atmospheric carbon dioxide” in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report, and a reviewer in subsequent reports. He is currently Director of the Masters programme in Ecosystems and Environmental Change at Imperial College. His research, now supported by the European Research Council advanced grant Re-Inventing Ecosystem and Land-surface Models (REALM), applies eco-evolutionary optimality concepts to develop and test new quantitative theory for plant and ecosystem function and land-atmosphere exchanges of energy, water and carbon dioxide with the goal of more robust global modelling of terrestrial Earth system processes.

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