One Hundred ICTA-UAB Researchers to Address the Main Environmental Challenges of Today and Tomorrow

ICTA-UAB will host the 2nd Spring Symposium next May 16 and 17 at the UAB campus.

New cross-boundary approach for addressing wicked weed problems

Weed species continue to spread and management costs continue to mount, in spite of best management practices and efforts by research and extension personnel who promote them to land managers.

Urban green spaces do not benefit the health of all

In general, the creation of parks and green spaces in urban centers has positive effects on the health of city residents.

ERASMUS+ Edu-BioMed News: ICTA-UAB organizes workshops in Jabal Moussa and Shouf Biosphere Reserves (Lebanon) addressed to university...

From next April, 29th to May, 2nd, about 40 professors and professionals from the higher education institutions from Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, France and Italy will meet in two Lebanese Biosphere Reserves (Jabal Moussa and Shouf) to discuss how to improve Moroccan and Lebanese higher education and academic research in the context of Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves (BRs).

ICTA-UAB researcher Antoni Rosell-Melé receives an ERC Advanced Grant

ICTA-UAB researcher Antoni Rosell-Melé has been awarded an Advanced Grant (AdvGr) from the European Research Council (ERC) to develop the project "New geochemical approach to reconstruct tropical palaeo-atmospheric dynamics" (PALADYN).

Urban Agriculture on Rooftops Provides Healthy, Fresh and Sustainable Food

​The implementation of urban gardens on building rooftops could produce fresh, healthy and sustainable agricultural food and guarantee the food sovereignty of cities, which are becoming increasingly populated.

Se prevén niveles de polen muy altos para esta primavera

Las polinizaciones de esta primavera y verano comenzarán en el momento habitual pero serán muy importantes.

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).

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.

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.
News
Pioneering study analyses the effects of forests on human health

Date: 2018-07-23

Experiment Boscos i Salut


A group of volunteers have participated in an experimental study conducted by the ICTA-UAB to analyse the potential health benefits of forests. The research aims to provide scientific evidence of the effects a walk through the woods can have on a person's emotional and physical health.


A group of volunteers participated on Friday 20 July in an experimental study which aimed to analyse the potential health benefits of forests on humans by determining their chemical influence. The research forms part of the "Boscos sans per a una societat saludable" [Healthy Forests for a Healthy Society], organised by the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) and the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) and funded by the "la Caixa" Foundation with the collaboration of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, the Sant Celoni Hospital and Grup Duet. 

The project was born out of the growing social and scientific interest in the health benefits of being outdoors, both at physiological, psychological and emotional levels. Despite there being studies indicating possible physiological effects (stronger immune system, improvement in heart rate and blood pressure, reduction of cortisol levels, related with levels of stress, etc.), the evidence is not strong enough to provide a solid basis needed to demonstrate a direct and unique physiochemical effect on the body. This study aims to provide new scientific information which can solve the enigmas of this emerging discipline. 

The experimental study, created by ICTA-UAB researchers and funded by the "la Caixa" Foundation, highlights that the therapeutic effects of forests are not limited to the well-being felt when walking, but also include a possible interaction of the chemical components generated by a large part of the vegetation with our health. Among other aspects, these compounds are known to have bactericidal action. The study also investigates the potential effects of the forests' microbiology on humans. IrsiCaixa collaborates in this aspect, by analysing the microbiota of the forests and of the volunteers participating. 

The objective was to contribute to the research by delving deeper into the role of forest chemistry and its possible effects on human health. The research will be based on an experimental line. 

The experimental part of the research will take place in the Mediterranean forests of holm oaks, cork oaks, pines and in beech tree forests, in areas of the Montseny Natural Park - Biosphere Reserve. Air samples are being taken in these areas and the chemical substances will be analysed and characterised, while the variations in concentrations depending on different variables such as species composition or forest management will also be studied. 

Experiment with volunteers in the Montseny
The participatory phase began Friday 20 July in the holm oaks forests of Sant Bernat (Sant Celoni, Montseny), will determine how these substances enter and are metabolised by the human body after a walk through the woods and the effects these can have on the human organism. The trial phase with volunteers will include taking samples with which to analyse the chemistry and microbiology of the forest at that exact moment. 

The experiment was conducted with healthy volunteers aged 20 to 40. They were invited to take a walk through the woods and saliva, blood and respiratory tract samples were taken at different moments of the day.

 

ICTA's Activities