About

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I studied Biological Sciences at the University of Seville. During the last years as student at the University, I became involved in the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, working in the wetlands of the Doñana National Park (southern Spain). In those years, as part of the course on “Phytogeography”, I collaborated in some studies and participated in a practical work on the habitat of insectivorous plants growing in poor acid soils in the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco and Portugal (Drosophyllum lusitanicum). This got me interested in soils, and I decided to take the course of Soil Science with Nicolás Bellinfante. When I finished my BS, the first work I did was as a botanical illustrator for the Iberian Flora Project, combining it with my PhD studies. When I gave up drawing (I was not good enough to live on that) I won an opposition as technical advisor for soils in the Andalusian Regional Ministry of Environment, where I worked for a pair of years (again, combining it with my PhD studies and 18 months of services to the communiy, as I claimed conscientious objection to the military service, compulsory in those years in Spain).

 

See! Some of my drawings for the Iberian Flora Project.
See! Some of my drawings for the Iberian Flora Project.

 

I finished my PhD in Biology (2000) with a dissertation on qualitative assessment of soil erosion risk in the Los Alcornocales Natural Park, Gibraltar County (SW Spain). I got a position as part-time instructor in Soil Science at the University of Seville, where I currently work as Associate Professor. After that I was more and more involved in the study of soils. During my first years as a researcher, I focused on soil erosion mapping. Whith years, I moved slowly to the study of erosion processes in Mediterranean soils.

 

Soil sampling in the Doñana National Park (SW Spain), a very windy day.
Soil sampling in the Doñana National Park (SW Spain), a very windy day.

 

Currently, my research includes the study of soil degradation processes in Mediterranean areas and, especially, the impact of wildfires on soils and restoration of fire-affected areas.

Fire danger rating in Perth, Australia. Noooo, I moved the arrow.
Fire danger rating in Perth, Australia. Noooo, I moved the arrow.

 

In the recent years, my research has focused on studying the impact of fire on soil chemical and physical properties. One of the main lines of research is water repellency, as one of the most important (and usually not considered) impacts of fire on the hydrological response of burned soils.

 

Me with a fire fighter during a prescribed fire experiment.
Me with a fire fighter during a prescribed fire experiment.

 

Through research, I have had the opportunity to travel around the world, knowing very different environments, landscapes and people. In one of many travels, I met my wife in Mexico (another biologist: biologists are endogamic). We have a little daughter who helps me with soil sampling at the field:

 

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Me with some colleagues and my daughter during field sampling.