Search

Albert Vilà Cabrera, an ecologist of climate change in the Mediterranean, new National Geographic Explorer

The science that drives CREAF researcher Albert Vilà Cabrera focuses on management and conservation linked to climate change, in regions as far away as the Mediterranean and the tropics. Image: Public domain.
The science that drives CREAF researcher Albert Vilà Cabrera focuses on management and conservation linked to climate change, in regions as far away as the Mediterranean and the tropics. Image: Public domain.

The potential and originality of CREAF researcher Albert Vilà Cabrera‘s work has led him to be recently distinguished by National Geographic Explorer, a global and diverse community of architects of change in the natural environment promoted by this worldwide organisation. Vilà Cabrera’s studies the interactions between trees and soil biota (invertebrates and fungi) that sustain the carbon and nutrient balance of the ecosystem in forests altered by past land use and drought stress.

“The National Geographic Explorer award and the project linked to it have allowed me to set up my own research team and open a line on soil biodiversity with an interdisciplinary team, a great group of experts from different disciplines,” explains Vilà Cabrera. They study soil biodiversity, a priority aspect for mitigating climate change and guaranteeing the multiple benefits it provides. One of the keys to soil is that it becomes an essential carbon sink (a reservoir, natural or otherwise, that absorbs more carbon dioxide than it releases and thus decreases the concentration of CO2 in the air), which is being affected by drought and changes in land use due to agriculture and grazing. In particular, his work today focuses on beech (Fagus sylvatica) forests.

“I hope to continue my research, to contribute to knowledge and, in some way, to society’s adaptation to the environmental crisis. Soil biodiversity is key to mitigation and provides many services: conserving it is a priority”.

ALBERT VILÀ CABRERA, CREAF researcher and National Geographic Explorer

To move forward with the proposal as National Geographic Explorer, Albert Vilà Cabrera relies on the teamwork of a PhD student – Henna Tyyska from CREAF – and two master’s students – Joana López, from the UAB, and Florencia López from the UB – as well as collaborations with CREAF researchers Josep M Espelta, Xavier Domene Casadesús and Teresa Gimeno Chocarro, with IPNA researcher Paula Arribas and INRAE researcher François-Xavier Joly, among others.

The science it promotes focuses on management and conservation linked to climate change in the Mediterranean region. Specifically, it aims to understand how terrestrial vegetation is regulated in a context of global warming and land use change. For this reason, it works at the intersection between ecology and biogeography: it addresses a new line of research in which it combines theoretical development with field studies, analysis of large datasets and the latest molecular approaches.

Related articles

We've changed the wordpress version If you prefer to read this news in Spanish or Catalan from 2020 to 2012, go to the front page of the blog, change the language with the selector in the upper menu and look for the news in the magnifying glass bar.

Subscribe to our Newsletter to get the lastest CREAF news.