Esther Garcés

When did you first find out that you wanted to be scientist? I decided to become a scientist since very earlier because I am curious by nature. I have questions and I would you like to have the answers and especially I like to find things that were not known before.
Tell us something about your background and main research interests I have a Ph.D. in Biology. As marine biologist, I am interested plankton biodiversity, abundance, and activity dynamics in marine systems. I have a deep concern for issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and the consequences as toxic algae proliferation. So my research is motivated by my concerns about the relationship between society and the environment.
What do you like most about your work? I like to be in contact with the sea and nature, then I love the field work and the strong field-oriented team that I have.
What is your role in DEVOTES project? Due to my expertise, I am in involved in the study of biodiversity of marine protists in the project. My research examines the factors that regulate the community structure of planktonic microorganism, and how physical and chemical changes in the marine environment influence them to distinguish from the human pressure.
How do you think your work in DEVOTES will contribute to the implementation of the EU marine strategy framework directive? We are testing and proving the impact-pressure relationship in the marine area with new methodology. Human activities have a particular signature, given mainly by the composition of the nutrients supplied to sea by the land use. This should give some changes to the initial states of the community of marine organisms. If the hypothesis is verified, it is a powerful tool to predict the human impact.
What´s the relevance for your institute and country to participate in DEVOTES? My institution is one of the most influent marine centers in the Mediterranean area. In a way we have to participate of the primary marine environmental law of the European Union, with our knowledge and applied research.
What´s your recommended reading list for someone wanting to know more about marine environment and DEVOTES topic? Winder, M., Cloern, J.E. The annual cycles of phytoplankton biomass (2010) Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365 (1555), pp. 3215-3226.
Cloern, J.E., Jassby, A.D. Patterns and scales of phytoplankton variability in estuarine-coastal ecosystems. (2010) Estuaries and Coasts, 33 (2), pp. 230-241.
Flo, E., Garcés, E., Manzanera, M., Camp, J. Coastal inshore waters in the NW Mediterranean: Physicochemical and biological characterization and management implications. (2011) Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 93 (4), pp. 279-289.
E. Marris. Ragamuffin Earth. Nature 460, 450-453 (2009) doi:10.1038/460450a