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Our team

Researchers

Dr. Xavier Gabarrell i Durany

Dr. Xavier Gabarrell i Durany

Dr Gabarrell i Durany, Professor at the Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering of UAB, is a senior researcher at ICTA-UAB (María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence -CEX2019-000940-M), and Scientific Coordinator of the SMART-ER in the ECIU University. He leads the research group on Industrial Ecology called Sostenipra, and the Fertilecity. He is an expert in Circular economy, urban agriculture, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), Material Flow Analysis (MFA), and waste management. 24 researchers (17 from 2011) have successfully finished and defended a PhD/doctorate thesis under his supervision. He is included in the Reuters list of the world’s top 1000 climate scientists according to how influential they are.

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Dra. Gara Villalba Mendez

Dra. Gara Villalba Mendez

Gara Villalba is full professor of the Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and researcher at the María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence (CEX2019-000940-M) ICTA-UAB. Her bachelor’s degree is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998), and her PhD from the University of Barcelona (2003), both in chemical engineering. She was recently awarded an ERC Consolidator grant URBAG: Integrated System Analysis of Urban Vegetation and Agriculture (2019-2024, urbag.eu), from Horizon 2020 of the European Commission. She is also a recipient of ICREA Academia 2021.

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Dra. Laura Talens Peiró

Dra. Laura Talens Peiró

Dr. Laura Talens Peiró is a researcher and the responsible of the research line ‘Resource management for a circular economy’ of the Sostenipra group at ICTA-UAB. She has degrees in chemical engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de València, and the University of Teesside, and a PhD in environmental studies from the UAB. She is expert in the field of circular economy and environmental tools as ecodesign, material flow analysis (MFA), life cycle assessment (LCA), and exergy analysis. These tools were used in most cases for the study of the metabolism of scarce metals and electrical and electronic equipment.

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Dra. Cristina Madrid López

Dra. Cristina Madrid López

PhD in Environmental Sciences and Management. Researcher at ICTA-UAB. Marie Curie International Fellow at Yale University 2015-2018. Her research focusses on the sustainability assessment of policy strategies and technological innovations from an Industrial/Social Ecology/Complexity Theory perspective and including participation and narrative analysis methods. Previous works have assessed the water footprint, the water metabolism of socio-ecosystems and the nexus trade-offs of agricultural production and natural gas extraction with a geographical perspective in case studies like Spain, UK, Poland, the EU, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ecuador or the US. Within URBAG, she develops the methods for the georeferenced assessment of the urban metabolism of water and energy with a nexus perspective.

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Dra. Anna Petit Boix

Dra. Anna Petit Boix

Anna holds a PhD degree in Environmental Science and Technology, a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies specialized in industrial ecology and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science by the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Currently, she is a researcher at Sostenipra through the María Zambrano program. She is a former member of the Circulus research group at the University of Freiburg (Germany). Her research topics include the environmental analysis of circular economy strategies applied to cities, with special emphasis on urban agriculture and the water cycle. To do so, she applies tools and methods such as life cycle assessment.

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Dr. Martí Rufí Salís

Dr. Martí Rufí Salís

Martí holds a PhD in Environmental Science and Technology for the thesis: “A Circular Economy Approach to Urban Agriculture: an Environmental Assessment”, a MSc in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Industrial Ecology and a BSc in Environmental Sciences from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He is now a PhD Student in ICTA-UAB, working on his doctoral thesis entitled “Closing the flow of an integrated rooftop greenhouse: urban agriculture metabolism form a circular economy perspective”. He is also affiliated with the Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering Department from the Engineering School of the UAB.

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Dr. Susana Toboso Chavero

Dr. Susana Toboso Chavero

Susana holds a PhD in Environmental Science and Technology, an MSc in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Industrial Ecology and a BSc in Environmental Sciences from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). She is currently working on her doctoral thesis entitled “Integration of the food, energy and water nexus on city’s rooftops: the Roof Mosaic”. It is focused on the implementation of urban agriculture, energy systems, rainwater harvesting on underutilized rooftops in cities. She analyses these systems from an environmental and social perspective using quantitative and qualitative approaches.

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Dra. Verónica Arcas Pilz

Dra. Verónica Arcas Pilz

Verónica Arcas-Pilz has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) with special emphasis in plant biology and plant physiology. She holds a Master’s Degree in the University of Hohenheim (Germany) in “Environmental Protection and Agricultural Food Production”. She holds a doctor’s degree from the Sostenipra Research group in the ICTA-UAB institute. Her thesis was focused on the reduction of the environmental footprint of urban agriculture production within the framework of circular economy. 

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Dr. Felipe Parada

Dr. Felipe Parada

A native of Santiago, Chile, Felipe Parada, Agricultural Engineer, Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science and Master’s degree in Soils and Water Management (University of Chile), PhD in Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB).  Following his master´s research on estimation of water use efficiency to energy crop (Jatropha curcas L.), he has developed related jobs, sustainability, and environmental assessment, focused on the efficient management of water and land resource use.

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Researchers in training

Juan David Arosemena Polo, PhD Candidate

Juan David Arosemena Polo, PhD Candidate

Juan David holds a BSc in Environmental Studies from the Florida State University (FSU) and a MSc in Environmental Engineering from the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá (UTP). He obtained a MSc in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability with a specialization in Industrial Ecology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), working on a master’s thesis about nutrient recovery from solid waste and its reutilization as fertilizer within urban agriculture. Juan David is a predoctoral student at ICTA and is interested in waste management as a source of resources for urban areas under a circular economy and urban metabolism context.

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Guido Evangelista, PhD Candidate

Guido Evangelista, PhD Candidate

Guido holds bachelor degree in Naples at the Federico II University in Agricultural, Forestry and Environmental Sciences and a master’s degree of “Global Change Ecology & Sustainable Development Goals” at the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna. After that, Guido worked as an intern at the university following various researches about leafy vegetables grown with hydroponics and aeroponics techniques in a vertical farm environment. Guido’s Master Thesis was on the “Evaluation of growth parameters and leaf pigmentation in a red and green lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) grown with different light spectra in a Vertical Farm”. Guido’s PhD with Sostenipra is working on the topic of urban agriculture mainly through the FoodE project, URBAG and the strategic projects in which the group participates. Specifically, Guido focus on the effect of LED lights on the rate of assimilation of fertilizers recovered from waste.

Diego Macall, PhD Candidate

Diego Macall, PhD Candidate

Diego has an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Engineering obtained at the Catholic University of El Salvador, and a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics obtained at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. Currently, he is doing doctoral work on the potential scalability of urban agriculture to a city-level, to contribute to food security. His research interests include agricultural biotechnology, agricultural policy, and the economics of innovation. To undertake his work, Diego employs various microeconomic and social science tools.

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Sara Molins Cabaní, PhD Candidate

Sara Molins Cabaní, PhD Candidate

Sara is an Industrial Engineer from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and holds a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Industrial Ecology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and in Project Management from the Universitat Ramon Llull (URL). She is currently a PhD candidate in the Sostenipra Research group at ICTA-UAB. Her research is focused on food production systems paying special attention to circularity and animal welfare.

Alexandra Peña, PhD candidate

Alexandra Peña, PhD candidate

Bachelor degree in Economics and Marketing from the University of National and World Economy (Sofia, Bulgaria) and Master in Research in Business Management, Marketing and Accounting from the Complutense University of Madrid. He is currently a PhD student at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). He is a member of the research group Sustainability and Environmental Prevention (Sostenipra) and takes part of the Fertilecity project (www.fertilecity.com).

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Mateo Sanclemente, PhD Candidate

Mateo Sanclemente, PhD Candidate

Bachelor’s degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Master’s degree in Chemistry, track Science for Energy and Sustainability, from the Universiteit van Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Currently, at Sostenipra, he studies the sustainability of the reuse of the electronic components of automobiles and electric vehicles’ batteries.

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Miquel Sierra Montoya, PhD candidate

Miquel Sierra Montoya, PhD candidate

Miquel graduated in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). He holds masters in Industrial Chemistry and in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sustainability with a specialization in Industrial Ecology (UAB). Currently, he works in the development of models to study the social and environmental impacts of the energy transition.

Gaia Stringari, PhD candidate

Gaia Stringari, PhD candidate

Gaia holds a BSc in Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Padova (UNIPD) and a MSC in International Horticultural Science from the University of Bologna (UNIBO). Her academic studies focused on plant drugs extraction and application in natural therapy and on horticulture management with a peculiar interest on medicinal plants.

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Pietro Tonini, PhD candidate

Pietro Tonini, PhD candidate

Pietro Tonini is a Phd candidate in Environmental Science and Technology from the Institut de Tecnologia i Ciencia Ambientales, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. He has a MSC in Horticolture Science from the University of Bolonia and Free Bozen University and a Bsc in Agribusiness from the University of Bolonia. Currently, His research is focus on the analysis of food system and in the individuation of driver to promote sustainable food consumption.

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Elisa Appolloni, PhD Candidate

Elisa Appolloni, PhD Candidate

Elisa has a master in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies at the University of Bologna. She is doing a PhD in a cotutuelle between the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the University of Bologna.

Marta Iglesias Émbil, PhD candidate

Marta Iglesias Émbil, PhD candidate

Marta is working at the Environmental Affairs Product department at the Research Center of the automotive company SEAT, where she is responsible for Sustainable Materials, Ecodesign & Ecoinnovation. In particular, she is addressing and trying to foster circular economy practices within the company. Concurrently, she is carrying out a PhD on “Raw material use within the automotive sector” at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB), under the direction of Professors Gara Villalba (ICTA-UAB) and Alicia Valero (CIRCE Institute-Universidad de Zaragoza).

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