Professor Àlex Aguilar enters the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of Barcelona as elected Academician
“L’impacte del canvi climàtic en els misticets” (impact of climate change on marine mammals) is the title of the speech by Professor Àlex Aguilar, from the Faculty of Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio) of the UB, in the public ceremony for his admission to the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of Barcelona (RACAB), to be held on Thursday, November 21, at 7 p.m. In the ceremony, the speech by the new academician will be answered by the emeritus Professor Jacint Nadal, from the UB, numerary academician at RACAB and regarded as an academic authority within the field of zoology and animal biology.
In his speech, Àlex Aguilar will analyse the scientific controversy on the impact of climate change on whale populations, marine mammals that were identified as bioindicators of environmental changes in oceans since they show complex behaviours and migrations of thousands of kilometres to exploit basic food resources such as krill and pelagic fish.
Àlex Aguilar is the head of the Research Group on Large Marine Mammals (UB-IRBio), awarded with the 2010 Environment Award by the Catalan Government under the category of biodiversity conservation for their works on the conservation of some of the most threatened species in the Mediterranean. He is an expert in the fields of research, exploitation management and conservation of large marine vertebrates, and has launched pioneering research studies in the country regarding the impact of pollutant chemical agents in marine ecosystems.
Author of many scientific articles and publications, he has supervised several doctoral theses, and is member of the scientific committees of International Whaling Commission (IWC) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and has served as advisor of several international organizations such as the UN Environment Programme (PNUMA) and the Bonn and Barcelona Conventions. The research career of Àlex Aguilar, current vice-rector for Outreach and Internationalization of the UB, has been honoured with awards such as the Henry Ford European Award (1992), the North-American Pew Award on Marine Conservation (2001), and the Rei Jaume I Prize in protection of the environment by the Valencian Government and Valencian Foundation for Advanced Studies (2004)