Maria Blasi Romero
About the project
Answering today’s challenges of how to feed a global growing population, current agricultural management relies heavily on agricultural intensification. However, this implies that high yields are delivered at the cost of negative environmental impacts leading towards a significant loss of biodiversity. Moving towards a more sustainable agriculture, ecological intensification has been proposed as one way to resolve this actual trade-off, by harnessing natural ecosystem services such as pollination, pest control, soil fertility and nutrient retention.
Beneficial insects (i.e. pollinators and natural enemies) are agent providers of pollination and pest control ecosystem services, and therefore they ensure crop production. But how are these going to be affected under uncertain future scenarios? I am interested in understanding the interactions of these insects underlying these services within the landscape, which is crucial for developing better agricultural management strategies from policy-makers to farmers.
My PhD project aims to increase the knowledge on the field of ecosystem services delivery (especially for pollination and pest control) under future scenarios. I am looking at it through an interdisciplinary approach of different fields of research, including ecological modelling and future predictions, risk analysis, and communication of the resulted uncertainty.
The current environmental policy problems require strong evidence-based modelling to support decisions, and this project will contribute towards this goal.
Biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Pollination, Pest Control, Uncertainty
Biodiversity, human activities and its effects towards nature have been always a matter of interest to me and these have been my point of interest during my studies. I have a BSc in Biology from the University of Barcelona (2013) and a MSc in Conservation Biology from Lund University (2015). I did my Bachelor thesis at the CanMove centre (Lund University) based on orientation and navigation of migratory birds. For my Master thesis, I was driven by a high interest in ecosystem services and conservation related-issues, and I joined the Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC). I studied the effects that neonicotinoid pesticides had on foraging and reproduction success of a solitary bee species, the red mason bee (Osmia bicornis).
After graduation, I have been involved on different research projects, as a field assistant at the Swedish University of Agricultural studies (SLU) and Lund University for the Clover Project; and at the Barcelona History Museum, in Barcelona.
I have been also involved in other projects along several NGOs. As an example, I was working for the IUCN Mediterranean Cooperation on the evaluation of datasets on Protected Areas for the Mediterranean basin.
Since 2016, I am voluntarily involved in a science outreach blog Crónicas de un Amonite. I believe on science communication for the public in general if we want to achieve changes in conservation in our world.
I started my PhD studies in April 2017, and I am currently enrolled in the ClimBEco Graduate Research School (2017-2019), and BIOECONOMY Graduate Research School (2017-2018). I am part of the research environment BECC , and at the Uncertainty and Evidence Lab research group.
Yann Clough, Professor at Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)
Ulrika Sahlin, Researcher at Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)
Anna Maria Jönsson, Professor at Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Ekologihuset, Sölvegatan 37, Lund