My name is Andrés Mellado-Díaz. I got my PhD in Ecology (July 2005) in the University of Murcia (Spain).
I majored in Biology by the University of Murcia (June 1998). I have always been fascinated with ecology, which leaded me to join the Inland-Waters Ecology Lab (in the Department of Ecology and Hydrology) while I still was an undergraduate student. During my early work years I was involved in various tasks, such as field sampling, macroinvertebrate sorting and identification, or chemical analysis.
Following my graduation, I developed my PhD Thesis (July 2005, University of Murcia) on the ecology and distribution patterns of aquatic invertebrates in the Segura River basin (a semi-arid basin in SE Spain), their use as indicators of ecosystem functioning and ecological status, along with the relationships of their habitat with their ecological and biological traits. During my first 4-yr grant period, I did four research stays: University of Cardiff (with Steve Ormerod), The University of Sheffield (with Lorraine L. Maltby) , University of New England (with Andrew J. Boulton) and Auburn University (with Jack W. Feminella). During this time and later on, I also worked in several projects related to the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive in Spain. After this period I make some research on marine ecology (basic oceanography, ecology of marine phytoplankton, etc.) in a R+D project on desalination.
After this period in the University of Murcia, I obtained a Spanish government postdoctoral grant in a R+D consulting company in Madrid (ICA S.L.) trying to develop specific biomonitoring tools for the assessment of small hydroelectric power platns impacts in mountain streams. I got involved in the biological monitoring network of the Ebro River basin (NE Spain), developing monitoring programs (in streams and reservoirs) and doing research and technical reports for the implementation of the WFD for this water authority. Other interesting projects while working at ICA were: “The fish populations of the Alto Tajo Nature Reserve and their Management Plan” as well as different environmental impact studies and environmental monitoring plans in diverse aquatic ecosystems.
Additionally, I collaborated in the AguaFlash project for two years. The Aguaflash project was a South West European project to determine the risks of deterioration of waters quality in agricultural catchments during floods events. I collaborated in the CREAMAGUA project for about one year. This EU financed Life project aims to introduce natural ecosystem structures of wetlands and riverbank forests to reduce inorganic nutrients – nitrates and phosphates – and salts from agricultural runoff in the entire Monegros area.
From 2011 to 2014 I worked at the Centre for Hydrographic Studies in Madrid, dealing with the classifications of streams and rivers in Spain for the implementation of the WFD, and its relationship with the Habitats Directive. During this period, I also investigated in other areas such as: invasive species ecology, the effects of dams on river communities -fish and macroinvertebrates-, the National Catalogue of Threatened Habitats -lotic systems-, the ecology of the estuary of the Guadiana or the emissions of nitrous oxide from aquatic ecosystems in Spain.
In 2015 I moved to Seville (DBO5 S.L., another environmental consultancy company) to work as a project manager for the implementation of the European WFD in the Guadalquivir and Ebro River Basins. This is my current job.
Meanwhile, I´ve been involved in other interesting projects studying aspects such as the effects of drought on biological-ecological traits of macroinvertebrate communities in temporary and perennial Mediterranean streams; the links between hydrological alterations and biological traits of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities, the assessment of river basin restoration projects -in the Piedra River-, the ecology of alpine lakes of Peñalara and Gredos mountains or the diversity of aquatic invertebrate communities in Cabañeros National Park”, among others.
Concerning my teaching experience, during my University period, I taught for 4 years in the Ecology Area, in different subjects as Ecology, Methodological and Quantitative Ecology or Freshwater Ecology. I’ve also participated as Undergraduate Master’s Thesis advisor and teaching in many courses or conferences.
In the future I would like to continue with the study of the links between stream habitat features, the riparian environment and the functional and structural organization of aquatic macroinvertebrate and macrophyte communities and its use as biomonitoring tools. I´m also always keen to collaborate and publish new data on aquatic species distribution, ecology, or any other aspect of their natural history.
So, hope to collaborate with you soon!