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Our Team

Our Core Team

Gara Villalba

Gara Villalba
Director

Gara Villalba is an associate professor of the Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. 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. Her research is dedicated to the study and optimization of resource metabolism from a systemic approach based on Industrial Ecology tools such as Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Analysis. Recent studies focus on analyzing and optimizing the food-energy-water nexus of urban systems. She was a Marie S. Curie fellow (2015-2018) at UC Merced School of Engineering, during which she led the project URBANCO2FLUX “Quantifying the impact of the urban biosphere on the net flux of CO2 from cities into the atmosphere.” She was recently awarded an ERC Consolidator grant from Horizon 2020 of the European Commission called Integrated System Analysis of Urban Vegetation and Agriculture (2019-2024). She teaches in the undergraduate program of Chemical Engineering, as well as the Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability (where she coordinates the specialty of Industrial Ecology), and the Master’s Degree of Biological and Environmental engineering.

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Our Extended Team

Ola Stedje Hanserud

Ola Stedje Hanserud
Postdoctoral researcher

Ola holds a PhD in Industrial Ecology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and an MSc in Development Studies from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. His research is focused on the sustainability of food systems at various scales. Currently, he is studying the urban metabolism of the city of Oslo to understand how flows of food, water, and energy are connected, also spatially, and how urban agriculture activity affects these flows. Having an interdisciplinary background, he is interested in how societies can design and adapt their food systems to improve overall social/institutional, economic, and ecological sustainability.

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Martí Rufí

Martí Rufí
MSc in Environmental Studies

Martí holds an 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 Engineering School of the UAB, where he does part of the research and participates as a lecturer in different subjects, as well as with the supervision of different Master Thesis. A big part of his research is related to Life Cycle Assessment, approaching urban metabolism both in building and city scales.

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Angelica Mendoza Beltran

Angelica Mendoza Beltran
Postdoctoral researcher

Angelica holds a Ph.D. degree from Leiden University in the Netherlands, where she developed her thesis on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and addressing various sources of uncertainty in LCA. Her MSc in Industrial Ecology is from Leiden University and her bachelor´s degree is in Environmental Engineering from University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. She has worked in the Climate, Air and Energy department at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) as a policy researcher and at the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) of Leiden University, as an environmental sustainability researcher of the EU FP7 project Increasing Industrial Resource Efficiency in European Mariculture (IDREEM). She also worked for Unilever, as a scientist giving sustainability insights to business projects and at 2.-0 LCA Consultants as a life cycle specialist. Currently she works on the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship PROTEAN*, a project at ICTA-UAB with synergies with URBAG on the prospective and geographically explicit life cycle assessment of the city metabolism.


* This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 842460.

 

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Alba Badia Moragas

Alba Badia Moragas
Postdoctoral researcher

Alba holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) – Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and an MSc in Applied Mathematical Sciences with Climate Change Impacts Modeling from the Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh. Her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics is from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)Her previous postdoctoral research was focused on quantifying the importance of reactive halogens and very-short-lived halocarbons in the marine atmosphere using the regional model WRF-Chem in the Environmental Department at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and the climate model CAM-Chem in the department of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Currently, she is studying how green infrastructures (in various forms from peri-urban agriculture to green roofs) impact the urban atmosphere (e.g. humidity, temperature, and air quality) using the WRF and WRF-Chem models with urban canopy models.

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Joan Gilabert

Joan Gilabert
Doctoral candidate

Joan holds a MSc in Meteorology from Barcelona University of Physics. He is a PhD Student ICGC-UB, working on his doctoral thesis entitled “CLUES: CLimate services design for Urban EnvironmentS”. His research is focused on assessing the vulnerability and risk to extreme temperatures in urban ecosystems using climate models, earth observation and in situ data. He has also co-directed 3 master thesis in MSc of Geoinformation of the UAB and Master of Meteorology of the UB. 

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Ricard Segura

Ricard Segura
Doctoral candidate

Ricard holds a MSc in Mathematical Modelling with a specialization in Complex Systems by the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He obtained his bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Chemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2017. Currently, he is a PhD student in ICTA-UAB and his doctoral thesis is centered in Atmospheric modelling over urban areas. His work aims to understand and quantify the effect of urban green areas in air composition and GHG concentrations in order to set basis for the design of urban planning policies.  

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Verònica Vidal Canedo

Verònica Vidal Canedo
Doctoral candidate

Verònica is a PhD student in computer sciences. She holds an MSc degree in meteorology (2014) from the University of Barcelona (UB) and a BSc degree in physics, specialized in applied physics (2013) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).   

Her thesis, focused on urban air quality modelling, is entitled “WRF-Chem optimization in HPC platforms to determine the effect of green infrastructures on air quality at urban scales”. She is working between the Environmental Sciences and Technology Institute (ICTA) and the Computational Architecture and Operative Systems (CAOS) Department in the Engineering School, both in the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).   

From her previous works, it should be noted a project in collaboration with the Directorate-General of Environmental Quality and Climate Change of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Applied Physics Department of the University of Barcelona which included an air quality analysis of Barcelona in the period 2015-2018. She also was a volunteer weather observer (2014-2016) in the Tona Meteorological Station, sending meteorological measurements and air particles (PM2.5 and PM10) measurements to the Catalan Meteorological Service (SMC) and Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET) among others.

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