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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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