At the end of the eighties of the last century, Andres Barbosa Alcon I was a young biology student at the Complutense University of Madrid with a great interest in birds. His love of ornithology led him to develop his doctoral dissertation on Ornithology National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) Under the direction of Eulalia Moreno. His dissertation entitled An ecomorphological study of wading birds (aves: Charadrii) adaptive adaptations related to foraging. Explore adaptations of wading birds to their environment.
At the end of the same year, 1994, Andres was traveling to Antartida For the first time, he came into contact with birds, to which he devoted a large part of his life; penguins. But not only them. Returning from that first trip to the southernmost point of the planet, Andrés was awarded a Marie Curie European Scholarship and went to Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris for a postdoctoral residency under Professor Anders Müller. The object of study then was the Barn Swallow and the costs of sexual ornaments for the trip, for which he moved to Badajoz to study the populations of these birds studied by Professor Florentino de Loupe of the University of Extremadura.
At the end of his stay in Paris, he returned to Spain and after concluding various contracts and scholarships in Badajoz and Madrid, secured a research position at the Experimental Station for Arid Zones (EEZA), a SEC center. Scientific research located in Almería. There he did not hesitate to take charge of organizing the Desert Animal Rescue Park, where there are different species of wild animals deer At risk of extinction to re-introduce it to its natural habitat in North Africa, and start studies on birds that live in semi-desert areas in the province of Almeria.
He will soon be back in Antarctica, one of the driest regions on the planet, despite popular belief, as the lack of precipitation that occurs there freezes over instantly. Years later, Andrés moved permanently to Madrid, to the Department of Evolutionary Ecology of the National Museum of Natural Sciences, where he recovered a monograph penguins Antarctica, which years ago took him on his first trip to the southernmost point of the world.
Andres was a tireless traveler, not only on Antarctic expeditions that took him away from his homeland for many Christmases. He also traveled to North Pole To study the snow bunting on the island of Svalbard belonging to Norway, as well as several places in Chile and Argentina. His work, which includes more than 180 scientific publications, covers various aspects of avian biology, from ecology or environmental physiology through behavior, reproductive or conservation biology.
His most fruitful streak, however, was the penguins Which prompted him to lead many research projects related to the impact of climate change on these birds, in addition to many aspects of their biology that are affected by climate fluctuations, the influx of tourists, hunting exploitation, and diseases. Andres has created long-term studies monitoring the effects of climate on populations of Antarctic penguins now deprived of their prime mover. At the end of last year, Andrés Barbosa was preparing for the 2022-2023 Antarctic campaign when he fell ill. That hasn’t stopped him from launching the campaign, and at the time of this writing his collaborators are in Antarctica collecting data for the project.
Not only were the scientific studies he led for decades among Andrés’ jobs, but he was also interested in advancing scientific knowledge by performing administrative tasks in national and international organizations. Thus, he participated in various executive committees of scientific societies and organizations such as the Spanish Society of Evolutionary Biology (SESBE), the Spanish Society of Ornithology (SEO / Birdlife), or the National Museum of Natural Sciences itself, of which he was deputy director. of research for several years. At the international level, he participated in the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) and collaborated with the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS).
Andres put all his effort into communicating the knowledge he produced to the community that supported his research and spared no time in writing informative articles, giving lectures in schools, institutes and universities, participating in documentaries and reports on his work, etc. However, he was also able to find time for other activities that completed him as a person. He liked to devote his free time to painting and music. He played saxophone skillfully in Toni’s Big Band which delighted us at various events. A staunch supporter of Atlético de Madrid, he took his team’s mantle to the most remote places on the planet.
Most of us live as scientists immersed in our disciplines, paying little attention to other matters. However, Andres always found time to help others because, in addition to being a great scientist, he was also an excellent human being.
Monday was a bad day for science in general and for the National Museum of Natural Science in particular. On Monday, like a jug of cold water, news arrived that Andrés Barbosa, who had been battling cancer for some time, had passed away. Many of us knew he was sick, but we always had hope, so encouraged by his attitude, that everything would be fine. This was not the case, which is why the activity in the museum has been going on since Monday, but it does so with an aura of sadness that makes us work more silently than usual, with more regret and less boldness.
Andrés misses you, your family, and countless friends and collaborators. Science is losing one of its most brilliant researchers and advocates for nature. Our mission now must be to share your legacy and always keep it in our memory.
Santiago Merino He is a research professor at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN).
You can follow Thing in FacebookAnd Twitter And instagramor register here to receive Weekly newsletter.
“Social media evangelist. Student. Reader. Troublemaker. Typical introvert.”
Do you enjoy being alone? May hide social anxiety
Cuauhtémoc’s secondary technical account 27 with a new science and technology laboratory
What music tells medicine