Sandra Brucet

Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

I graduated in 1998 and obtained my PhD in Biology in 2003 at University of Girona. After that I was a postdoc at the University of Oslo (2006) and the National Environmental Institute of Denmark (2006-2008). From 2009 to 2012, I worked as a research scientist at the European Commission-Joint Research Centre (Italy). I was also a Visiting Scientist at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey. In 2012, I was hired at University of Vic to set up a research group on aquatic ecology from scratch. In 2013, I obtained a Marie Curie Intra European Senior Fellowship to work at the University of Aarhus for two years (Denmark).  In September 2015, I was appointed ICREA Research professor at University of Vic. Currently, I am heading the Research Group on Aquatic Ecology (GEA) that hosts ten members. GEA researchers are members of the newly created Chair on Water, Nature and Wellness. 

Research interests

The research of our group focuses on the response of aquatic ecosystems and their biodiversity to global changes, such as eutrophication, habitat destruction or global warming. We use the organisms’ size structure as an alternative to taxonomical approaches to assess biodiversity and ecosystem processes. We are also interested in basic and applied aspects of ecological theories relating organisms’ body size, metabolism and temperature. Our research is holistic including the whole trophic structure from phytoplankton to fish. We focus on different aquatic ecosystems (lakes, rivers, ponds, wetlands) and use complementary approaches such as experiments, latitudinal comparisons and models. Ultimately, we aim to apply our research results to solving problems related with the conservation of aquatic ecosystems, especially those affecting autochthonous species and degraded habitats.  

Selected publications

- Brucet S et al. 2018, 'Size diversity and species diversity relationships in fish assemblages of Western Palearctic lakes'. Ecography, vol. 41, no. 7, pp 1064 - 1076.

- Mehner T, Lischke B, Scharnweber K, Attermeyer K, Brothers S, Gaedke U, Hilt S & Brucet S 2018. Empirical correspondence between trophic transfer efficiency in freshwater food webs and the slope of their size spectra. Ecology, vol. 99, no. 6, 1463-1472.

- Trochine C, Brucet S, Argillier C, Arranz I, Beklioglu M, Benejam L, Ferreira T, Hesthagen T, Holmgren K, Jeppesen E, Kelly F, Krause T, Rask M, Volta P, Winfield IJ & Mehner T 2018, 'Non-native fish occurrence and biomass in 1943 Western Palearctic lakes and reservoirs and their abiotic and biotic correlates', Ecosystems, vol. 21, pp 395–409.

- Benejam L, Tobes I, Brucet S & Miranda R 2018, 'Size spectra and other size-related variables of river fish communities: systematic changes along the altitudinal gradient on pristine Andean streams', Ecological Indicators, vol. 90, pp 366-378.

- Bartrons M, Arranz I, Sgarzi S, Cañedo-Arguelles M, Quintana XD, Landkildehus F, Lauridsen TL, Brucet S & Jeppesen E 2018, 'Fish shift the feeding behaviour and trophic niche diversification of their prey in subarctic Lake Mývatn, Iceland', Hydrobiologia, vol. 816, pp 243–254

Selected research activities

– PhD thesis Zeynep Ersoy: Biotic and environmental factors shaping body size distributions in freshwater planktonic food webs. Main supervisor: Brucet.

- Lead Author of IPBES regional assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services for Europe and Central Asia. 

- GEA Group recognized as an Emergent research group by Catalonia Government (18.920€). PI: Brucet

- Project funded by The Swedish Research Council: Climate change effects on structure and processes in aquatic communities (326.845€). 

- Project Inventory of the fauna and flora of temporary ponds in Cap de Creus Natural Park. Funded by Natural Park Cap de Creus (5747€). Co-PI: Brucet