Sandra Brucet

Sandra Brucet

Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Since 2015 I am an ICREA Research Professor at University of Vic and Coordinator of the Aquatic Ecology Group (GEA). I hold a PhD in Biology from University of Girona (Spain). After my PhD, I was a postdoc at the University of Oslo (2006) and the National Environmental Institute of Denmark (2006-2008), I worked as a research scientist at the European Commission-Joint Research Centre (Italy) (2009-2012), I was a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Aarhus (Denmark) (2013-2015) and a Visiting Scientist at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey (2013).

Since I created the group in 2015, GEA has grown considerably from the initial 3 researchers to 19 members nowadays. In 2023, GEA has been awarded “Grup de Recerca Consolidat” distinction. Since its creation, GEA has obtained more than 30 competitive research projects, 7 PhD thesis were defended and more than 100 indexed papers were published.

Research interests

Our research focuses on the response of aquatic ecosystems and their biodiversity to global changes (e.g. eutrophication, habitat destruction, climate change). We use the organisms’ size structure, in combination with 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 includes the whole trophic structure from phytoplankton to fish. We focus on different aquatic ecosystems (lakes, rivers, ponds) and use complementary approaches such as experiments, latitudinal comparisons and models. An important line of our research is the study of the biodiversity and functioning of ponds ecosystems. Within this line I am coordinating the EU H2020 project PONDERFUL with the main objective to use pond ecosystems as Nature Based Solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change and to protect biodiversity. Ultimately, we aim to apply our research results to solving problems related with the conservation of aquatic ecosystems. We also pay particular attention at transferring our knowledge into European policies and platforms (e.g. Water Framework Directive, New Restoration Law, Biodiversity Strategy, IPBES) and the general public. 

Selected publications

- Cunillera-Montcusí D, Beklioğlu M, Cañedo-Argüelles M, Jeppesen E, Ptacnik R, Amorim CA, Arnott S, Berger SA, Brucet S, et al. 2022, 'Freshwater salinisation: a research agenda for a saltier world', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 37, pp 440-453.

- Nagar N, Bartrons M, Brucet S, Davidson TA, Jeppesen E & Grimalt JO 2022, 'Seabird-mediated transport of organohalogen compounds to remote sites (North West Greenland polynya)', Science of The Total Environment, 827, 154219.

- van Dorst RM; Argillier C, Brucet S, Holmgren K, Volta P,  Winfield IJ & Mehner T 2022, 'Can size distributions of European lake fish communities be predicted by trophic positions of their fish species?', Ecology And Evolution, 12, 7, e9087.

- Arranz I, Davidson TA, Benejam L, Brucet S, et al. 2022, 'Interactive Effects of Lake Morphometry and Sticklebacks on the Trophic Position of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) across Lakes in Western Greenland', LIMNOFISH-Journal of Limnology and Freshwater Fisheries Research 8(2): 101-115.

- Arranz I, Brucet S et al. 2022, 'Individual body mass and length dataset for over 12000 fish from Iberian streams', Data In Brief, 42, 108248.

Selected research activities

Coordinator PONDERFUL project: Pond ecosystems for resilient future landscapes in a changing climate. EU Horizon 2020. 6,993,407€. 

Co-PI SizeEcoFun: Size-based approaches to understand impacts on river ecosystem functioning. Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology. 

PhD thesis Serena Sgarzi:  Environmental and biotic factors influencing the size structure of the aquatic communities in Mediterranean ponds. UVic 2022

PhD thesis Nupur Nagar: Source assessment of organochlorine pollutants in sediment and fish from Greenland lakes. UVic 2022

Examiner PhD Thesis Lana Ramaekers. Freshwater zooplankton under elevated pCO2: from individual to community effects. Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Organizer of 3 special sessions at World Biodiversity Forum, SIL and INTECOL conferences

Invited talk at KU Leuven

Invited talk at DG Environment