I trained as an analytical chemist at the Chemical Institute of Sarrià (IQS), in Barcelona, and subsequently as an environmental chemist at CSIC under the supervision of J. Grimalt and J. Albaigés. I moved to England in 1990 to earn a PhD in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol (completed in 1994), in the group of G. Eglinton, on the application of biomarkers to decipher natural causes of climate change. This has become the central topic of my research career. In 1994 I joined the group of J. Maxwell as a post-doctoral researcher also in the School of Chemistry of Bristol to develop the use of fossil chlorophylls as climatic proxies. In 1996 I was awarded a NERC fellowship at the Department of Fossil Fuels and Environmental Geochemistry at the University of Newcastle, England. In 1999 I became a lecturer in the department of Geography at Durham University, England. In 2001, I joined the UAB and ICTA as an ICREA Research Professor.
The main focus of my work is the study of the natural variability of the Earth’s climate. My research tools are organic geochemical techniques, which allow the quantitative reconstruction of past climates. My work develops in three main areas i) the development of novel biomarker methods of climate reconstruction; ii) their application to reconstruct the dynamics and role of the ocean on climate over the last 5 million years; and iii) the use of such information to validate and constrain the sensitivity of climate models. I am also involved in the study of the impacts of anthropogenic activities in natural environments. I apply an environmental forensics approach to study the origin and fate of organic pollutants in remote environments, like the deep sea or the Amazonian rainforests. A third area of research is the study of organic matter in an archaeological context, mainly to reconstruct palaeodiets of ancient cultures and the use or function of archaeological artifacts
– Andres, P, Rosell-Mele A, Colomer-Ventura F, Denef K, Cotrufo MF, Riba M & Alcaniz JM 2019, ‘Belowground biota responses to maize biochar addition to the soil of a Mediterranean vineyard‘, Science Of The Total Environment, 660, 1522 – 1532.
– Tarifa-Mateo N, Clop-García X, Rosell-Melé A, Camalich-Massieu MD, Comes-Bordas P, Martín-Socas D, Nonza-Micaelli A & Rodríguez-Santos FJ 2019, ‘New insights from Neolithic pottery analyses reveal subsistence practices and pottery use in early farmers from Cueva de El Toro (Málaga, Spain)‘ Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences,11, 10, 5199 – 5211.
– Łącka M, Cao M, Rosell-Mele A, Pawłowska J, Kucharska M, Forwick M & Zajączkowski M 2019, ‘Postglacial paleoceanography of the western Barents Sea: implications for alkenone-based sea surface temperatures and primary productivity‘, Quaternary Science Reviews, 224, UNSP 105973.
– Cartró-Sabaté M, Mayor P, Orta-Martínez M & Rosell-Melé A 2019, ‘Anthropogenic lead in Amazonian wildlife‘, Nature Sustainability 2, 702–709. doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0338-7
Selected research activities
Advanced Grant, European Research Council:
- “New geochemical approach to reconstruct tropical palaeo-atmospheric dynamics (PALADYN)”.
- 29th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry, September 2019, Sweden. “Global drivers of marine organic matter to deep sea sediments”, Raja M. & Rosell-Melé A.
PhD thesis supervised, defended:
- Nadia Tarifa, “Pottery use on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula during the Neolithic period (5400-3900 cal BC)“, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Co-supervisor: M. Saña.
- Raúl Yusta, “Water and soil pollution due to oil extraction activities in the north Peruvian Amazon“, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Co-supervisor: M. Orta.
- Adrià Breu, “Earliest pottery uses in north-eastern Iberia“, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Co-supervisor: M. Molist, A. Gómez.
- Maria Raja, “Global Assessment of marine paleoproductivity proxies“, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.