My research interests have taken a life of their own and I do not have a control over them anymore. I was originally interested in understanding forest dynamics to guide forest engineering operations, so my early research was on forest regeneration in mixed forests.
Then the idea that one could not understand forest dynamics without understanding tree structure and function hit me, so I did my PhD at Wyoming on stress physiology and its relation to physiognomic changes and, more specifically, on the processes driving woody plant encroachment from plot-to-landscapes at the Sonoran desert. My colleagues during that time got me interested in understanding how such physiognomic changes impact biosphere-atmosphere interactions, and on the role of biotic vs abiotic controls. For some reason, while working with these larger scales, a Marie Curie fellowship at Liverpool made me start questioning whether molecular controls such as the circadian clock could affect ecosystem fluxes and developing the field of Plant Circadian Ecology has been a major research focus ever since.
Then, I started working at the Fire Research Institute at the University of Castilla-la Mancha, which made me more interested into exploring how understanding the biosphere-atmosphere energy balance could help predicting fire occurrences, and such predictions of forest fires across landscapes and time has remained another obsession ever since.More recently, and probably starting during my tenure at Western Sydney University, I started questioning the species concept and up to what point is intra-specific variation in growth smaller than inter-specific variation. Since my appointment at Lleida two years ago, I have been mostly busy wrapping up projects and ordering and developing further all these ideas. Where the next stop will be is unpredictable at this point, as I am a victim of my ideas, and they are the ones telling me where to go to next.