Beatriu de Pinós/COFUND Marie Curie postdoc (ICM-CSIC)
Blanca Figuerola is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) of Barcelona. She has been working in different fields including taxonomy, biodiversity, ecology and paleobiology. Apart from her ongoing taxonomic and biodiversity studies in bryozoans, her current work aims to 1) deepen current understanding of the skeletal structure, mineralogy and geochemistry of benthic marine calcifiers in order to identify taxa that may be particularly vulnerable to climate change and may make suitable indicators to monitor the effects of near-future changes and 2) use their fossil record to reconstruct natural and human-driven changes (e.g. ocean warming and acidification, hypoxia) in coastal ecosystems and be able to make better predictions of the effects of future climate change on benthic communities.
She obtained her B.Sc. Biology and PhD at the University of Barcelona. Her thesis focused on presenting new data on species richness and the spatial patterns of bryozoans from poorly known regions and evaluating the ecological and applied effects of their natural compounds. After her PhD, she has received several grants/fellowships including competitive fellowships such as COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship (2016), SENACYT- STRI (2017) and Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación (2018). During her postdoctoral research career, she has worked at renowned international research institutions such as Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama) and Australian Antarctic Division (Australia). There, she has participated in numerous multidisciplinary projects involving fieldwork in Antarctic, temperate and tropical regions. She has also be involved in several science outreach programs about marine conservation at several public institutions, companies and NGOs (e.g. Plancton, SUBMON and GEPEC).
- Figuerola B, Avila C (2019) The phylum Bryozoa as a promising source of anticancer drugs. Marine Drugs 17(8): 477.
- Figuerola B, Gore DB, Johnstone G, Stark JS (2019) Spatio-temporal variation of skeletal Mg-calcite in Antarctic marine calcifiers. PLOS ONE 14(5): e02120231.
- Figuerola B, Gordon DP, Cristobo J (2018) New deep Cheilostomata (Bryozoa) species from the Southwestern Atlantic: shedding light in the dark. Zootaxa 4375 (2): 211-249.
- Figuerola B, Barnes DKA, Brickle P, Brewin PD (2017) Bryozoan diversity around the Falkland and South Georgia Islands: Overcoming Antarctic barriers. Marine Environmental Research 126: 81-94.
- Figuerola B, Angulo-Preckler C, Núñez-Pons L, Moles J, Sala-Comorera L, García-Aljaro C, Blanch AR, Avila A (2017) Experimental evidence of chemical defence mechanisms in Antarctic bryozoans. Marine Environmental Research 129: 68-75.
- Figuerola B, Kuklinski P, Taylor PD (2015) Depth patterns in Antarctic bryozoan skeletal Mg/Ca: can they provide an analogue for future environmental changes? Marine Ecology Progress Series 540: 109-120.
- Figuerola B, Sala-Comorera L, Angulo-Preckler C, Vázquez J, Montes MJ, García-Aljaro C, Mercadé E, Blanch AR, Avila A (2014) Antimicrobial activity of Antarctic bryozoans: an ecological perspective with potential for clinical applications. Marine Environmental Research 101: 52–9.
- Figuerola B, Monleón-Getino T, Ballesteros M, Avila C (2012) Spatial patterns and diversity of bryozoan communities from the Southern Ocean: South Shetland Islands, Bouvet Island and Eastern Weddell Sea. Systematics and Biodiversity 10 (1): 109–123.