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Emma Lythgoe

Expedition hosted by Universidad de Concepción – Chile Nov-Dec 2018

Expedition hosted by Universidad de Concepción – Chile Nov-Dec 2018

Alicia Montesinos Navarro, post-doctoral researcher from CSIC  kindly shares with us her experiences from her secondment hosted by Universidad de Concepción – Chile:



During the course of the expedition we had the opportunity to visit the study sites in which the host group was developing their research, and participated in some ongoing experiments that were taking place, exchanging ideas and providing the arena for future collaborations.

The group participated in research communication activities taking advantage of the Chilenean Ecological meeting taking place in Valdivia. A seminar and meetings with researchers interested in common topics was organized by Lohen Cavieres at the University of Concepción (host institution).  In particular, I gave a seminar entitled “the effect of mycorrhizal symbiosis on plant facilitation” on the 10th of December, which allowed the interaction with other researchers in the host institution with whom potentially future collaborations might emerge.

Finally, we explored a valley in the Andes, close to Santiago where gypsum exploitation takes place and thus could be a good candidate area to find gypsum soils in non-perturbed areas close by.


Here we looked for non-perturbed areas close by where future filed studies could be developed, and identify the main plant species with the host group botanist.

We quantified functional traits of plant species in different semi-arid environments and participated in field experiments of neighbour’s removal to assess the effect of plant-plant interaction structuring plant community assemblages.

The expedition was an excellent opportunity to learn about the different techniques and eco-physiological and functional perspectives that the host group works on. It has enriched my view about other mechanisms that can influence plant-plant interactions and structure plant communities. Although this experience is studied in semi-arid environments in the Andes, it might be interesting to approach it to other semi-arid systems such as those where gypsum soils develop. It is likely that this research interaction will open future avenues for international collaborations with the host group, contributing to my scientific career.

Alicia Montesinos Navarro, post-doctoral researcher from CSIC 

Highlights from the first Gypworld Conference

Highlights from the first Gypworld Conference

The Organizing Committee was delighted to welcome the participants to 1st Gypsum Ecosystem Research Conference (GERC-2018). The conference aimed to initiate a series of International Conferences organised as part of the activities of the H2020 GYPWORLD project. It offered an International forum to interested scientists from around the world to present and discuss research results in all aspects related to GYPSUM ecology.

The 1st Gypworld workshop and the 1st Gypsum Ecosystem Research (GER) Meeting was held from the 3rd – 9th of June 2018 at Ankara University Faculty of Science, Ankara, Turkey. The meeting was attended by 180 Participants from 8 Countries and 4 travel grants were awarded to students.

Here are some highlights from the conference:



Women and Science: What they do not tell you

Women and Science: What they do not tell you

On the 3rd of June Eva Tobias Olarte (PhD in Gender Studies) held  the training course on Women in Science at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Ankara, Turkey.

The objective of the course where to provide training on Gender Equality, in accordance with the aims of the Program Horizon 2020. Gender equality is a core value of the European Union. Although considerable progress has been made, gender inequality persists. There remain gender gaps in the labour market, with women still over-represented in the lower paid sectors, and under-represented in leadership and decision-making positions, both in the public and the private sectors

In particular, during the training course the students

  • Reflected on the current situation of women and men in the field scientific / academic ¨
  • Built a knowledge base and exchange of experiences in gender equality issue.

The course was well received by the students and for many it was the first time they have had an opportunity to attend such a course and discuss the issues with others.

Thank you Eva!

May 2018 Expedition to IRAN

May 2018 Expedition to IRAN

In May 2018 a Spanish team of scientists from the Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) initiated some of the first secondments funded by the Gypworld project hosted by Tarbiat Modares University and the University of Tehran.

During their stay the Gypsum Ecosystemes Meeting was held where the following presentation were given:

  • Vegetation responses to experimental climate change in a semiarid shrubland growing on gypsum soil – José Ignacio Querejeta (CSIC),
  • Tracking the long-termdynamics of biodiversity with collaborative networks and Citizen Science – Begoña García (CSIC),
  • Plant communities on gypsum soils in Central Spain – Arantzazu López de Luzuriaga (URJC),
  • Unveiling fine scale assembly rules with spatial statics in gypsum soil habitats – Adrián Escudero Alcántara (URJC),

Here are a few photographs of some of the highlights from the meeting:

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