Representatives from all four partners of SIT4ME project met together via video-conference last 23rd June for a new working meeting to prepare the last year of the project. Ramon Carbonell (PI), Irene DeFelipe and Juan Alcalde, from ICTJA-CSIC; Alireza Malehmir, from Uppsala University, Stefan Buske, from TUBAF, and Dirk Orlowsky gathered online to update the progress of the project and to plan the next activities.

The lockdown to curtail the spread of the coronavirus has also been reflected in the seismometers records. ICTJA-CSIC researcher, Jordi Díaz, has been analyzing, since last March 13, when lockdown was declared, the variations of the ground vibrations recorded by the seismic stations deployed in Barcelona, both by the 15 sensors deployed within the framework of the SANIMS project in different secondary schools as well as by the permanent seismic sensors from Institut Cartográfic i Geològic de Catalunya (ICGC).

Is the exoplanet Kepler-452 b, located at fourteen hundred light years from Earth -potentially habitable? At what other places of the Universe can the phenomenon of life have taken place? All these questions on life research inside and outside the Solar System are the thread of the journey in the book "(In)habitabilidad planetaria. Fundamentos de astrobiogeología" (Ed. Marcombo). Andrea Butturini, lecturer from the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences of the Faculty of Biology of the University of Barcelona, is the coordinator of the book  and Daniel García-Castellanos, researcher at ICTJA-CSIC, is one of the co-authors of the book.

This year, and due to the coronavirus outbreak, the physical edition of EGU General Assembly has been cancelled. Instead, EGU Council have come up with a more online-friendly emergency alternative for this year: EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online (# ShareEGU20). This virtual edition brings part of the activities of the EGU General Assembly 2020 online and will be held from 4 to 8 May.

A new study has compared the different types of bell ringing to indicate the passage of time used in several European countries using recordings of seismometers installed near bell towers. The study, made by ICTJA-CSIC researcher Jordi Díaz and recently published in “Journal of Seismology”, describes the characteristics of the seismic signal recorded by stations installed close to four churches from Greece, France, Italy and Spain. The work reflects the existing differences traditions still active in Europe to mark the hours with bell ringing.

After three years, SERA project (Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Research Infraestucture Aliance for Europe) comes to an end. The project final meeting was virtually held on 23 and 24 of April. During the meeting, each working package presented its main achievements and provided a summary of all activities conducted in the framework of SERA. Irene DeFelipe and Ramon Carbonell took part on this final meeting.

Mireia Peral defended her PhD Thesis entitled “Dynamics of subduction systems with opposite polarity in adjacent segments: application to the westernmost Mediterranean” on June On 3rd June. The main purpose of the work, which has been supervised by Manel Fernández, researcher at ICTJA-CSIC, and Sergio Zlotnikm from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), was to study and to better understand the evolution and dynamics of double subduction systems characterized by opposite dip polarity determining the relevant physical parameters that characterize a process that, according to Mireia Peral, is “still poorly understood”.

Los cambios de uso y cobertura del suelo, y en especial las plantaciones forestales realizadas durante la decada de los 70 del siglo XX, han alterado el ciclo del nitrógeno más que ningún otro cambio climático o las actividades humanas en los últimos 500 años de las lagunas costeras de clima mediterráneo chilenas, según un nuevo estudio realizado por investigadores del Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología (IPE-CSIC), del ICTJA-CSIC y del Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (IIM-CSIC). Magdalena Fuentealba es la primera autora del artículo que ha sido publicado recientemente en Scientific Reports y en el que ha colaborado el investigador del ICTJA-CSIC Santiago Giralt.

It is estimated that the Amazon forest contains more tree species diversity in per square kilometer than do all temperate forests of Europe, North America, and Asia combined. It is just an example of the wondrous biological diversity of the Neotropics. But, what are the processes and mechanisms that drive this biological richness? It is one of the questions that the new book "Neotropical diversification: Patterns and Processes" (Springer) aims to answer. The book is edited by Valentí Rull, ICTJA-CSIC researcher, and Ana Carolina Carnaval, Molecular Ecology professor in the City University of Nueva York.

Quaternary is the geological period that started 2.6 million years ago, and it is defined by the glacial cycles. Valentí Rull, researcher at ICTJA-CSC, explains in his new book ‘Quaternary, ecology, evolution and biogeography’ the responses of organisms and ecosystems to the climate changes occurred during this period and how those reactions have determined its unique distribution, its evolution and its ecological dynamic.

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