Raul is a behavioural neuroscientist focusing on how stress changes neural memory networks in the brain. His goal is to find more effective treatments for mental disorders. He is specifically interested in multidisciplinary studies bringing together animal models and human data in both healthy individuals and Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients. In this line, Raul is currently coordinator of the ERA-NET NEURON H2020 grant Translational Biomarkers of Traumatic Stress with partners at Harvard/University of Göttingen, EPFL and Fundació Parc Taulí.
ICREA is an expanding community. Each year, new research professors join ICREA after the ICREA senior call. This is a list of the most recent incorporations. We would like give them all a very warm welcome to the ICREA community: Benvinguts!
Laia Andreu research focuses on the study of the interactions between forests and the environment and on reconstructing past climate conditions using tree rings and isotopic geochemistry. Warming temperatures associated with global climate change are having dramatic and profound impacts on forests, and her research centers on assessing these changes across several key regions of the planet. She is currently conducting research in boreal, tropical, Central Asian and Mediterranean regions, which are ‘hot spots’ of current climate and environmental change.
Esteve Corbera research focuses on the study of environmental public policies in the areas of climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation, and how these impact livelihoods in the global South and transform resource management institutions and people’s behavior. With increasing concern over global climate change and biodiversity loss, his research analyses if policy investments on sustainable land-use and forest conservation programs are effective and which implications they have on the wellbeing of affected populations. He is currently conducting research in Mexico and Colombia.
Xavier Costa-Pérez research focuses on the digital transformation of society (DX) driven by the interplay of mobile networks and AI. In contrast to previous mobile network generations, a key new aspect for the industry is the need to expand the mobile ecosystem to incorporate industry verticals like automotive, manufacturing, smart-grids and health. While early research and field trial results are promising, the AI-driven automation of mobile networks for a cost-efficient society digitalization (DX) is still at its infancy and will require a huge research effort to deliver on the DX promises in the next decades.
I am a mathematician and software engineer turned language scientist, and my research is very much still shaped by this background. I mainly use data science, statistics and computer models to investigate the patterns of linguistic diversity, and the processes that shape the origins and evolution of language and of languages. In particular, I look at how very weak biases, rooted in our culture, cognition and biology, are sometimes amplified by the repeated use and transmission of language in complex and dynamic communities, resulting in large-scale cross-linguistic variation. In the meantime, I try to argue that language and speech are really old, and that our evolutionary cousins, including the Neanderthals and the Denisovans, probably also told fascinating stories around campfires using fairly complex languages.
Carla Lancelotti research focuses on the essential role of plants for the adaptation and resilience of past and present socio-ecological systems in drylands. Her work examines dryland crop farming strategies, drawing on archaeobotany and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to inform current agricultural practice in regions threatened by climate change-driven aridification. She is currently working in South Asia and Africa, where desertification is massively affecting food-security and where the presence of a long archaeological record testifies of past successful adaptations of human groups.
Alfonso is interested in understanding how an egg transforms itself into an organism. To address this question, his research draws techniques and inspiration from embryology, genetics and engineering. Over the last few years, using Embryonic Stem Cells he has developed ‘gastruloids’, a novel culture system that allows modelling the early stages of mammalian development. His group uses gastruloids to understand normal and abnormal embryonic development. He is a member of EMBO and, in 2012 received the Waddington medal for his contributions to british developmental biology. Currently he holds an ERC Advanced Investigator grant to study the emergence of the mammalian body plan.
Francisco Ortega research focuses on the interactions between global biopsychiatry and local psychiatric epistemologies. His work examines the extent to which global mental health initiatives appropriately address mental health challenges in the global South, with a focus on the role of culture in mental health. To that end, he explores the historical roots, and the political and epistemological aspects present in the discussion about cultural diversity and mental health, and investigates experiences in public mental health that incorporate the cultural dimension. His research assumes that integrating cultural studies in mental health can help describe and interpret the complexity of the issues involved in mental health care in global times. He is currently conducting research in Brazil.
Iñaki is a Demographer who currently works on the study of mortality and population health dynamics. Specifically, he studies some of the consequences of the population ageing process that is unfolding across most societies around the world. Inter alia, he investigates the emergence of new layers of inequality ensuing from the retreat of death to higher ages and the increasing heterogeneity in population health distributions. He is the Head of the “Health and Demography” Unit at the Center for Demographic Studies and is the PI of an ERC Consolidator Grant (2020-2025).
Diana applies machine learning and cutting-edge technology to analyse key cultural transformation processes within a transnational and cultural analytics approach. She is fascinated by the circulation of cultural goods and the study of how historical networks offer new insights into patterns of cultural change. Within a sociological and digital humanities perspective, her research pushes forward global literary and cultural history to analyse multiple connections that go beyond intercultural entanglements in Europe or the Western world. Her research is grounded in a decentred and empirical approach, a big data turn, and a focus on agents and social network research to abandon the focus on innovative centres and imitative peripheries, when studying large accounts of literary and translation processes between spaces and over time. She is the PI of an ERC StG (2018-2023).
Xavier is a mathematician who works on Partial Differential Equations (PDEs). Specifically, he studies the regularity of solutions to elliptic and parabolic PDEs, and he is mostly known for his results on free boundary problems and integro-differential equations. He is the PI of an ERC Starting Grant, and has received numerous awards including the Scientific Research Award from the Fundación Princesa de Girona in 2019.
Edouard Schaal is a macroeconomist whose research focuses on business cycles, labor markets and economic geography. Among his current areas of research, Edouard is interested in understanding how imperfections in the way people form beliefs and expectations about economic outcomes today and in the future contribute to aggregate economic fluctuations. He is currently conducting research on the role of herding in the macroeconomy and financial markets. He is the PI of an ERC Starting Grant (2018-2023).