Past events

  • The 111th ICREA Colloquium ‘Stable isotopes in plants: reconstructing climate and human impacts on the environment’


    Speakers: ICREA Research Professors Laia Andreu Hayles, from the Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals (CREAF) and Carla Lancelotti, from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)


    When: 28th of May 2024, 18:00h


    Where: Auditorium FCRI, Passeig de Lluís Companys, 23, 08010 Barcelona


    Understanding the coupling between human and natural systems is paramount in the current context of climate change. The application of stable isotopic analysis in plant emerges as a robust methodological tool for elucidating the intricate complexities of environmental history, enabling the reconstruction of both climatic shifts and human influences on ecosystems.


    Stable isotopes provide insights into the underlying physiological and biochemical processes within plant organisms as response to environmental changes. By analysing variations in isotopic compositions in paleo archives such as tree rings, we can decipher past climate conditions, such as temperature and precipitation variability, providing a unique long-term perspective of environmental dynamics. Moreover, the integration of stable isotopes in archaeobotanical remains such as seeds, pollen or charcoal, among others, offers a unique lens through which to trace the interplay between human activities and nature. Whether detecting shifts in agricultural methodologies or changes in land-use patterns, isotopic analysis allows to elucidate the discernible imprint of anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems. This interdisciplinary approach, combining botanical science and environmental history, empowers scientists to construct a detailed narrative of the co-evolution of climate and human-environment interactions over time.


    In this colloquium we will explain how a biologist and an archaeologist can find a common interest in plant stable isotopes and we will show exemplary applications of this technique in our work.

  • Conference ‘Music and Poetry in the Crown of Aragon (13th-15th Centuries). New Approaches to Documents, History and Text’


    Anna Alberni, ICREA Research Professor at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), has organised the International conference ‘Music and Poetry in the Crown of Aragon (13th-15th Centuries). New Approaches to Documents, History and Text’.


    The event will be held at the Universitat de Barcelona (Aula Ramón y Cajal, Edifici Històric i Facultat de Filologia i Comunicació) from the 17th to the 19th of April 2024.


    For further information please click here.

  • The 110th ICREA Colloquium ‘The strain on scientific publishing’


    Speakers: ICREA Research Professor Daniel Brockington (Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB)), Wellcome ECA fellow Mark Hanson (University of Exeter Penryn) and Researcher Pablo Gómez Barreiro (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew).


    When: 16th of April 2024, 18:00h


    Where: Auditorium FCRI, Passeig de Lluís Companys, 23, 08010 Barcelona




    Scientists are increasingly overwhelmed by the volume of articles being published. Total articles indexed in Scopus and Web of Science have grown exponentially in recent years; in 2022 the article total was 47% higher than in 2016, which has outpaced the limited growth, if any, in the number of practising scientists. Thus, publication workload per scientist (writing, reviewing, editing) has increased dramatically. We define this problem as the strain on scientific publishing. To analyse this strain, we present five data-driven metrics showing publisher growth, processing times, and citation behaviours. We draw these data from web scrapes, requests for data from publishers, and material that is freely available through publisher websites. Our findings are based on millions of papers produced by leading academic publishers. We find specific groups have disproportionately grown in their articles published per year, contributing to this strain. Some publishers enabled this growth by adopting a strategy of hosting special issues, which publish articles with reduced turnaround times. Given pressures on researchers to publish or perish to be competitive for funding applications, this strain was likely amplified by these offers to publish more articles. We also observed widespread year-over-year inflation of journal impact factors coinciding with this strain, which risks confusing quality signals. Such exponential growth cannot be sustained. The metrics we define here should enable this evolving conversation to reach actionable solutions to address the strain on scientific publishing.


    The ICREA colloquia are a great way to learn about remote fields of research from our best experts. We usually have two speakers, three on this occasion, who offer their opinions on the same subject from different angles. They are open to all ICREAs.

  • Lecture ‘Migració, desigualtats socials i salut’


    ICREA Research Professor Seth Holmes will give a public lecture entitled ‘Migració, desigualtats socials i salut’.


    The talk will be held on Wednesday 13th of March at 12 pm at the Universitat de Barcelona (Jane Addams Auditorium, Faculty of Geography and History, Universitat de Barcelona, Montalegre, 6-8, 08001 – Barcelona) and it is part of a series of events to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Faculty of Geography and History


    For further information on this lecture please click here.