Headline news

2019, the Ramon Margalef Year

Tuesday 29 th January 2019

In 2019 we are celebrating the centenary of Prof. Ramon Margalef. Margalef was a mostly self- made scientist with an innate curiosity and ability to relate observations and derive theoretical trends and generalities. The Spanish Civil war forced him to start college training in natural sciences late. He quickly grew into the scientic leader of the 1951 newly established Institute of Fisheries Research (IIP-CSIC), later the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC), in Barcelona. In 1967, already a worldwide known ecologist, he became the first professor in Ecology of Spain at the University of Barcelona, where he continued until his retirement. Margalef turned into one of the most relevant ecologists of the XX century. He contributed to science with innovating theories about the space-time structure of the ecosystems, the relations between diversity, biodiversity, stability and connectivity, the fundamental role of energy in biological productivity and the interrelations between ecological succession and evolution, among others. Margalef studied freshwater, marine and terrestrial systems, populations and species, finding patterns and unifying principles between all. He wrote well over 550 papers and books including, “On certain unifying principles in ecology”, “Perspectives in Ecological Theory”, “Information Theory in Ecology” and “Our Biosphere”. Contributions were not only in English but in seven different languages. Several books in Spanish strongly influenced ecological science in Spain and Latin America. Margalef was not only a brilliant scientist but also an encouraging teacher and mentor and a most humble human being. He received national and international distinctions in the fields of ecology, limnology, oceanography and science contributions in general. Among many other awards, he received the Huntsman Medal, considered the Nobel prize in oceanography, in its 1980 first edition. Since 2005, a world renown prize in Ecology, given by the Catalan government, carries his name.

Now, in 2019, the joined meeting of SIBECOL and the AEET adheres and contributes to the celebrations of the official Ramon Margalef centenary, by paying tribute to Margalef. Among other events, there will be a special session dedicated to the legacy of Margalef and a Ramon Margalef Award, sponsored by the European Ecological Federation, for the best oral presentation in theoretical ecology of an early career researcher.

Dr. Francesc Peters (Institut de Ciències del Mar, ICM-CSIC)

Latest News