Selected works

Forthcoming (2024) - The building of the Doñana case - One of my main research lines during almost two decades, the first phase of a Long-Term Social-Ecological Research program in the Doñana region comes to an end. Carried out through iterative research based on an adaptive inference protocol, the building of what I call "the Doñana case" will finalize with a synthesis of main philosophical, theoretical and methodological lessons. It will also include governance and policy recommendations for sustainability in the region. Meanwhile, you can know more about the case through its first, second, third and fourth research iterations. 

15.2.2024 - Wetlands4Climate Conference -  I have recently participated as keynote speaker in this conference, offering my vision on how to trigger systemic change towards regional sustainability in coastal wetlands affected by intricate water conflicts. With a focus on Doñana delta social-ecological system, and a recent politicized intervention to trigger a "green" transition in sectors overexploiting groundwater resources, I presented several mechanisms that must be orchestrated and coordinated at multiple levels and scales to escape difficult-to-reverse situations in the near future (lock-ins). 

Agentive power into IAD

Forthcoming - Hunting for sustainability in social-ecological systems - A stepping-stone contribution in Spanish showing empirically how agentive power can be embedded in structural institutional analysis in combination with game-theoretic insights from the Prisoner's Dilemma-Stag Hunt conflict-cooperation continuum. 

Averting lock-in risks

19.8.2023 - Averting lock-in risks in social-ecological systems - In this preprint, we offer a roadmap to guide innovative research to observe, understand, and ultimately avoid, processes that can induce lock-ins at multiple spatiotemporal scales in SES. Our roadmap is organized in three broad research areas: (1) general cross-cutting research themes; (2) policy, collective action and governance; (3) plurality of values and methodological pluralism. You can download the preprint here.

eLTER WAILS Workshop

14.6.2023 - eLTER WAILS approach workshop for early career - Grateful for my recent participation as lecturer in this summer school focusing in-depth on developing eLTER's whole system approach (WAILS) - a holistic view on the ecosystem that combines bio-geo-hydro and social-ecological research.

 Understanding the governance of sustainability pathways

17.12.22 - Understanding the governance of sustainability pathways: hydraulic megaprojects, social–ecological traps, and power in networks of action situations - Here, we advance a robust methodological approach for the integrated analysis of historical, institutional, political, and power conditions in SES traps. Our advancement consists of a novel combination of the networks of action situations approach with an agency-based polycentric power typology and the concept of discursive power. You can download the paper here.

A Bird's-Eye View of Monitoring and Management of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas

12.8.2022 - A Bird's-Eye View of Monitoring and Management of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas - In this paper we showcase the application of a novel unified framework for improving the monitoring and management of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas, based on the use of Earth Observation, to the Wadden Sea and Doñana, with specific focus on their relevance for bird conservation. You can download the paper here (if no access, do not hesitate to ask for a copy).


Disrupting the governance of social-ecological rigidity traps

2.6.2022 - Disrupting the governance of social-ecological rigidity traps: Can pluralism foster change towards sustainability? - Here, we use a novel analytical approach to show how tight relationships between institutional structures and dominant discourses in the Doñana region, played a prominent role in curtailing pluralism. We also show how latent pluralism exists in the region might foster change towards sustainability. You can download the paper here (if no access, do not hesitate to ask for a copy).


MOTION Handbook - Developing a Transformative Theory of Change

26.1.22 - MOTION Handbook - Developing a Transformative Theory of Change - A step-by-step guide on how to develop a Transformative Theory of Change (TToC), for innovation projects, programmes and organisations working on systems transformation. Beautifully led by Carla Alvial Palavicino. You can download this resource here and watch an introductory  webinar to learn when, how and why to use a TToC. 

Scientific Challenges of the Spanish National Research Council

7.10.2021 - Scientific Challenges of the Spanish National Research Council - White paper from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), where we emphasize the importance of considering the tight interrelationship between humans and nature (Challenge A, section 3.4, pp. 120-123). You can download the white paper here.

The log spiral of TToCs

21.04.2021 - A Transformative Theory of Change for urban Nature-Based Solutions - We have recently presented a narrative and a Transformative Theory of Change (TToC) reflecting on EIT Climate-KIC’s project ACT on NBS, in the context of MOTION. You can download the narrative and TToC here.

Blue uncertainty

19.2.21 - Blue uncertainty: Warding off systemic risks in the Anthropocene - Lessons from COVID-19 - Here, using the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, I propose to understand the response to unexpected systemic threats as instances of reactive policy making driven by radical uncertainty, and advance three notions that could enhance that understanding: modulating contingency, adaptive inference and blue uncertainty. You can download the paper here.

Evaluating tourist profiles and nature-based experiences in Biosphere Reserves using Flickr

1.10.2020 - Evaluating tourist profiles and nature-based experiences in Biosphere Reserves using Flickr - In this publication, we suggest that studies based on content analysis or online surveys alone can lead to incomplete information. Instead, the adoption of both content analysis and online surveys should provide complementary perspectives for the monitoring of nature's cultural capital. You can download the paper here (if no access, do not hesitate to ask for a copy).

Digital conservation in biosphere reserves

2.6.20 - Digital conservation in biosphere reserves: Earth observations, social media, and nature's cultural contributions to people - Here, our findings suggest that social media and Earth observations can aid in the cost‐efficient monitoring of nature's contributions to people, which underlie many Sustainable Development Goals and conservation targets in protected areas worldwide. You can download the paper here.

Evaluating transdisciplinary science

28.5.20 - Evaluating transdisciplinary science to open research-implementation spaces in European social-ecological systems - We report the results of a qualitative, participatory evaluation of several SES projects across Europe using an evaluation methodology tailored to transdisciplinary projects. You can have a look here.

Copernicus Sentinels improve hydroperiod estimations of Mediterranean wetlands

15.11.19 - ESA's Copernicus Sentinels improve hydroperiod estimations of Mediterranean wetlands - Check out our success story at ESA's news website on how Copernicus Sentinels improve hydroperiod estimations of Mediterranean wetlands .

 Modulating contingency

8.7.19 - Modulating contingency in explanations of path-dependent SES rigidity traps - In this contribution we build on previous research to study conditions necessary for successful sustainability transitions in social-ecological systems. We focus on the explanatory potential of political-economic interests, prevailing discourses and power— specifically when the core logic of path dependence (based on neoclassical economics principles) fails to predict maladaptive outcomes.

Kaizen in Doñana

1.12.18 - Continuous improvement of the science-policy interface in Doñana - Here, we propose “continuous improvement” as a strategy to innovate incrementally at science-policy interfaces, in an ongoing collaborative effort with the diverse set of stakeholders. You can download the poster here.

Just another PhD thesis

1.1.15 - Facilitating sustainability transitions in the Doñana region - Yet another PhD thesis out there in the world: here. Check out the policy recommendations made for improving water management and wetland conservation in Doñana and the Guadalquivir Estuary (see Chapter 9). The program was supported by preparatory research on adaptive management in British Columbia (Canada), where it was developed and implemented for the first time at large scale during the 1970s. 

Adaptive management of Kelp forests

14.11.13 - Adaptive management of kelp forests - A participatory process on the Adaptive Management of Kelp Forests in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (Porto, Portugal), as part of the Marine Biodiversity case study of KNEU Project. You can download our policy brief here.

14.11.10 - Evaluation of the Environmental Repercussions of mooring facilities over two special protection sites in Formentera Island - Entrusted by the local environmental authority, in this study I led an assessment of the environmental impact of ecological moorings in two locations at Formentera Island with a special conservation status (Ses Illetes beach and Estany d'Es Peix, Mallorca, Spain), as a previous step to a full Environmental Impact Assessment.

14.10.10 - Environmental sustainability in organisations - Social Media Day Palma de Mallorca 2010 - In this series of interviews, the event's participants told us how they incorporate environment and sustainability criteria in their organisational policies, as well as how they use social media to promote their environmental values, turning them into a competitive advantage. 

10.10.10 - The European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) - Watch some of the mini-interviews that I made to some of the participants at the 2010 meeting of the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) in Palma de Mallorca. Questions asked:

1. Why are evolutionary processes important for biodiversity?

2. How can they be incorporated into better management practices?

3. Which kind of research can help achieving that goal? 

Ciencia TK CSIC Structured Decision Making

20.11.09 - Structured Decision Making - Environmental sustainability and climate change for the Playa de Palma Project - A Structured Decision Making process for catalysing synergies among the participating researchers and accelerating a general diagnosis of environmental problems at Playa de Palma in several areas: water quality, conservation of the coastal ecosystems, climate change adaptation, urban ecosystems. Mini-documentary or at CIENCIATK, the citizen outreach platform of the Spanish Research Council. Additionally, you can watch a second documentary including more specific policy recommendations.

10.6.09 - Innovative developments in the management of coastal fisheries in Canada and Spain: from participatory management to adaptive management - Conference-workshop, organised within the framework of the "Understanding Canada" program (through the Canada Foundation), where we explored the lessons and mutual synergies between participatory management strategies (Galicia, Spain) and adaptive management (British Columbia, Canada) of coastal fisheries. Funding: "Understanding Canada" Program (through the Canada Foundation).

Transference of Adaptive Management

14.11.07 - TRANSAM Project - Project aimed at documenting the Canadian experience with adaptive management, with an emphasis on British Columbia. We assessed several  cases in which particular institutional developments allowed for the implementation of adaptive management initiatives for natural resources management and nature conservation. Technical publication available here. Funding: International Council for Canadian Studies through the Canada-Europe Awards.

A failed AM project from which to learn

25.5.08 - Action-research and adaptive management in the Doñana region - Supported by the TRANSAM Project and institutional analysis, I coordinated an action-research program to evaluate its instrumentality for proactively introducing adaptive management tenets at the research-management interface of the Doñana Nature Reserve. For a detailed description of the program, its context and the institutional analysis carried out for supporting it, please see this article in Ecology and Society or my PhD thesis.

Winter is always coming

11.8.04 - Habitat suitability study for the Bewick's swan during its wintering stage in the Netherlands - Technical publication as part of my Bachelor's thesis available here (worth having a quick look :)

2003-2023"Hishuk ish ts'awalk" :)