Ángel López-Sánchez interviewed in Diario Córdoba as “example of talent of Córdoba exported to the world”

Our president, Dr Ángel López-Sánchez (Macquarie University), has been interviewed for an article in Diario Córdoba titled “Cuatro cordobeses ejemplo de talento exportado al mundo”, which was published today, Sunday, 26th November, 2023.

According to the article in Diario Córdoba “Cuatro cordobeses ejemplo de talento exportado al mundo,”

Ángel López-Sánchez is passionate about scientific outreach, leading him to take on the presidency of the Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific Association (SRAP), which maintains contact with diplomats and ambassadors. He currently works at Macquarie University, located in Sydney (Australia), a center with a large number of international students. His journey to the other side of the planet, however, began in Córdoba.

This young Cordoban studied Primary and High School at Salesianos de Córdoba before training in Physics at the University of Granada, “when this specialty did not yet exist in Córdoba, it started a couple of years after I went to Granada.” Later, he had the opportunity to do his doctoral thesis at the observatory in the Canary Islands, where he, in turn, received the offer to move to Australia as an astrophysicist. It was the year 2006, and since then, he has remained in that country as a professor at Macquarie University.

In addition to university classes (he teaches Physics and Astronomy), the Cordoban López-Sánchez works as a researcher, contributing to the development of networked telescope instruments worldwide.

However, “I do a lot of outreach, although not as much as before. I do this in my free time outside of the university, as they take it into account and value it a lot.” Thanks to his outreach activities, he has managed to bring the Spanish ambassador to his university three times, as well as representatives of major companies like Indra. “That’s my passion,” he says from Australia.

Although Ángel never studied at the University of Córdoba, he maintains very good relations with the academic institution, thanks to an agreement for students to do their doctoral theses.

The last time he was in Córdoba was in September to give talks on physics and the philosophy of scientific outreach. “I am in continuous contact with the University of Córdoba and contribute from a distance as much as I can,” he declares excitedly from his current residence thousands of kilometers from his hometown.

This is not the only Cordoban researcher featured in this article; there is also Prof. Pablo Zarco-Tejada, an agronomic engineer and passionate about scientific outreach at the University of Melbourne, leading the Remote Sensing and Precision Agriculture Group established between the Schools of Agriculture and Engineering.

Agronomic engineer Prof. Pablo Zarco-Tejada (University deofMelbourne).

Regarding Prof. Pablo Zarco-Tejada, the Diario Córdoba article says:

Born in Córdoba 52 years ago, agronomic engineer Pablo Zarco-Tejada has spent much of his working life training or working abroad. After completing his degree at the University of Córdoba in 1996, he studied for an academic year at the University of Dublin (Ireland), did his postgraduate studies in Britain (1997), and obtained his doctorate in Canada (2000). Later, he was a researcher at the University of California, Davis (2000-2002), returning to Spain under the Ramón y Cajal Program (University of Valladolid, 2003).

Currently, he is on leave working as a professor at the University of Melbourne (Australia), leading the Remote Sensing and Precision Agriculture Group established between the Schools of Agriculture and Engineering. In this university, he has been vice-dean of Postgraduate Studies since 2020.

Regarding his current work, he states that “it focuses on the development of methodologies for the detection of stress in crops using remote sensing techniques with hyperspectral and thermal sensors. These stress situations occur when there is a lack of water or nutrients, or when a pathogen infects the plant. He uses images obtained with planes, drones, or satellites to monitor crops, advancing in precision agriculture lines and digitization of agriculture.”

In 2023, he has been among the most cited researchers in the world for the fifth consecutive year, as reflected in this year’s Highly Cited Researchers list. Only 104 Spanish researchers receive this prestigious distinction, and Pablo Zarco is the only one on the list affiliated with research institutions in Córdoba.

Pablo finds some differences between countries in the field of research. “I have had the opportunity to work in North America, Europe, and for the past 5 years in Australia, and in all research institutions, I have seen similarities and differences. Between Spain and Australia, perhaps the most palpable differences are flexibility in hiring research staff and reduced management,” he explains.