First “Research Bites” in New Zealand

Article written by Marta Ribó.


The first SRAP-IEAP “Research Bites” event in New Zealand was held in the University of Auckland on Thursday 26th May. Four SRAP-IEAP members gave talks about their research work in New Zealand.


Mónica Gañán

Mónica Gañán presented her professional trajectory: She completed her PhD in microbiology at the Spanish National Research Council in the area of intestinal microbiota modulation by probiotics and natural compounds. Her postdoctoral experience took her to explore different areas, including new non-thermal technologies for food processing and the use of natural compounds as topical antifungals. Currently she brings together researchers, public funders, and industry to implement complex bespoke projects and partnerships that accelerate the development of innovations and new technologies.

Evert Duran Quintero

Evert Duran is a research fellow at the University of Auckland. His research is focused on geophysical techniques, and he presented the Euler Deconvolution, which can be used to estimate the depth to a magnetic body from aeromagnetic data.  Guessing the depth correctly can aid the process of inversion of geophysical data by constraining the geometry and extent of the mesh grids while also providing clues to set better informed regularization parameters. In other words, help us follow the solutions to the non-unique problem of inversion that are geologically plausible. Some modelling examples in my research have shown the limitations and possibilities of this approach.

Sònia García

Sònia García presented her research on the regulatory interventions that may enable greater transparency of the seafood value chains, focussing on the potential of labelling and traceability to prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The EU, the US and Japan, three of the largest seafood markets in the world, have adopted such measures to verify the legality of the seafood sold in their markets. While increased use of labelling and traceability may reduce the incentives to trade in illegally fished seafood, the extent of their impact and their potential mainstreaming remain unclear.

Marta Ribó

Marta Ribó is a marine geologist research fellow at the University of Auckland, and her research is centered in the study of contemporary sediment dynamics and the hydrodynamics controlling the changes on seabed morphology. She presented her research career trajectory, starting to investigate the marine environment in the Mediterranean, to the SE Australian margin and the work she is currently conducting in New Zealand. Her expertise focuses on understanding the seafloor geomorphology in shallow and deep waters and assessing the impact on the seabed of human activities, including plastic pollution and anchor drag marks. Her work involves using a wide range of methodologies spanning from seafloor mapping, seabed sampling and hydrodynamic monitoring; all conducted during scientific surveys on board of research vessels.



About Angel.Lopez-Sanchez

A/Prof Ángel R. López-Sánchez is an astrophysicist and science communicator working at the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Macquarie University (MQ). He is a recognised expert in the study of how the gas is converted into stars in galaxies and how this affects galaxy evolution. He graduated in Theoretical Physics at the University of Granada (2000) and completed his PhD Thesis in Astrophysics at the prestigious “Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias” (IAC, Spain) and the University of La Laguna (Spain) in 2006. He moved to Australia in 2007, joining CSIRO “Astronomy and Space Science” to perform radio-interferometric observations of gas-rich galaxies at the Australian Telescope Compact Array. In 2011 he joined the Australian Astronomical Observatory and Macquarie University combining instrumentation support, research, lecturing, and outreach. He was appointed as a full-time research academic at the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at Macquarie University in May 2023. He is the president of the association of Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP), the vice-president of the Astronomical Association of Córdoba (AAC, Spain), representative in the Andalusian Astronomy Network (RAdA), and member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the Spanish Astronomy Society (SEA), and the Australian Astronomy Society (ASA). He is a globally-recognised science communicator, with visibility in Spanish and Australian printed, broadcast, and social media. He is also a passionate amateur astronomer that uses his own equipment for capturing the beauty of the Cosmos. His stunning astronomy time-lapse videos and photos have received +1/2 million views in YouTube and have been seen in TV channels in USA, Australia and Spain, science museums worldwide, and textbooks.