Tagliamento river, Italy
The place of my heart is my home in Italy - a tiny village in the North-East of the country. I was born few hundred meters from the Tagliamento River, a real wonder of nature. It's the last alpine river in Europe that still keeps its natural conditions of flow. The place is surrounded by water, and it's the main reason why all my love for water sciences started.
Pamplona, Navarre, Spain
My first love is Pamplona. I am shy and it was a shock to get used to talk to strangers, even more since it was in Spanish (I knew nothing when I arrived – it then became a classic as I did the same with French). I learned a lot about myself, through this energetic and rich in culture city. I had kind, friendly and helpful colleagues at the hydraulic department: I studied the Arga river basin, the river that crosses Pamplona. It was here when I first saw that hydrology could make me happy.
During the last year in Pamplona, I also started a master in Padova, Italy. I liked the idea of getting a master but wanted to keep working in Pamplona. Every few months I was going back to take exams. I moved to Padova to finish my master thesis on the Piave river in Italy.
I then landed in the semi-desertic areas of La Guareña, in Castilla and León, while I was working in Salamanca for 2 years. A new land to discover and understand, this time dealing with absence of water. The best field work in the world – with lots of sun, all kinds of rural landscape, forested formations like the dehesa and the quercus pirenaica forest, plus the amazing “vineyard beach”. Above all, kind and authentic farmers and friends. Monitoring soil moisture, discharge and groundwater was a gift.
This area is also the one that I love the most for birdwatching. Being "followed" by the great bustard flocks (Otis Tarda, or in Spanish -and my facebook name-, avutarda) is a highlight I will never forget!
Then I moved north to Luxembourg, to start the PhD adventure paired with Lancaster University (UK). A somewhat scary, ambitious project that got me fully unprepared – a challenge I could not resist. I deepened the experience on experimental hydrology by designing my own set-up and tracing experiments, and I persisted. Luxembourg also gave me great adventures, and during those adventures I met friends for life.
An important part of my PhD research was shared with Uppsala, a wonderful city up in Sweden where I learned about hydrological modelling, Swedish culture, departmental barbecues and the secrets of a happy PhD life. Thanks to this wonderful experience, a debate started within my family, and after my PhD we decided to move to Sweden. I currently hold a postdoctoral position at the wonderful Water, Permafrost and Environmental Systems group of the Physical Geography department, Stockholm University. Here, I am learning to link the water cycle to the nutrients that are used by plants and allow them to thrive in agricultural settings. I am also learning to look to a future where we use water and produce food in better ways.
I did not want to be away from home, and yet I haven't been living at my homeplace since 2007.
In all the places I have lived I met amazing friends, saw beautiful landscapes, and learned the secrets of each place’s water story.