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I received my PhD in Environment and Natural Resources from the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (Spain) in June 2014. During this period, I have tried to solve some methodological and eco-physiological aspects of the so-called “moss biomonitoring technique” to optimize the use of terrestrial mosses as good biomonitors of air pollution in Europe and worldwide.
Currently, I am carrying out a postdoctoral fellowship of 2 years in the Ecology and Environmental Changes group, led by Cristina Branquinho of cE3c. The main objective of my research is focused on the development of an ecological restoration tool for degraded lands through the study, characterization and culture of biocrust mosses in order to buffer erosion, degradation, and desertiﬁcation of these ecosystems.
Varela, Z., López-Sánchez, G., Yáñez, M., Pérez, C., Fernández, J.A., Matos, P., Branquinho, C. & Aboa, J.R. (2018) Changes in epiphytic lichen diversity are associated with air particulate matter levels: The case study of urban areas in Chile.Ecological Indicators, 91, 307-314. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.04.023 (IF2017 3,983; Q1 Environmental Sciences)
Varela, Z., Aranda, S.C., Estébanez Pérez, B., Medina, N.G. & Boquete, M.T. (2017) The use of cryptogams as an ecological tool for nitrogen deposition biomonitoring in the Iberian Peninsula. Ecosistemas, 26(1), 45-54. DOI: 10.7818/ECOS.2017.26-1.07.