Rafael Marcé, PhD

Research scientist, Resources and Ecosystems Area

Contact Details
Catalan Institute for Water Research, ICRA
email: rmarce@icra.cat
Ph: +34 972 183 380
F: +34 972 183 248

Short Biography
I received my PhD in Biology from the University of Barcelona in 2007, where I work as a Teacher Assistant since 2005. I began my current position at the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) in 2009 to join the research lines “Lacustrine and Reservoir Systems” and “Modelling of Ecosystems and Basins”.

Research interests
Freshwater systems, i.e. running waters, lakes, and reservoirs, while covering just a tiny fraction of the Earth’s surface, are fundamental players in the carbon and nutrient biogeochemical cycles. However, their role at the global scale is still uncertain and this is one of the most relevant gaps in current Earth System Models and regional carbon and nutrient accountings. On the other hand, water resources quality is a global concern of extreme relevance for local communities, especially in water scarce regions like the Mediterranean.

Models are ideal heuristic platforms for stimulating critical thinking and to generate new hypotheses in environmental sciences. My current research agenda considers state-of-the-art modeling techniques and time series analysis to excel in the fields of detection and assessment of the effects of global changes on the functioning of Mediterranean fluvial basins and their ecosystem services, the management of water quality in man-made reservoirs, and the fate of emerging pollutants at the basin scale. My research also focuses on empirical research of carbon cycling in watersheds and upscaling measured processes in the field at larger scales. Interdisciplinary and cross-scale approaches are distinctive traits of my research at ICRA.

Current Projects
• Assessment and prediction of global change effects on water quantity and quality in Iberian rivers (SCARCE CONSOLIDER–INGENIO, 2009–2014, Full time researcher).

• Carbon transport and use through river networks: the relevance of global change (CARBONET- CGL201130474C020, 2012–2014, Full time researcher).

• Managing the effects of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystems under water scarcity (GLOBAQUA- FP7, 2014-2019, Full time researcher).

• Networking Lake Observatories in Europe (NETLAKE-COST, 2012-2016, coordinator of WG)

Key publications

For Detection and assessment of the effects of global changes
• Marcé R., Rodríguez-Arias M.A., Gracía J.C., and Armengol J. (2010) El Niño Southern Oscillation and climate trends impact reservoir water quality. Global Change Biology, 16: 2857–2865. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02163.x

For Carbon cycling in watersheds
• López P, Marcé R, and Armengol J. (2011) Net heterotrophy and CO2 evasion from a productive calcareous reservoir: adding complexity to the metabolism-CO2 evasion issue. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 116: G02021. DOI: 10.1029/2010JG001614

For Upscaling measured processes in the field at larger scales
• Aguilera R, Marcé R, and Sabater S. (2013) Modeling nutrient retention at the watershed scale: Does small stream research apply to the whole river network? Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 118: 728–740. DOI: 10.1002/jgrg.20062

For Management of water quality in man-made reservoirs
• Huerta B, Marti E, Gros M, López P, Pompeo M, Armengol J, Barceló D, Balcázar JL, Rodríguez-Mozaz S, and Marcé R. (2013) Exploring the links between antibiotic occurrence, antibiotic resistance, and bacterial communities in water supply reservoirs. Science of the Total Environment, 456-457: 161-170. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.03.071

• Andradottir HO, Rueda FJ, Armengol J, and Marcé R. (2012) Characterization of residence time variability in a managed monomictic reservoir. Water Resources Research, 48: W11505. DOI: 10.1029/2012WR012069

• Rigosi A, Marcé R, Escot C, and Rueda FJ. (2011) A calibration strategy for dynamic succession models including several phytoplankton groups. Environmental Modelling & Software, 26: 697-710. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.01.007

For Fate of emerging pollutants at the basin scale
• Osorio V, Marcé R, Pérez S, Ginebreda A, Cortina JL, and Barceló D. (2012) Occurrence and modeling of pharmaceuticals on a sewage-impacted Mediterranean river and their dynamics under different hydrological conditions. Science of the Total Environment, 440:3-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.08.040

For Freshwater Ecosystem Services
• Boithias L, Acuña V, Vergoñós L, Ziv G, Marcé R, and Sabater S. (2014) Assessment of the water supply:demand ratios in a Mediterranean basin under different global change scenarios and mitigation alternatives. Science of the Total Environment, 470–471: 567–577. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.10.003

• Honey-Rosés J, Acuña V, Bardina M, Brozović N, Marcé R, Munné A, Sabater S, Termes M, Valero F, Vega A, Schneider DW. (2013) Examining the Demand for Ecosystem Services: The Value of Stream Restoration for Drinking Water Treatment Managers in the Llobregat River, Spain. Ecological Economics 90: 196–205. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.03.019

Current PhD students
Rosana Aguilera, Detection and assessment of the effects of global changes in Mediterranean rivers. Co-Supervisor.

Joan Pere Casas, Carbon transport and use through river networks. Supervisor.

Cecilia Hegoburu, Phosphorus dynamics in Pampean streams (Argentina). Co-Supervisor.

Past PhD students

• Jaime Ordóñez, 2010, “Limnology of Sau Reservoir”, Co-Supervisor (in Spanish)

• Ana Rigosi, 2011, “Physical and Ecological Processes in El Gergal Reservoir”, Co-Supervisor


You can find a complete list of my publications here (link to Research ID)

Teaching: Department of Ecology, University of Barcelona

ResearchGate, ResearcherID, Google Scholar profile




• Full CV in pdf