Curator #108: Gerard Rocher

gerard_545_408My name is Gerard Rocher Ros (@GRocherRos) and I come from a little country inside Catalonia: Val d’Aran. It is the only valley in the northern side of the Pyrenees, and hence we are quite special. We have a different climate, culture and language! In spite of being a small valley, our origin is related to a bigger nation that in the middle ages ruled the culture in Europe: Occitania. Hence in the school we learn five languages: Occitan, Catalan, Spanish, French. A very unique place!

I grew up in a historical hostel in the Pyrenees, which now also became a museum about Pirienism. From the museum we also organize a great festival every Easter, Pyrenades (you just missed it!).

I studied Environmental Sciences, but I did the master in statistical modelling and complex systems in Barcelona. Since last summer, I swapped the north of Catalonia for the north of Sweden, in Lappland, so I am currently a PhD student at Umeå University (webpage). I guess you are aware of climate change, so here in the Arctic is particularly severe. Besides, in the soils of the tundra there is a lot of carbon stored, about twice that is currently in the atmosphere as CO2! As the planet warms, these soils can release this carbon and make climate change even worse. My research deals with how this carbon ends up in the streams, and from there can reach the atmosphere.

This will be an interesting week for me! It will be the first trip of the season to the Abisko Research Station, in the far north of Sweden, where I do my research. There I will be preparing the field season, welcoming and teaching a group of students from Umeå university about Geoecology, and of course skiing and enjoying the winter in the Swedish mountains! And to end up this experience, I will celebrate my 25th birthday the 11th of April.

If you are interested in any of these issues, or you just want to hear how Lappland looks like in winter, come and join me in this trip!



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