Dra. Magda Vila

Dra. Magda VilaMy curiosity about the microscopic forms found in aquatic systems led me to work towards the end of my undergraduate degree with a Department of Ecology group (UB) on the ecology of Mediterranean rivers. In research that led to my dissertation (1993), I studied the ecology of extreme environments, specifically the salt marshes of Ebro Delta (CID-CSIC). This was followed by a PhD (2001) in marine phytoplankton ecology (ICM-CSIC), in which I focused on the ecology of HABs. During this period I participated in the initial design and subsequent adjustments of the sampling plan for the monitoring and control of HABs in Catalonia. After a trial period and successive improvements, the system proposed in the plan is currently being used by the “Agència Catalana de l'Aigua”.

My current working interest is coastal marine ecology, specifically the spatio-temporal variability of phytoplankton and epiphytic microalgae as well as the biology and ecology of toxic dinoflagellates. To this end, I am analyzing time series of HABs, and comparing the physico-chemical and ecological characteristics of areas affected by common bloom-forming species. Moreover, I am involved in a project aimed at developing tools to assess environmental quality (WFD), including biotic indices of human impacts in the coastal zone. So far, we have focused on the use of chlorophyll as a biological indicator of environmental quality and we are currently exploring the use of data derived from particular species or functional groups of phytoplankton.


E-mail: magda@icm.csic.es

Highlighted publications:

  • Vila M, Giacobbe MG, Masó M, Gangemi E, Penna A, Sampedro N, Azzaro F, Camp J, Galluzzi L (2005). A comparative study on recurrent blooms of Alexandrium minutum in two Mediterranean coastal areas. Harmful Algae, 4(4), 673-695.
  • Vila M, Masó M (2005). Phytoplankton functional groups and harmful algal species in anthropogenically impacted waters of the NW Mediterranean Sea. Scientia Marina, 69 (1):31-45.
  • Penna A, Vila M, Fraga S, Giacobbe MG, Andreoni F, Riobó P, Vernesi C (2005). Characterization of Ostreopsis and Coolia (Dinophyceae) isolates in the Western Mediterranean sea based on morphology, toxicity and Internal Transcribed Spacer 5.8S rDNA sequences. J. Phycol., 41(1), 212-225.
  • Vila M, Garcés E, Masó M, Camp J (2001) Is the distribution of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella expanding along the NW Mediterranean coast? Mar Ecol Prog Ser., 222: 73-83.
  • Vila M, Camp J, Garcés E, Masó M, Delgado M (2001) High resolution spatio-temporal detection of potentially harmful dinoflagellates in confined waters of the NW Mediterranean. J. Plankton Res., 23 (5), 497-514.