The seed of the Group of Aquatic Macrophyte Ecology was planted around 2000. To study the long term accumulation of organic carbon in Posidonia oceanica sediments, it was necessary to develop a coring technique that could be applied in shallow waters. Using a floating light platform, a self-powered rotating drill, and lots of motivation, we succeeded in retrieving an almost 5m-long sediment core in the Bay of Portlligat, Girona, Spain. The sedimentary sequence was found to be chrono-stratigraphically very coherent, what made us realize the potential of these soils for (1) the study of the long term dynamics of the accumulation of carbon and other elements in this compartment, and (2) for its use a palaeoecological archive for the entire Holocene. The ‘Core 2000’ is already legendary in our group.
Mission and vision
The main objective of GAME is to provide quality knowledge and awareness rising on the key role played by vegetated coastal ecosystems in the overall resilience of this fragile zone of our planet: the land-coastal interface. To this end, we use mesocosms and in situ experimentation, as well as the palaeoecological approach in order to understand the forces behind ecosystem change, both natural and derived from human activities.
To properly accomplish that mission, we believe in the need of letting science happen at a natural pace, being curiosity and passion the main drivers and avoiding opportunistic performance-driven science. Nature is complex; complexity needs time to be digested. Scientists need time to think (http://slow-science.org/). At the same time, scientists are human beings, with the same aim as any other human being: enjoying life. “Research has to be a game, because only playing are we happy” (Ramon Margalef 1984). Science is our GAME.
The people joining the GAME team have one common trait: they are passionate about nature. The are eager to learn and discover, and compromised with the rigorous and honest scientific research. We understand the need and enjoy collaboration with other groups over the world. GAME has no borders and makes no differences between races, sexes, or any other condition.
The headquarters of GAME is the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB), that belongs to the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). We are in the middle of nature, about five minutes from some of the beautiful coves of the Spanish Costa Brava. CEAB community is integrated by about 100 people, including senior staff members, technical and administrative personnel, students (from high School to PhDs), post-docs, and visiting fellows. It is a very familiar and lively community, which size allows to have a good critical mass for rich interdisciplinary discussions while keeping the sense of group. More about us
The GAME team is currently formed by about 20 members and more than 20 collaborators both national and international. Portugal, Italy, France, The Netherlands, England (Wales), Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, Malta, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, USA, or Australia, are the main countries our group has or has had relevant liaisons through scientific collaborations or training activities.
In the overall, GAME has given over 200 international conferences, published about 600 peer-reviewed papers, with about 10 000 citations and an h index of around 55.
Training and supervision
In GAME we care about the scientific career and therefore we have been providing training to many students from over the world. More than 20 PhD Thesis; more than 60 Master Thesis; about 20 Honours; and a large number of Bachelor of Science, Final Degree Works, University Practicums, and Secondary and High School internships. Check the options!
From the very beginning, back in 2000, GAME has led tens of competitive projects and collaborated with research groups form all over the world. Today, GAME is integrated by marine ecologists, soil scientists, geologists, and palaeoecologists. Our main interests are (1) the study of the phenomenon of refractory accumulation of organic carbon in vegetated coastal ecosystems, and (2) the use of the sedimentary archive under seagrass meadows as a tool to understand ecosystem long-term dynamics and to serve conservation biology.