I graduated in Chemistry at the Autonomous University of Madrid in 1998. I carried out MSc studies in Environmental Chemistry working in a joint project between the University of Ioannina (Greece), where I stayed for 6 months as Erasmus Fellow, and the National Institute of Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA) in Madrid. I was then awarded with a PhD fellowship from INIA to pursue doctoral studies at the INIA-Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry, which I finished in 2003. During my MSc and PhD I focused on the study of the key processes driving the environmental distribution, persistence and environmental impacts of widely used pesticides in terrestrial ecosystems. I developed multi-residue analytical methods for pesticide determination in the environment based on gas chromatographic techniques and contaminant fate prediction tools for exposure assessment.
In 2004, I initiated my post-doctoral professional experience with a Post-Doctoral fellowship awarded by the European Commission to join the international research group led by Prof. Steven Eisenreich in the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra (Italy). Then I was recruited as Scientific Officer (Researcher) for 3 more years. That was a very fruitful 4-year stay allowing me to work with leading experts from all over Europe and from mine and different fields of expertise. I was involved in various international and European Projects. I worked on the study of processes and impacts of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in large sub-alpine lakes. I was task leader and coordinator of specific deliverables of the FP6 European Project “THRESHOLDS of Environmental Sustainability”. Under the framework of this project, I initiated the investigation of the biogeochemical cycles of toxic organic chemicals in marine environments, in particular the Mediterranean and Black Seas (open waters, coastal sites and deep basin). Since then, I have been involved in many different scientific activities dealing with the understanding of the environmental behavior and impacts of POPs and the management of organic chemical pollution in marine ecosystems. Some examples are:
(a) I was member of the Expert Group for the development of Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) under the Water Framework Directive (WFD);
(b) I worked as Scientific Consultant (2009) for the Institute for Wetland and Water Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, (The Netherlands) being responsible for a desk-study on the photolysis of chemicals in aquatic environments;
(c) In 2010, I worked as Research Scientist in the Centre for Industrial Environment and Industrial and Natural Risks (LGEI) from the Ecole des Mines d’Alés in France. I led a project aimed at the development of bio-detection techniques for the screening of industrial chemicals in marine sediments.
From 2011 to 2013 I held a position of Research Associate at Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), in the group of Global Change and Biogeochemistry led by Dr. Jordi Dachs. I was involved in various national and international projects. I completed my investigations in the Mediterranean Sea and started to explore other marine regions. I was campaign leader in the project “Remobilization of reservoirs of organic pollutants in the Arctic and the Antarctica (REMARCA)” and I was responsible for the analytical developments for the determination of new organic contaminants of concern in the global oceans, participating in the MALASPINA Project, the largest oceanographic Spanish project (seven-month circumnavigation campaign) coordinated by CSIC and involving many other national and international partners.
In 2014-2015, I continued on-going work in the framework of those projects and also created my own consultancy company (CJExpert_POPs, http://www.cjexpertpops.com) dealing with issues related to the environmental pollution by POPs and related chemicals. Moreover, in 2014 I took first contacts with the Mediterranean institute of Oceanography (MIO) in Marseille (France), where I work at present as co-PI of 4 research projects funded by the French laboratory of excellence Labex OT-MED (http://www.otmed.fr) (projects MEDPOP and ECOMARE) and the French Regional Water Agency (Agence de l`Eau) (projects Blue-POLUT and CAREMED) focussing on the the environmental fate, bioconcentration, trophic web transfer and risk assessment of legacy and emerging organic contaminants in the Mediterranean basin. Special attention is given to organic plastic additives and microplastics. Moreover, I coordinate the MIO participation in the European Commission Joint Research Center exploratory research project RIMMEL on the occurrence of floating macro-litter in European rivers and inputs to EU Seas.