I use fishes as ecology model systems to study general processes in population dynamics and habitat analysis of river ecosystems. My principal interests and current research are:
Studies of population dynamics in fish species. The first step in understanding fish ecology is the quantification of population parameters. I have studied the growth, abundance and production of brown trout populations in Mediterranean rivers. In this sense, the first part of my doctoral thesis is dedicated to studying brown trout population dynamics. The results obtained are part of a database developed taking into account four years of sampling in four Mediterranean rivers, where four study sections were established on each river. Part of these results has been published in both national and international journals. At the same time, progress has been made in establishing relationships between fish abundance and habitat features where they live, both for brown trout, Júcar nase and other species. To achieve this, different sampling techniques have been applied: snorkelling in clean waters, electrofishing in wadeable and nonwadeable rivers (by boat) and passive techniques (with different kinds of nets and traps) in lakes and reservoirs.
Habitat analysis of river ecosystems at different scales of work. The study of freshwater fish species habitat has been a relevant part of his work as a researcher. In this sense, I have made an inventory of the freshwater habitat at different scales of work (macrohabitat, mesohabitat and microhabitat level) as evidenced by his career and its major publications in seminars, conferences and national and international journals. To do this, I have applied innovative protocols and methodology in the analysis of river habitat. I have geo-referenced and mapped the most important species of fish of some Mediterranean regions through geographical information systems and have obtained, in the georeferenced presence points, different fish habitat characteristics (such as channel slope, distance to the source, distance free of obstacles, etc.). I have applied the sampling protocol BVET (Basinwide Visual Estimation Technique), adapting it to Mediterranean environments, to evaluate the mesohabitat by measured and visual estimation of habitat characteristics. I have also employed diving techniques for determining habitat suitability curves in microhabitat studies applied to endemic fish. Similarly, I have employed other techniques normally used in studies of river habitats; flow measurements using electromagnetic flowmeters, obtaining categorical indexes of habitat quality (fish refuge index, river connectivity index, bank quality index, etc.).
I have also used innovative and advanced statistical techniques from data mining and machine learning applied to freshwater species ecology, with special emphasis in the use of generalized additive mixed models, random forests and fuzzy logic, and artificial neural networks. Finally, in addition to theoretical and applied research, I have conducted educational activities at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. In particular, it has theoretical and practical lecturing in degree courses and have co-directed final projects.