Alex Aguilar is a professor in the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Barcelona. Aguilar used his Pew fellowship to establish the first tissue bank of Mediterranean marine animals, which provides a permanent repository and database of information important to management and conservation of these species. The database includes information about types and levels of chemical pollutants in animal tissues, can provide a baseline for future comparisons, and in the future could provide a source of genetic material to reintroduce into severely compromised populations. The tissue bank contains samples from Mediterranean monk seals, bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, and common dolphins as well as loggerhead turtles and some non-Mediterranean species. The tissue samples can be used as cost-effective diagnostic tools for the management of stressed and endangered marine populations. Aguilar’s research resulted in the development of bio/geo-chemical tools to assess long-term changes in the environment, an assessment of the impact chemical pollutants have on marine vertebrates, and the reconstruction of the historical large whale populations that were subject to exploitation.
To learn more about Aguilar, visit his bio online: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alex_Aguilar.