Dr. Héctor Miguel Conesa Alcaraz

Researcher, Associate Professor
Email
hector.conesa@upct.es
Education
PhD Agricultural Engineer
Former Position

 

-February 1st, 2016 - May 2nd, 2016: Associate Professor in Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica at the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (Spain)

-February 1st, 2011 - January 31st, 2016: Researcher of the Ramón y Cajal tenure track program in Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica at the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (Spain)

-June 16th, 2010 - January 31st, 2011: Postdoctoral Researcher of the Programa JAE-DOC in Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS) de Murcia - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) (Spain)

- January 15th, 2009- June 15th, 2010: Postdoctoral Researcher in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems del Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH Zürich) (Switzerland).

- October 8th, 2007 - October 10th, 2008: Responsible for Quality Assurance in the Soil Management and Decontamination Group for implementing ISO/IEC 17020 Standard. Engineer in Evaluation of Soil Contamination and its Remediation Befesa Gestión de Residuos Industriales, S.L.(Abengoa) Seville (Spain).

- January 1st, 2006 - September 30th, 2007: Postdoctoral Researcher of Seneca Postdoctoral Progran in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems del Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH Zürich) (Switzerland).

- September 28th, 2005 - December 31st 2005: Invited Postdoctoral Guest in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems del Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH Zürich) (Switzerland)

- December 3rd, 2003 - September 20th, 2005: PhD researcher of the Seneca Program in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology de Swiss Federal Institute of Technology de Zurich (ETH Zürich) (Switzerland).

- October 15th, 2001 - December 2nd, 2003: PhD researcher of the Seneca Program in the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica of the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (Spain).

Codes and Identifiers

 

Research-ID: A-3481-2009

Código ORCID: 0000-0003-0747-3401

Scopus Author ID: 6506048434

Key Words
Phytomanagement, soil contamination, stable isotopes,
Overview of Scientific Production

 

- PhD Thesis supervised: 2  + 1 (on-going)

- JCR articles: 49

- Total Citations: 862

- Citations per year: 71.83

-  Q1 articles: 34 over 49

-  h index: 17

Research Subjects

 

My research lines are wide and cover all the aspects of soil use and restoration, from macroscale (urban planning, legal aspects, socioeconomic aspects) to microscale (interaction roots-nutrients, soil geochemistry). I have researched about geochemical aspects of heavy metal polluted soils in mining areas and agricultural soils affected by external contamination. It includes edaphologic properties with influence in soil fertility but also other properties related to solubility and mobility of pollutants and/or nutrients. All these elements allow to establish a strong base in order to select the most suitable use for the soil or, the best methodology to perform the soil revegetation. I have studied the behaviour of plant communities in polluted soils. These studies include the capabilities of metal uptake and the description of the seasonal dynamics. These aspects, which have not been traditionally included in studies of metal tolerant plant species, are quite important in order to establish the most suitable revegetation programs in polluted soils.I have also evaluated different techniques employed in determining nutrients availability: methodologies which use a single reactive in a single step (e.g. EDTA, DTPA, sodium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, water); methods which use various reagents in different steps (e.g. method of seven steps by Zeien and Brümmer); use of binding gels DGT (Diffussive Gradient in Thin Films). The comparison among all these techniques has provided me a better point of view in order to give suitable interpretations for nutrient availability studies. As a novel technique, I have applied new techniques of neutron radiography to study in situ the patterns of growth of plant roots in heterogeneously polluted soils. These aspects are important to determinate the plant mechanisms which have influence in metal tolerance. The performing of these techniques includes the use of imaging process software and other applications to generate models. This research line is very interesting for agriculture since it is possible to model the water uptake through an in situ monitoring of roots. In addition, some standards of root growing, specific for each plant species, can be generated for soils with heterogeneously characteristics (density, porosity, etc.).

I research currently on the phytomanagement of metal(loid) polluted sites on semiarid areas as an effective tool to avoid soil erosion and thus the spread of pollutants via wind or run-off water. In order to achieve the establishment of a suitable vegetation cover, these techniques must involve a complete understanding of different abiotic (topography, climate, edaphic properties, economic resources) and biotic (locally adapted plant species, plant stress factors) parameters. This integrated approach to the revegetation of polluted areas has been recently incorportated into phytoremediation schemes and, defined as phytomanagement, is being successfully applied in the restoration of metal- polluted sites around the world. In the case of the semiarid areas affected by mining activities in South Spain, many limiting factors for plant growth such as drought, low soil fertility, low organic matter content, salinity, extreme pHs and phytotoxic soil metal concentrations make difficult the selection of suitable plant species and the establishment of stable and selfsustaining plant communities. Numerous scientific studies have revealed the great potential that the study of native metal tolerant plant species may hold to carry out low cost restoration projects and to improve fundamental research in plant resistance-tolerance mechanisms to phytotoxic stresses. The main goal of my current research line is to characterize soil-water-plant relationships in plant species potentially useful for revegetation of semiarid mining areas, focusing on the physiological aspects of the combined stress caused by diverse growth-limiting factors (water, nutrients, metals, salinity) and their spatial variability.

Recent Publications

- Martínez-Oró, D., Párraga-Aguado, I., Querejeta, J.I., Conesa, H.M. 2017. Importance of intra- and interspecific plant interactions for the phytomanagement of semiarid mine tailings using the tree species Pinus halepensis. Chemosphere. 186:405-413

- Párraga-Aguado, I., Alcoba-Gómez, P., Conesa, H.M. In Press. Suitability of a municipal solid waste as organic amendment for agricultural and metal(loid)-contaminated soils: effects on soil properties, plant growth and metal(loid)s allocation in Zea mays L. Journal of Soils and Sediments. DOI: 10.1007/s11368-017-1699-z

- Tercero, M.C., Álvarez-Rogel, J., Conesa, H.M., Párraga-Aguado, I., González-Alcaraz, M.N. 2017. Phosphorus retention and fractionation in an eutrophic wetland: A one-year mesocosms experiment under fluctuating flooding conditions. Journal of Environmental Management. 190:197-207.

- Parraga-Aguado, I., Álvarez-Rogel, J., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Conesa, H.M. 2017. Metal mobility assessment for the application of an urban organic waste amendment in two degraded semiarid soils. Journal of Geochemical Exploration. 173:92-98

- López-Orenes, A., Bueso, M.C., Conesa, H.M., Calderón, A.A., Ferrer, M.A. 2017. Seasonal changes in antioxidative/oxidative profile of mining and non-mining populations of Syrian beancaper as determined by soil conditions. Science of the Total Environment. 575:437-447.

- Álvarez-Rogel, J., Tercero, M.C., Arce, M.I., Delgado, M.J., Conesa, H.M., González-Alcaraz, M.N. 2016. Nitrate removal and potential soil N2O emissions in eutrophic salt marshes with and without Phragmites australis. Geoderma. 282:49-58.

- Parraga-Aguado, I., López-Orenes, A., Ferrer-Ayala, M.A, González-Alcaraz, M.N., Conesa, H.M. 2016. Evaluation of the environmental plasticity in the xerohalophyte Zygophyllum fabago L. for the phytomanagement of mine tailings in semiarid areas. Chemosphere. 161: 259-265.

- Tercero, M.C., Álvarez-Rogel, J., Conesa, H.M., Ferrer, M.A., Calderón, A.A., López-Orenes, A., González-Alcaraz, M.N. 2015.  Response of biogeochemical processes of the water-soil-plant system to experimental flooding-drying conditions in a eutrophic wetland: the role of Phragmites australis.. Plant and Soil. 396:109-125

- Parraga-Aguado, I., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Schulin, R., Conesa, H.M. 2015. The potential use of Piptatherum miliaceum for the phytomanagement of mine tailings in semiarid areas: role of soil fertility and plant competition. Journal of Environmental Management.158:74-84.

- Hockmann, K., Tandy, S., Lenz, M., Reiser, R., Conesa H.M., Keller, M., Studer, B., Schulin, R. 2015. Antimony retention and release from drained and waterlogged shooting range soil under field conditions. Chemosphere. 134:536-543

- González-Alcaraz, M.N., Aránega, B., Conesa H.M., Delgado, M.J., Álvarez-Rogel, J. 2015. Contribution of soil properties to the assessment of a seawater irrigation programme as a management strategy for abandoned solar saltworks. Catena. 126:189-200

- González-Alcaraz, M.N., Aránega, B., Tercero, M.C., Conesa H.M., Álvarez-Rogel, J. 2014 Irrigation with seawater as a strategy for the environmental management of abandoned solar saltworks: a case-study in SE Spain based on soil-vegetation relationships. Ecological Engineering. 71: 677-689

- Párraga-Aguado, I., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Álvarez-Rogel, J., Conesa, H.M. 2014. Assessment of the employment of halophyte plant species for the phytomanagement of mine tailings in semiarid areas. Ecological Engineering. 71:598-604

- Conesa, H.M.,  María-Cervantes, A., Álvarez-Rogel, J., González-Alcaraz, M.N. 2014. Role of rhizosphere and soil properties for the phytomanagment of a salt marsh polluted by mining wastes. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. 11:1353–1364

- Párraga-Aguado, I., Querejeta, J.I., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J., Conesa, H.M. 2014. Usefulness of pioneer vegetation for the phytomanagement of metal(loid)s enriched tailings: grasses vs. shrubs vs. trees. Journal of Environmental Management. 133:51-58

- Párraga-Aguado, I., Querejeta, J.I., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J., Conesa, H.M. 2014. Elemental and stable isotope composition of Pinus halepensis foliage along a metal(loid) polluted gradient: implications for phytomanagement of mine tailings in semiarid areas. Plant and Soil. 379: 93-107.

-  Párraga-Aguado, I., Querejeta, J.I., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Conesa, H.M. 2014. Metal(loid) allocation and nutrient retranslocation in Pinus halepensis trees growing on semiarid mine tailings. Science of the Total Environment. 485-486:406-414 

- González-Alcaraz, M.N., Conesa, H.M., Álvarez-Rogel, J. 2013. Nitrate removal from eutrophic wetlands polluted by metal mine wastes: effects of liminst and plant growth. Journal of Environemntal Management. 128:964-972 

- Párraga-Aguado, I., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Álvarez-Rogel, J., Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J., Conesa, H.M. 2013 Assessment of metal(loid)s availability and their uptake by Pinus halepensis in a Mediterranean forest impacted by abandoned tailings. Ecological Engineering. 58:84-90

- Párraga-Aguado, I., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Álvarez-Rogel, J., Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J., Conesa, H.M. 2013. The importance of edaphic niches and pioneer plant species succession for the phytomanagement of mine tailings. Environmental Pollution. 176:134-143.

- González-Alcaraz, M.N., Conesa, H.M., Álvarez-Rogel, J.  2013.  When liming and revegetation contribute to the mobilisation of metals: learning lessons for the phytomanagement of metal-polluted wetlands. Journal of Environmental Management. 116:72-80

- González-Alcaraz, M.N., Conesa, H.M., Álvarez-Rogel, J. 2013. Phytomanagement of strongly acidic, saline eutrophic wetlands polluted by mine wastes: the influence of liming and Sarcocornia fruticosa on metals mobility. Chemosphere. 90:2512-2519

- González-Alcaraz, M.N., Álvarez-Rogel, J., María-Cervantes, A., Egea, C., Conesa, H.M. 2012. Evolution and phosphorus fractionation in saline Spolic Technosols flooded with eutrophic water: the role of plant rhizosphere. Journal of Soils and Sediments.12:1316-1326

- Evangelou, M.W.H., Conesa, H.M., Robinson, B.H., Schulin, R. 2012. Biomass production on Trace Element-Contaminated land: a review. Environmental Engineering Science. 29:1-17

- Conesa, H.M., Wieser, M., Studer, B., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Schulin, R. 2012. A critical assessment of soil amendments (slaked lime/acidic fertilizer) for the phytomanagement of moderately contaminated shooting range soils. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 12:565-575

- Conesa, H.M., Evangelou, M.W., Robinson, B.H., Schulin, R. 2012. A critical view of current state of phytotechnologies: still a promising tool. TheScientificWorldJournal. doi:10.1100/2012/173829 

- Conesa, H.M., María-Cervantes, A., Álvarez-Rogel, J., González-Alcaraz, M.N. 2011. Influence of soil properties on trace element availability and plant accumulation in a Mediterranean salt marsh polluted by mining wastes: implications for phytomenegement. Science of the Total Environment. 409:4470-4479

- María-Cervantes, A., Conesa, H.M., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Álvarez-Rogel, J. 2011. Mobilisation of AS and trace metals in saline, acidic Sopolic Technosols: the role of the rhizosphere and flooding conditions. Journal of Soils and Sediments.11: 800-814

- Gonzalez-Alcaraz, M.N., Conesa, H.M., Tercero, M.C., Schulin, R., Álvarez-Rogel, J., Egea, C. 2011. The combined used of liming and Sarcocornia fruticosa development for phytomanagement of salt marsh soils polluted by mine wastes. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 186: 805-813

- Conesa, H.M., Wieser, M., Studer, B., Schulin, R. 2011. Effects of vegetation and fertilizer on metal and Sb plant uptake in a calcareous shooting range soil. Ecological Engineering. 37: 654-658

- Conesa, H.M., Faz, Á. 2011. Metal uptake by spontaneous vegetation in acidic mine tailings from a semiarid area in South Spain: implications for revegetation and land management. Water, Air and Soil pollution. 215: 221-227

- María-Cervantes, A., Conesa, H.M., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Álvarez-Rogel, J. 2010. Rhizosphere and flooding regime as key factors for the mobilisation of arsenic and potentitally harmful metals in basic, mining polluted salt marsh soils. Applied Geochemistry. 25: 1722-1733

- Conesa, H.M., Wieser, M., Gasser, M., Hockmann, K., Evangelou, M.W.H., Studer, B., Schulin, R. 2010 Effects of three amendments on extractability and fractionation of Pb, Cu, Ni and Sb in two shooting range soils Journal of Hazardous Materials. 181: 845-850  

- Conesa, H.M., Schulin, R. 2010 . The Cartagena-La Unión mining district (SE Spain): a review of environmental problems and emerging phytoremediation solutions after fifteen years research. Journal of Environmental Monitoring. 12: 1225-1233

- Conesa, H.M., Schulin, R., Nowack, B. 2010. Suitability of using DGT (Diffusive Gradient in Thin Films) to study metal availability in mine tailings. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 17:657-664

- Conesa, H.M., Pérez-Chacón, J.A., Arnaldos, R., Moreno-Caselles, J., Faz, Á. 2010. In situ heavy metal accumulation in lettuce growing near a former mining waste disposal area: implications for agricultural management. Water, Air and Soil pollution. 208:377-383

Projects
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Contracts
This field is under construction in English version. Please change languaje to Spanish meanwhile. This will be finished soon.
Another Projects and Contracts

 

- Researcher in the Project of the Swiss National Foundation (SNF) "Antimony leaching from contaminated soil under different water regimes" Financiado por Swiss National Foundation. Amount: 191.598 CHF. ETH Zürich. PI: Prof. Dr. Rainer Schulin. From 2010 to 2013.

- Researcher in the Project of the  Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. "Strukturen und prozesse der initialen Ökosystementwicklung in einem künstlichen Wassereinzugsgebiet. Zeit-räumliche Entwicklung von Wunrzelwachsum, -abbau und exudation in der initialen Phase der Ökosystemgenese." Financiado por Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Amount: 141.100 €. PI: Prof. Dr. Rainer Schulin. From 2007 to 2010.

- Researcher in the Project of the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología "Fitorremediación de suelos contaminados por metales pesados mediante especies vegetales mediterráneas autóctonas: Aspectos fisiológicos y aplicación en zonas mineras del sureste español (REN2002-02952)" Financiado por MICINN. Amount: 41.500 €. Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena-Universidad de Murcia. PI: Dr. Antonio Asensio Calderón García. From 2003 to 2005.

Activities in Foreign Centers

1- Invited Researcher, 3 weeks during August 2014 at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Swiss Federal institute of Technology de Zürich (ETH Zürich) (Switzerland). 

2- Postdoctoral Researcher, 17 months from January 2009 to June 2010 in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems del Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH Zürich) (Switzerland).

3- Postdoctoral Fellowship, 21 months from January 2006 to September 2007 Postdoctoral Researcher of Seneca Postdoctoral Progran in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems del Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH Zürich) (Switzerland).

4- Invited Postdoctoral Guest, 3 months from October 2005 to December 2005 in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems del Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH Zürich) (Switzerland)

5- PhD Fellowship, 22 months from December 2003 to September 2005 PhD Researcher of the Seneca Program in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology de Swiss Federal Institute of Technology de Zurich (ETH Zürich) (Switzerland).

Congresses and Workshops

 

I have participated in more than 40 communications in Congresses and workshops. The following are selected contributions:

- Conesa, H.M. 2016.  La importancia de los nichos edáficos y los aspectos ecofisiológicos para la sostenibilidad en el fitomanejo de residuos mineros. Nuevas perspectivas para la restauración ecológica de balsas mineras en ambientes semiáridos Cartagena, España, 17 de noviembre de 2016

- Conesa, H.M. 2016.  La importancia de los nichos edáficos y los aspectos ecofisiológicos para la sostenibilidad en el fitomanejo de residuos mineros. SIMPOSIO LIFE 2016. Madrid, España. 15 al 16 de junio de 2016

- Conesa, H.M., González Alcaraz, M.N., Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J., Tercero Gómez, M.C., Párraga Aguado, I. 2015. How does metal(loid) pollution affect soil enzymatic activities at metal(loid) enriched mine tailings? The role of pioneer plant rhizospheres. CICTA 2015-10ºCongreso Ibérico y 7ªIberoamericano de Contaminación y Toxicología Ambiental. Vila Real, Portugal. 14 al 17 de Julio de 2015

- Conesa, H.M., Querejeta, J.I., López-Orenes, A., González-Alcaraz, M.N., Ferrer, M.A., Calderón, A.A., Párraga-Aguado, “The role of plant assemblage in the phytomanagement of mining impacted ecosystems “ Poster BIOGEOMON, 2014 Bayreuth, Alemania: 2014.

- Conesa, H.M., Alvarez-Rogel, J., Tercero-Gómez, M.C., Jimenez-Carceles, F.J., Gonzalez-Alcaraz, M.N.”Environmental gradients and colonization patterns of pioneer vegetation in mine tailings located at Southeast Spain” Poster Eurosoil 2012, Bari (Italia) 2012.

- Conesa, H.M., María-Cervantes, A., Álvarez-Rogel, J., González-Alcaraz, M.N. ”Influence of soil properties on metal bioavailability and plant distribution in a Mediterranean salt marsh polluted by mining wastes”poster SWS 2011Praga (República Checa) AÑO: 2011

-Conesa, H.M., Moradi, A., Nowack, B., Lehmann, E., Schulin, R. y Robinson, B. Possibilities and constraints of the phytostabilization of metal polluted mine tailings in the Cartagena-La Unión area, Southeast Spain. Comunicación oral 14th International Symposium on Environmental Pollution and its Impact on Life in the Mediterranean Region, Sevilla (España) AÑO: 2007

Parcipaction in media (TV, radio, newspapers)

Television

- Programa Héroes 7RM (Public channel of the Region of Murcia ) March 22nd, 2014.

Radio:

-"Vegetación para regenerar suelos" Program Microciencia March 13th, 2011 (Onda Regional de Murcia)

- "Beneficio de los suelos contaminados" Interview in Microciencia May 26th, 2011 (Onda Regional de Murcia)

- Interview in News Onda Regional de Murcia, June 22nd, 2011

- Interview in News Hora 14 Cadena SER-Cartagena Febfrueary 3rd, 2014

- Interview in La Mañana de COPE, "El Submarino de Peral", February 28th, 2014

- Interview in Hoy por Hoy Cadena SER-Cartagena September 1st, 2014

- Interview in News Onda Regional de Murcia, September 1st, 2014

- Interview in News Radio Nacional de España-Murcia, September 1st, 2014

- Interview in  Buenos Días, Murcia Onda Regional de Murcia, September 4th, 2014

Newspapers:

-"Regeneran suelos contaminados usando residuos del mármol" La Opinión de Murcia, June 23rd, 2011

-"Mármol para las plantas" La Verdad, June 23rd, 2011

- "Un "filtro verde" y residuos de mármol para fijar el suelo" EFE-Verde, June 28th, 2011

- "Viajar para traer a la Región la innovación mundial" La Verdad-Suplemento Ababol, December 24th, 2011

- "Los humedales son como depuradoras naturales" La Verdad-Suplemento Ababol, January 21st, 2012

- "UPCT y CEBAS estudian como recuperar la Sierra Minera" La Verdad, Febreuary 2nd, 2012

- "Sesión de científicos del CEBAS y la UPCT en Eurosoil 2012" La Verdad-Suplemento Ababol, February 4th, 2012

- "La UPCT participa en un simposio sobre recuperación de zonas mineras" La Opinión de Murcia, February 12th, 2012

- "De la Unión a Cartagena vía Zürich" La Verdad, May 19th, 2012

-"Una segunda vida para el suelo"- La Verdad-Suplemento Ababol, November 23rd, 2012

-"Descontaminado suelos…" Boletín INFO UPCT, Primera quincena, June 2013.

- "Expertos de la UPCT logran revegetar con sabina mora y pino residuos mineros” La Verdad, Febreuary 4th, 2014

- “La UPCT propone repoblar con pino y ciprés depósitos mineros” La Opinion de Murcia, February 4th, 2014

- "Un investigador de la Politécnica imparte un seminario sobre residuos mineros en Zurich", La Opinión de Cartagena, September 1st, 2014

Summary of Teaching Activities

Teaching in Master and Degree in subjects related to Agricutlural Cehmistry, Soil Management and Contamination