Listen to me, please …


Department of Ecology, University of La Laguna

38071 La Laguna – Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

During the period from 1976-1980, I was teaching General Ecology to 5th year students of Biology at the University of La Laguna. In 1980 I suddenly had to take care of the family business and decide between my working post at the University and the ICONA (National Institute for Conservation of Nature). I opted for the latter.

In 1996 and 1999 I tried to go back to formal academic life without success. However, in 2000 I gained a post as Associate Professor and returned to teaching, this time to 2nd and 3rd year graduate students of tourism at the Faculty of Business Studies of the University of La Laguna. I covered two courses.

  • Ecology of the Canary Islands
  • Environment and Nature Conservation

Tourism development is the fundamental component of the economy of the Canary Islands, as well as the major cause of environmental problems. Therefore, I believe it is fundamental to introduce a basic ecological and environmental culture to the future professionals of tourism.

Unfortunately, in November 2008 I had to stop teaching and enjoying academic life because of my new commitments as Director of the Granadilla Environmental Observatory. I really miss the classrooms.


The Teaching Project I prepared for the competitive examination in 1999 at the University covered the strategic planning of ten courses related with theoretical and applied Ecology towards professional ecologist formation.

You can download the Project here and feel free to use it, hopefully with more success than me. All the exams were suspended and are still unresolved at Court. Not for me, but it is an embarrassing story for the University of La Laguna.


University Professor

After leaving the University in 1980 due to my professional commitments as conservation officer, I agreed to giving lessons or short courses whenever requested, either for seminars or specific master programs. I call that collateral teaching. It is a very rewarding experience for me, and in some cases, I repeated with the same institution several years, so I did not miss academic life so much.

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For theaching opportunities, my special gratitude goes to:

  • Universidad Carlos III (Madrid)
  • Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset (Madrid)
  • Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (Cuenca, Tenerife)
  • Centro de Capacitación y Experiencias Agrarias (Taco­ronte)
  • Universidad de Evora
  • Universidad de Lisboa
  • Colegio Oficial de Biólogos (La Laguna)
  • Coiba National Park Authority (Panamá)
  • IMPARQUES (Isla Margarita)
  • Agencia Española para la Cooperación Internacional (Vietnam)
  • Gerencia de Medio Ambiente de Valencia (Alcoy)

My lessons usually focus on conservation of nature, general ecology, planning, environmental law and other related aspects. I realised , for instance, that by explaining some basic ecology concepts to environmental law post-graduate students, they change their views full of cliches and environmental litanies. Architects would also benefit from learning some fundamentals of Ecology, but they escaped from my attempts. Obviously, if you want changes to happen, you need people properly trained to be able to implement change. Teaching and transmitting your experience is important.

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Organizing meetings of all kinds is a frequent activity both in strict academic life and in conservation or environmental affairs. Thus, I have been involved in coordinating and directing several short courses, seminars, workshops, symposia or large congresses, most of them related with conservation. My wife says that I am a born organizer, but I haven’t succeded in organizing  our kitchen pantry in a satisfactory way for her.

Events organized or chaired

2013 (Coordinator)
Taller de evaluación del estado de conservación de la tortuga boba en Canarias. Observatorio Ambiental Granadilla. Las Palmas, 10 enero 2013.

2005 (Chairman)
Workshop of the Ad-hoc Expert Group on Island Biodiversity. Convention of Biological Diversity. Puerto de La Cruz, 16-17 December 2005.

2000 (Coordinator)
Jornadas sobre restauración ecológica. Cabildo Insular de Tenerife. La Laguna 30 marco 2000.

1998 (Chairman)
A future for Europe’s nature and biodiversity. Nature Conservation in the 21st Century. 19 noviembre 1998
European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC), Tilburg.

1993 ( Chairman)
Strengthening the planning and management of Europe’s protected areas. Group III Action Plan for Protected Areas in Europe. UICN. Nyköping 6-12 junio 1993.

1993 (Course Coordinator)
Medio Ambiente y Ecología. In: Máster en Gestión Ambiental. Universidad de La Laguna, Consejería de Política Territorial. La Laguna 28-29 septiembre 1993 y Tafira 5-7 octubre 1993.

1991 (Coordinator & Relator)
La gestión de los espacios naturales protegidos. Colegio Oficial de Biólogos (COB) & European Community Biologist Association (ECBA). La Laguna, 9-11 mayo 1991.

1989 (Course Director)
Evaluación del impacto ecológico. Universidad Menéndez Pelayo. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 13-17 marzo 1989.

1987 (Course Director)
Aspectos jurídico-adminis­trativos de Parques Nacio­nales. Instituto de Estudios de Administración Local & ICONA. La Laguna, diciembre 1987.

1987 (General Coordinator)
Jornadas sobre política ambiental. Gabinete de la Presidencia del Gobierno. Trujillo, 16-19 Julio 1987.

1986 (Seminar Coordinator)
Lista roja de los vertebrados de España. ICONA. Toledo, 13-17 octubre 1986.

1985 (Seminar Secretary)
Conservación de la Naturaleza. La conservación de los hábitats naturales en Europa. La Directiva Hábitats. Uni­versidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo. Cuenca, septiembre 1985.

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Attending workshops, symposia or congresses is also a common practice in one`s professional life. Sometimes you participate giving a presentation, with a poster or with a written contribution; however, you always go to listen, share opinions, and learn from your peers. Internet has changed much the scenario of information exchange, but international meetings are still a heatly activity fostered by direct contact with colleagues. Furthermore, if you want to keep on track in your field, you have to attend all kinds of symposia. Attached is a list of the venues I have attended and those at which I have contributed, are marked with an asterisk.

Open list

2015 – XI Foro internacional de Conservación de la Naturaleza (Málaga, España)

2013 – ESRI OceanGis Forum 2013 (Redlands, California)*

2013 – Elsevier Editors Conference (Praga, República Checa)

2012 – V Jornadas entomológicas del CURCI Institute (Chipre)

2012 – 6th World Conservation Congress (Jeju, Corea del Norte)

2009 – I Workshop de estrategias para la conservación y planificación de los recursos marinos de Canarias (La Palma, España)

2010 – IMDIS 2010 – International Conference on Marine Data and Information Systems (París, Francia)

2009 – GSDI 11 World Conference & 3rd INSPIRE Conference (Rotterdam, Holanda)

2009 – 5th World Conservation Congress (Barcelona, España)

2008 – Jornadas Técnicas Gestâo e Conservaçao da Biodiversidade da Macaronesia (Terceira, Azores)**

2008 – Conferencia europea sobre especies exóticas invasoras (Madrid, España)*

2006 – Congreso Técnico de Conservación de Fauna y Flora Silvestres (Cabo Formentor, Baleares)*

2005 – V Conferencia Atlántica del Medio Ambiente (Fuerteventura, España)*

2005 – The World Conference on Ecological Restoration (Zaragoza, España)*

2004 – XI Congreso Ibérico de Entomología (Funchal, Madeira)*

2004 – Elsevier Editors Meeting (Palma de Mallorca, España)

2004 – 3rd World Conservation Congress (Bangkok, Thailandia)

2003 – Public-private partnerships for Europe’s Biodiversity (Tilburg, Holanda)

2001 – First Regional Validation Workshop Fauna Europea: Macaronesia (Funchal, Madeira)

2001 – Esparc 2001 (Avila, España)

2000 – Congreso Internacional del Medio Ambiente (Andorra)*

2000 – 2nd World Conservation Congress (Amman, Jordania)

1999 – IV Convegno Nazionale dei Bioloi della Selvaginna (Bolonia, Italia)*

1999 – European Conference on Globalisation, Ecology and Economy – Bridging Worlds (Tilburg, Holanda)

1997- Workshop on drafting and implementing action plans for threatened fauna species(Navarra, España)*

1996 – 1st World Conservation Congress (Montreal, Canadá)

1994 – Foro Mundial de la Conservación (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

1993 -Taller sobre Biodiversidad en Iberoamérica (Mérida (Venezuela)*

1992- Jornadas sobre Protección de Espacios Naturales (Donostia, España)*

1992- International Symposium of Biospeology (Puerto de la Cruz, España)*

1992 – IV Congreso Mundial de Parques Nacionales y Áreas Protegidas (Caracas, Venezuela)*

1992 – 2nd International Symposium of Carabidology (Louvain La Neuve, Bélgica)*

1991 – Seminario internacional sobre montañas tropicales (Popayán, Colombia)*

1990 – Foro de la Naturaleza (Perth, Australia)

1989 – Meeting on Canarian Volcanism (Lanzarote)*

1989 – Conferencia Mundial sobre Desarrollo del Turismo y el Medio Ambiente (Tenerife, España)*

1988 – V Jornadas Técnicas Medioambientales (Tenerife, España)*

1988 – Coloquio Hispano-francés sobre Espacios Naturales (Madrid, España)*

1988 – 1ª Jornadas Atlânticas de Protecçao do Meio Ambiente (Terceira, Portugal)*

1987 – 3rd International Conference on Environmental Future, Maintenance of the Biosphere (Edinburgh, United Kingdom)*

1986 – Congreso de Cultura Canaria (Tenerife, España)*

1984 – Umweltzentren und Schulen (Laufen, Alemania)*

1984 – Herpetologia Canariensis Simposium (Bonn, Alemania)****

1983 – Jornadas sobre el suelo no urbanizable en Canarias (Tenerife, España)*

1983 – International Symposium on Environmental Impact Assesment (Hannia, Creta)

1982 – II Jornadas Internacionales de la Sociedad Por­tuguesa de Entomolo­gía (Madeira, Portugal)*

1981 -IV Jornadas de la Asociación Española de Entomología (Tenerife, España)***

1980 – III Jornadas de la Asociación Española de Entomología (Pamplona, España)*

1977 – First International Workshop on Management of Wildlife in Arid Ecosystems (El Cairo, Egypt)*

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If you are really interested in you career, formation will never end. In fact, there are more possibilities to improve your knowledge and skills that you can cope with. The offer of interesting seminars and training courses grows drastically, as your available time reduces almost in the same way. However, I was able to expand my formation at least during the first years of my career. Thereafter, I had to conform with reading books and listening at symposia and congresses.

Courses and seminars I have attended

2011 – Adaptation of the National Accounting Plan to foundations.

2005 – Theory and practice of Zoological Nomenclature.

1997 – The theory of evolution in the light of present knowledge.

1995 – Field work and statistics in Plant Ecology.

1993 – Cladistic inference using analysis of character compatibility.

1992 – The conservation of natural habitats in Europe.

1992 – Scientific illustration.

1992 – Strategic scenarios for the economy of the Canary Islands.

1991 – The praxis of protected areas planning.

1990 – The legal protection of the environment.

1990 – Soil erosion in island environments.

1988 – Time Manager International.

1988 – Ecological impact assessment.

1984 – Vulcanism: origin, processes and volcanic products.

1982 – Planning and management of protected areas.

1980 – International seminar on national parks and equivalent reserves

1980 – Land use planning and environment.

1980 – Environmental impact assessment.

1977 – Interpretation management

1977 – Soils formed from volcanic materials

1976 – The administrative reform of the environment

1976 – Canarian Entomology

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