Analysis of organic contaminants
Method development and application for the determination of persistent and emerging organic contaminants in different environmental matrices.
Miniaturized sample preparation techniques are used before the analysis by chromatography and mass spectrometry. The methods allow the determination of a high number of compounds in a single analysis in complex matrices and at very low levels.
Evaluation of the behavior, persistence and bioavailability of contaminants in the environment.
The tests are carried out under controlled conditions of temperature and moisture content to evaluate two of the main routes of soil contamination, by applying amendments containing the contaminants or by irrigation with recycled water.
Safe use of organic amendments: Moving towards a Circular Economy.
Evaluation of the influence of composting poultry manure with residues of three antibiotics (two fluoroquinolones and one tetracycline). After 4 months, these antibiotics were still present in the compost although at low levels. The presence of these compounds in the environment can be one of the causes of the development of antimicrobial resistance.
Synthesis of molecular imprinted polymers
One of the research lines of the group is focused on the synthesis of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and their use in sample preparation procedures such as solid phase extraction, solid phase microextraction or in magnetic solid phase extraction employing modified magnetic particles.
The high selectivity provided by MIPs allows an improvement in the extraction of contaminants in different environmental and food samples, facilitating their subsequent determination using chromatographic techniques.
On the other hand, a new research line has started aimed at the development of optical sensors based on the combination of "quantum dots" and MIPs, which will open the possibility of determining different contaminants in-situ without the need of transferring the samples to the laboratory, thus, reducing analysis costs considerably.
Improvement of beekeeping conditions
Our aim is to offer answers to the risk situations created by the residues of veterinary treatments used for the control of Varroa in the beekeeping sector.
The ultimate goal of this research line is to achieve welfare conditions for the colony using decontaminated wax and greater control in the management of veterinary treatments. We have considered practically all of the treatments authorized by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products for the control of Varroa.
The most outstanding activities to achieve the proposed objectives are:
Development of wax decontamination processes, preserving the chemical composition of wax that is decisive for the development of the colony.
Evaluation of the impact of conventional beekeeping practices conditioned by the use of recycled commercial wax.
Evaluation of the persistence and migration of residues of veterinary treatments in the wax-pollen-brood system and viability of the colonies of Apis mellifera iberiensis.
Determination of effects of treatments on breeding in ecological management and welfare evaluation.
Methodologies to monitor the functioning of plant covers in agroforestry ecosystems
Method development for the estimation of plant biophysical and biochemical traits using optical sensors for its application in the monitoring and prediction of the functioning of agroforestry ecosystems in semiarid environments. Among others, analytical methods are developed for the determination of foliar pigments, which allow to know the response of the photosynthetic system to stress factors and chemometric methods for the quantification of nutrients by FT-NIR spectroscopy.
The objectives of this line are achieved through an interdisciplinary work with different groups specialized in environmental remote sensing in the field of spectroradiometry and fluorescence.