About this blog
Being myself a researcher by nature and by training (Ph.D.), I believe that it is important to keep active digesting information from different sources and points of view in order to have a well-informed criteria, to keep updated and all time ready for the next challenge. In this blog I want to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public, making them available throughout my posts in an informal format. In that way I try to address those topics which I am familiar with thanks to my career as researcher in environmental related matters.
The fields of knowledge that I am familiar with thanks to my education (Bachelor in General Biology and Master in Environmental Sciences) and experience (Lead Researcher Ph.D. in Aerobiology and Scientific Coordinator) cover the following areas:
General Biology: Plant Biology, Biostatistics, Physical Chemistry, Geology, Biochemistry, Histology and cytology, Zoology, Cryptogams, Microbiology, Genetics, Plant physiology, Animal physiology and Phanerogams.
Master in Environmental Sciences: Ecology, Edafology, Phytopathology, Evolutionary Genetics, Physical Geography, Geobotany, Plant physiology II, Genetic improvement and Oceanography.
Lead scientist PhD in Aerobiology. Study of the “aerodynamic properties of pollen grains and sampling methods” addressing capabilities and limitations of particle sampling methodologies and airborne behaviour of pollen under several atmospheric conditions.
Lead scientist Marie Curie fellow. Study of the impact of climatic factors associated with urbanization levels over the life cycle of anemophilous plants and the load of allergenic pollen present in the atmosphere.
With this blog I also try to look for connections which might have not been fully addressed yet by already published studies with the hope of bringing something new into the common knowledge which, if it is not valuable in itself, at least might spark someone else’s mind.
So in this blog I try to share what I know by “Filling in” as well as I am trying to explore the questions worthy of being identified for “Finding out”. Many posts share both categories since I try to “fill in” relevant information which I believe justify the needs for “finding out”. Your participation is always welcome, either to “fill in” information or to “finding out” gaps which you might consider missing the required attention.
Matters of discussion on LinkedIn are limited of participation to LinkedIn members or even just members of groups so, in order to reach as much contributors as I possible can I will share my take on those discussions which I join in LinkedIn also in this blog in order to enhance participation aiming to “fill in” or to “find out” relevant gaps.
The information I share in my posts is what I consider most recent and/or relevant in the subject to make a point. The criteria that I apply to select this information is based on hours of research, critical thinking and a career in Biology, Environment and Aerobiological sciences. Being in constant search and contact with general and specific knowledge makes what it can be called “general thoughts on the subject”, in fact, the result of connecting dots from different sources.
The posts you see in this blog are not peer reviewed articles giving answers. They only try to be standing points built upon scientific knowledge and critical thinking aiming to promote knowledge exchange, healthy debate and to enhance the capabilities of networking.
“ Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people. ” Hugh C. Cameron
My profile foundations are set on Biological Sciences (5 years University degree being specialised in the last two years in Environmental Sciences, Spain) and Aerobiology (1 year as Lab. Technician in Spain, 4 years PhD student at NPARU-UK and German Weather Service and 1 year Post-Doc Marie Curie Fellow in Poznan-Poland). Also acting as Scientific speaker in several scientific events in England, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and Finland.
I am in a transition period looking for the next challenge to keep growing professionally. By making myself and my skills visible I am hoping to find a shared interest and common ground where I could become considered as an asset by possible Institutions, persons or groups to join efforts in achieving goals, perform research and share knowledge.
My career has been defined by a constant effort to develop the experience and skills required to answer specific needs of information throughout analysis and research. Beginning my research training as Lab Technician in Spain it was followed by a move to UK in order to carry out my Ph.D.. This project was aimed to assess potential sources of error monitoring atmospheric load and transport of pollen generated by GMO’s. The objective was to help create policies to be implemented in the control and management of GMO´s in the agricultural industry. In my following position as Marie Curie Post-Doc I moved to Poland where I performed research identifying the impact of climatic variations linked with urbanization rates over the atmospheric load of allergenic pollen.
Moving back to Spain my professional experience has also increased acting as Environmental Coordinator by implementing strategies designed to enhance the Corporate Social Responsibility adopted by an University. The strategies designed aimed to reduce the environmental impact generated in waste, energy and grounds management as well as to contribute with the design of the local Agenda21. Afterwards, I have joined a consultancy group incorporating my research skills in Market Research Studies for the international region conducting primary and secondary research.
In parallel with my professional growth I have carried out activities as independent researcher. This activity has allowed me gain experience by performing as “peer reviewer” for scientific journals evaluating the quality of scientific output generated by international researching groups; as “scientific consultant” elaborating reports on specific and general subjects and; as “scientific communicator” participating in scientific symposiums as well as generating informative material and support in the dissemination and promotion of projects addressed to the general public.
Every CV talks about all the good things that somebody has achieved. As a researcher there are few moments more awkward than being corrected at a public event and these do not show in a CV. However, by publishing openly and regularly my assessments at LinkedIn and my blog I have committed myself through the last 4 years to undertake a process of constant exposure to scrutiny and criticism.
I am at this moment in Spain (Ourense) with no affiliation attachments searching for new challenges, free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you want to share with me any information you might think appropriate, have any question or comment, please don´t hesitate in contact me at my email. d.fdezsevilla (at) gmail.com
Skills referenced by Journal’s Editors from my input performing as Peer Reviewer. As job seeker I believe that these skills represent assets worthy to be implemented in research activities on any department throughout my incorporation in a position. Journals and editor’s names on demand by personal request.
- Editor 1# “Dr. Diego Fernández-Sevilla, provides careful, insightful, analytical, and probing reviews. He pays attention to detail and has a deep grasp of the subject matter. As a result, authors are able to improve their paper greatly. The peer-review system helps maintain high standards. It is careful, critical reviews such as those of Dr, Fernández-Sevilla what has helped the journal rank 8th in the world of the 176 journals in its field.”
- Editor 2# “Dr. Diego Fdez-Sevilla has provided sincere and insightful comments, and showed his outstanding specialty in aerobiology. We highly appreciate his effort and contribution to the journal.”
- Editor 3# “People do not usually bother to go so deep as Dr. Diego Fernández-Sevilla does. And it is most valuable for the editorial board.”
- Editor 4# “Dr. Diego Fernández-Sevilla has proved to be a responsible reviewer helping with his comments to improve the article and keep the quality level of the journal.”
My profile is published at
- (Spanish) http://es.linkedin.com/in/diegofernandezsevilla
- (English) http://es.linkedin.com/in/diegofernandezsevilla/en
Marie Curie Alumni Association’s Blog:
- email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com
- Twitter: @SevillaDF
- Skype: quercusmagnus
This is an open-access blog under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
As an undergraduate student I never got satisfied by grades as a reward. It didn´t make sense to me since those did not resolve the “relevant” questions I had in my mind. I got frustrated because I wanted to understand those things that were affecting my life without relying just on “judgements evaluating my performance”. My surprise came when I started to do research, and my approach prioritising understanding over “rewards” not only matched with the required attitude to perform in research, but it also allowed me to achieve higher goals and expand my capacity to interact with similar mindsets. Finding people willing to engage sharing this type of passion, interested in my participation and my saying, is for me a kind of recognition, and the type of it which I value as a reward. I am curious and socially compromised with personal values. So, even though I am 41 in a transition period without a job in research, and I might have to change the path in my career in order to find any job, I am still trying to keep my career in research because, when in the right atmosphere, it combines all those values I treasure, passion for expanding the limits of our understanding, functionality improving our performance through our actions and camaraderie. Those values can be found also in other careers but research is one that I know it can offer them and suits me.
Learning efficiency and effectiveness is all about implementing whatever has been learnt. Either raw knowledge into previous patterns of thought or the process of generating new patterns of thought.
The final achievement would be to reach the implementation of new concepts into new patterns of thought incrementing the capacity to adopt different perspectives and to identify connections between seemly isolated concepts.
That would expand the capacity to identify scenarios, their complexity, the actions dependent on it, the potential for interaction and the capacity to change the outcome (or problem solving).
In simple words, what we learn become effective when it becomes useful because we get to implement it in our capacity to interact.
When I was a student at school and university, my teachers often said that even thought they saw intelligence in my capabilities I usually did not get good marks because my answers to the questions applied to evaluate my performance used to be considered “scattered” playing with too many concepts instead of focussing in an specific take giving “the answer” expected. 20 years later I see that, in part, my lack of focus in learning and replicating specific postures came from a frustration in the absence of integrating concepts from different disciplines in the learning process. In my college studies I chose Biology with the expectation of understanding the behaviour of the world surrounding me. That did not mean to learn to give names to things, processes and behaviours, but to become aware of how and why things happen in all forms of existence. That is what biology is for me. From and between planets to stars, trees and animals, water, air and land, at micro and macro scales, from thermodynamically driven to thought induced.
The process of identifying our world and its parts in scientific terms is directly related with the cognitive capabilities of the observer to become aware of its role interacting with it as an active element in the equation. So that involves understanding data and knowledge management as well as human behaviour and conceptual barriers in the learning process.
After having worked in academia as PhD and outside academia, in 2012 I found myself without a permanent job position (I am 41 at the present). The option to keep moving came with sporadic jobs in consultancy which, however, were becoming more sporadic in an economic recession. When I looked at my options to keep my career in the path of research I faced a reality slap. When I was working as a researcher I had so tight schedules that I didn´t focused my attention on publishing papers. So I found myself without articles which would make my CV competitive in selection processes related with performing research, but furthermore, since I was not part of a research institution, I could not increase my publications due to the restrictions in the academic system applied to have access to publish work (status and economic).
Under such scenario I decided to demonstrate my analytical skills and productive capabilities applying my own perspective and methodology building a line of research and body of knowledge, open for public review and scrutiny, published in the only way I had possible, a blog.
Then I had the question of choosing the line of thought over which I would base my publications.
As I pointed out in my previous answer to Peter’s comment, “for me, the answer to the original question of what is Learning efficiency and effectiveness, comes within those questions reached through the process. The questions which lead you to other questions and keep you evolving in your process of searching for knowledge and perspectives to digest this knowledge. The most rich learning process does not come from the knowledge selected by others for you to learn but by the pattern of thought inspired which make you ask the questions which lead you to such knowledge.
Like building a house, you need to know where the materials are going to be placed before you order them.
In today’s time knowledge has arrived in the form of “pills”, encapsulated conceptualizations of what is right and wrong to be known. But little attention is given to what are the questions in the heads of those we want to teach “knowledge”.
Accordingly, I titled my blog, “Filling in/Finding out, gaps of knowledge”.
Since 2013 I have been publishing my assessments over environmental issues focusing on addressing the implications from obviating the repercussions triggered by leaving unaddressed or unidentified, gaps of knowledge in specific topics. From those found on specific environmental issues to those found in assessing climatic alterations, from those found on methodological designs to those shaped on cultural cognition.
In order to enhance discussion and evaluate the value of my publications I actively shared them at LinkedIn trying to promote an open review through discussion over a multidisciplinary approach.
From the experience that I gathered over these years publishing my work and interacting at LinkedIn I agree with Peter on that there is a need for “a mixture of knowledge of the past and enough freedom in our syllabus for new thinking”.
One scenario which I have found is to reach conclusions through my work which were not previously addressed in peer review articles.
In 2014 I shared an assessment over mechanisms working in atmospheric dynamics which would be part of a shift in seasonality and energetic flows in the atmosphere. This situation led me to specifically ask for feedback over those assessments by email and at groups at linkedIn made of specific scientific profiles such as AGU and NOAA. The response I found from one eminent scientist in the field was that my assessments could not be verified by previous peer review articles. Apparently, that was enough to answer my petition for feedback. So she did not dispute the value of them but neither recognise it. But, moreover, the feedback from the members of AGU and NOAA at LInkedIN was silence. Simply silence. No criticism, neither agreement.
As I said in my previous comment in this thread, I can only interpret this behaviour as “In the absence of previous work which to be compared, most academics do not want to take the step of moving out from their comfortable zone.” In other words, to perpetuate the static pattern of thought learnt and projected at schools, universities, …
Since then I have kept extending the outcomes from my line of research and start to become familiar with the tools and opportunities offered by social media platforms. One of the tools available in a blog are the statistics generated from the location of the visits.
Looking at those statistics one new surprisingly disturbing situation has appeared.
I have continued publishing and sharing at linkedin and ResearcgGate my line of research over the next years. This year 2016, 2 years after the start of publishing my assessments, new peer review articles are appearing addressing the assessments which I pointed out in my publications, some of them, too closely related to be mere coincidence in time and topic. Even the authors are based on institutions which have appeared as visits to my blog. However, none of those publications share any attribution of acknowledgement over the source of the inspiration driving their publication and the previous related work found in my publications.
I am sure I might not be the only one in this situation, but in my case, it becomes very frustrating seeing that publishing my assessments instead of gaining the recognition which could potentially overcome my limitations in peer review publications is being opportunistically used by others whom have the privilege of enjoying whole lot of access to more resources than me.
The way how I see the present situation around learning and implementing knowledge in science or society, someone might have the capacity to analyse and unveil new insides on any topic, but the system is made for those with access to resources.
Like the perpetuation of historical events is driven by the winners of the battles, the perpetuation of knowledge and scientific thought is driven by those controlling the access to resources, data, labs, “recognised” media, money, time, …