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Josè Luis Rubio

Josè Luis Rubio

Center for Research on Desertification-CODE

Vice Chair
European Soil Bureau Network-JRC,EC


Josè Luis Rubio, one of the founders of the European Society for Soil Conservation ESSC), has been its president from 1998 to 2011. He began his scientific career at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA, Valencia) under the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), studying the dynamics of nutrients in the soils. After his doctorate degree he was awarded with a postdoctoral scholarship from the World Bank for further studies in the USA on the use of stable nitrogen isotopes (N15) in the soil plant systems. He was the Spanish representative at one of the first environmental committee of the European Union: Steering Group on Soil Erosion and Conservation (1984), introducing at European and Spanish level early studies and evaluations on the issue of risk of desertification. He was the scientific advisor of the Spanish Delegation in preparing the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and one of the main actors and writers of the Annex to the Convention which deals with the problems of desertification in Mediterranean Europe (1993-1995). He won the Award Jaime I of the Environmental Protection (1996); he was the founder and first director of the Center for Research on Desertification-CIDE (1996) and also the first Project Leader at the European Topic Center on Soil of the European Environment Agency EU (1996-1998). At present he is the Chief of the Department of Soil Degradation and Soil Conservation at CIDE. He has been the director of Environmental Observatory of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia and is the Secretary of the Experts Committee of the Prince Felipe Museum of Science in Valencia. In 2003 he received the Gold Medal of the Polish Academy of Soil Science. The council of the European Society for Soil Conservation, at its meeting held in Thessaloniki (Greece) during the 6th ESSC International Congress (May,2011), conferred on Prof. Dr. Josè Luis Rubio the “Gerold Richter award 2011” for his successful career of scientific contribution to soil conservation and to increased social awareness of soil degradation problems. At present he is the Chief of the Department of Soil Degradation and Soil Conservation at CIDE and Vice-Chair of the European Soil Bureau Network – ESBN JRC, European Commission).


José L. Rubio has been involved in many scientific and applied activities of land restoration and conservation including the study, evaluation and implementation of soil conservation measures in different dry lands of the world. His scientific activity was directed towards environmental topics studying various aspects of Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems. He was a pioneer in Spain in subjects such as development of empirical models of water erosion, indicators development, restoration of degraded ecosystems, use of rainfall simulators, integrated mapping methodologies and study of the impact of forest fires.