More training and skills in animal research for me!

I, Javier, have successfully passed the course of animal experimentation for research purposes from the Facultad de Veterinaria of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (see link of the course and contents in English and Spanish).

This course is credited by FELASA, the Federation of Laboratory Animal Science Associations (see link here).

It provides essential training for the design and execution of procedures and research projects with animals as biological model. In addition, the course fulfills the requirements necessary for the functions of animal care and euthanasia.

I have specialized in small mammals which are central for the development of our research project.

In this regard, the payment of the course has been fully costed with the project funds so thanks to this I have increased my capacities and skills as a researcher in animal experimentation.

Thanks also to the professors for their effort. The course has been very interesting and I highly recommend it!


Infoday Actions Marie Sklodowska Curie, 19 juin à Besançon – Inscriptions

Les inscriptions pour la Journée d’information dédiée aux Actions Marie Sklodowska Curie (AMSC), qui aura lieu le lundi 19 juin 2017, sont ouvertes.
Au programme : une matinée consacrée aux informations générales avec des interventions des Points de Contact Nationaux (PCN) et des témoignages de porteurs de projets, et une après-midi “pratico-pratique” avec un atelier de rédaction ainsi que des entretiens individuels avec les PCNs pour ceux qui ont déjà un projet bien précis en cours de rédaction (sur inscription uniquement).

Vous trouverez le programme détaillé ci-joint. Merci de vous inscrire avant le jeudi 8 juin en suivant ce lien :

L’inscription est gratuite mais obligatoire. La réunion aura lieu à l’UFC, 16 route de Gray à Besançon. Attention : pour ceux qui souhaitent participer à l’atelier de montage l’après-midi, ils est indispensable que vous envoyiez vos projets en cours de rédaction à également pour le jeudi 8 juin afin qu’elle puisse les transmettre aux PCNs, qui pourront ainsi vous apporter des conseils très personnalisé durant les entretiens individuels.

Retrouvez plus d’informations sur les bourses Marie Curie sur

Some presentations with preliminary results

Here I attach my presentation at the SETAC Europe Congress in Brussels, which was organised two weeks ago.

SETAC Presentation


I presented this in the Track 2: Ecotoxicology becomes stress ecology (from populations to ecosystems and landscapes). Session: Wildlife ecotoxicology: cumulative effects through the food chain to the community

This huge congress was an excellent opportunity to meet professionals working in wildlife ecotoxicology topics as me. I got several questions related to the possibility of making a more complex model with other predator species, diseases, etc. Additionally, it was asked the possibility to validate the results with field data. For the small mustelids I attach here another presentation that I conducted during the EASYs conference at CEBC (Chizé, western France) with some preliminary results.


EASYs presentation


The attendants seemed very interested so I was very happy for the result after the presentation.

Additionally, while I was in Brussels, the European Commission had a day of open doors during the May, 6th. I could visit the building with a lot of different activities related to Science, Nature Conservation and Agriculture, etc. Just let you know that the European Commission manages the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions, in which our project is involved.


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If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask by the blog or by social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Researchgate, etc.). In addition, my email is

April 22nd, marching for the Earth and for Science

Virgile and I, Javier, joined this manifestation in Lyon, with Benjamin Dietre, Julien Maire and Petra Villette, colleagues from the Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement and the Université de Franche-Comté. We were around 400-600 people with different quotes and enthusiasm that wanted to defend science and the scientific method. This is something basic in order to understand nature and to find solutions of today’s major problems of our planet (for instance, biodiversity loss, climate change, etc.).




You can also find more information here, for this and the rest of marches organised in the same context in France

I also remind you that the call for the Individual Fellowships of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions of the European Commission is now open. These fellowships are an excellent opportunity to find answers and try to solve these problems stated above, by proposing new projects based on research excellence that also provide impact to society and industry and essential training for the new generation of researchers.

The link of these MSCA Fellowships from the European Commission regarding this call is here.

Population declines of small mustelids by rodenticide use

I think it may interest you this study:

Alterio, N. (1996). Secondary poisoning of stoats (Mustela erminea), feral ferrets (Mustela furo), and feral house cats (Felis catus) by the anticoagulant poison, brodifacoum. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 23(4), 331-338.

It seems that in New Zealand anticoagulant rodenticides affect the populations of small mustelids. In this country small mustelids were introduced and the control of their populations is necessary to reduce the impact of predators over native species, that have not evolved in the presence of mammalian carnivores. However the use of anticoagulant rodenticides is also applied in mainland Europe, where these predators are native species and also suffer the consequences of secondary poisoning.

Here I put you some pictures of the footprint tracking tunnels I use to monitor small mustelids, similarly as in this study.




Mission accomplished at the EASYs conference

It has been a very enriching experience. Virgile Baudrot and I (Javier) went from east to west of France, concretely to the CEBC of Chizé. This hidden research centre in the middle of a forest is thus in direct contact to nature, birds, and close to field crops. The conference was a nice gathering with many young researchers covering many interesting topics. My favourites: pollination and bees, citizen science and visits to gardens by birds, improved crop production all over the world, including developing countries.  Just fantastic!

We got several interesting questions for our talks (see previous post). In the small mustelid study, it was asked which factors regulate bromadiolone use in our study sites. We explained that bromadiolone is now regulated and can only be used at low-intermediate densities while during the early nineties it could be used at vole peak densities. We also explained that treatment frequency probably is also influenced by social factors. It is shocking that in some sites there is such uniformity of opinions by farmers in which all of them say “it is necessary to treat, there are too many voles and they produce too many damages”, while other farmers say ” Bromadiolone is not so effective and we don’t need to treat”. It was also suggested to continue the field work part of the small mustelid study with another year, so the results can be more robust in order to be published. This should be prioritized to other tasks.

About the modelling study presented by Virgile, he clarified that our model was based in simulations of population dynamics of 50 years. The voles showed six-year population cycles followed by small mustelid populations and with foxes in the system too but with no numerical response. From this simplified system, we introduced different scenarios of treatment to observe the outcomes in the population dynamics of voles and predators. Another question served to reinforce the finding that in some scenarios, once mustelid density achieves an intermediate density level, mustelids are able to regulate the vole population. Then, the farmer does not need to treat because vole densities are simply just too low.

During the congress Virgile and I also had some time to work in our future paper of modelling that we are already preparing.



And for the first evening each participant had to bring a typical meal from our region. We brought Comté cheese and this Spanish tortilla ;-P