Rodrigo J.


Rodrigo J. Gonçalves is a researcher at Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (Argentina) and University of Granada (Spain). His infinite curiosity and a great childhood in Atlantic Patagonia led him into a never-ending learning path which included a PhD in Biology (2008, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Argentina) and research stay in several countries. His scientific interests are centered around plankton ecosystems using experimental, observational and modeling approaches. Rodrigo's ultimate research goals are 1) learn how aquatic ecosystems will respond to current and future anthropogenic forcing (ie by understanding how they function) and thus 2) make better-informed use (and preservation) of natural resources as common goods. 

In particular, Rodrigo studies the small-scale interactions in plankton, which ultimately have large effects on wider scales (regional, planetary). Small-scale biophysical interactions govern plankton grazing & growth in the water column (which in turn regulates fish stocks) and other special environments such as the surface microlayer of the oceans and lakes (which regulate gas exchange with the atmosphere). During his PhD thesis he studied how key zooplankton species were affected by solar ultraviolet radiation in the top layers of the water column (in the context of a reduction in ozone levels in the Southern Hemisphere). In successive studies, other global change factors such as temperature increase, plastic pollution and ocean acidification were included, in all cases with plankton organisms as central components of aquatic ecosystems. In Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (Denmark) and Göteborgs Universitet (Sweden) he studied zooplankton predation using digital high-speed videography and micro image particle velocimetry (micro PIV). Other methods include image analysis, machine learning (supervised and unsupervised) and a suite of data science tools and emergent technologies.

Rodrigo acts regularly as reviewer / evaluator (scientific journals, research projects, positions, etc.) and as member of Directive Board of his current and previous workplaces in Argentina. He is also part of the United Nation’s pool of experts for the World Ocean Assessment II in plankton.

Rodrigo highly values inclusive science and education as foundations for a better future; he believes in transparency and fairness, free and open source/hardware, community-based developments and science democratization.