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A warm tribute to the founding members of the IBE

A warm tribute to the founding members of the IBE

Last Wednesday, July 6, the auditorium of the CMIMA building hosted a tribute to the distinguished career of the founding members of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF): Dr. Xavier Bellés, CSIC researcher dedicated to the evolution of insects, and Dr. Jaume Bertranpetit, UPF researcher expert in the study of human populations. Bellés and Bertranpetit played an essential role in the creation of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE) in 2008, and 14 years later, their vision is consolidated and the IBE is established as a center of reference in the study of evolution and biodiversity in Europe.

29.09.2022

 

Last Wednesday, July 6, the auditorium of the CMIMA building hosted a tribute to the distinguished career of the founding members of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF): Dr. Xavier Bellés, CSIC researcher dedicated to the evolution of insects, and Dr. Jaume Bertranpetit, UPF researcher expert in the study of human populations. Bellés and Bertranpetit played an essential role in the creation of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE) in 2008, and 14 years later, their vision is consolidated and the IBE is established as a center of reference in the study of evolution and biodiversity in Europe.

Xavier Bellés has been in charge of the evolution of insect metamorphosis laboratory of the IBE until his retirement in july 2022. For his part, Jaume Bertranpetit has led the evolutionary systems biology laboratory over the last few 14 years, and his retirement comes in September 2022. Much-loved members of the Institute's community, they were joined by more than 70 people who attended the event to show their affection, including scientific collaborators, alumni, family and other colleagues.

The ceremony began with a few words from researcher Elena Bosch, deputy director of the IBE, who acted as master of ceremonies: "Each of us has shared with you several moments, which today we want to recognize and thank you, whether as comrades in battle, as mentors, as directors, as researchers, as teachers, as scientific collaborators, or in any other of the many facets that you have developed throughout your extensive professional career".

Bosch also thanked the founding partners on behalf of the management for the vision they had to create an Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, through an alliance between Pompeu Fabra University and the CSIC . What is more, he welcomed them in their new ties to the IBE: Xavier Bellés as Professor ad honorem of CSIC at the Institute, and Jaume Bertranpetit as Professor emeritus of UPF at IBE.

The event continued with the words of Bellés and Bertranpetit respectively, who shared with the audience a look at their long career. At the end, the researcher Salvador Carranza, current director of the IBE, took the podium to give the founding members some original old Japanese plates as a present.

The event concluded with the words of Carranza, who spoke to the attendees about the future of the IBE, which will soon crystallize in the construction of its own building intended for the study of evolution and biodiversity in the grounds of the old Fish Market. "The future headquarters of the IBE are already a fact", affirmed the director at the end. Afterwards, all attendees were invited to an appetizer, and a video was shown with personal images of both researchers.

Over the years, Xavier Bellés and Jaume Bertranpetit have inspired the Institute's community and have been a solid point of reference for excellence in science. Both will continue to belong to the IBE community, now in the role of Professor ad honorem and Professor emeritus respectively.

 

About Xavier Bellés

Research Professor at the CSIC, of ​​which he was Coordinator of the Natural Resources area from 2003 to 2008. In 2008, founder and first director of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE), joint center of the CSIC and Pompeu Fabra University. Entomologist, he has specialized in the study of insect hormones, their regulation and the role they play in important biological processes, like reproduction and development. He has supervised 22 PhD theses on these subjects. The last 15 years he has focused on the study of insect metamorphosis. One of the outcomes of this dedication is his book "Insect metamorphosis. From natural history to regulation of development and evolution”, published by Academic Press in 2020. He has published 10 other books and 382 research papers. In addition to this professional work, he has made contributions to the systematics of beetles (having described 32 genera and 89 species new to science), to the history of science, and to medieval history, with several contributions to the study of the Bestiary. He is firmly convinced of the importance of scientific outreach in Society.

 

About Jaume Bertranpetit

Professor of Biology at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona). Group leader in the Evolutionary Biology and Complex Systems Program in this University. Promoter and member of the Institute for Evolutionary Biology, IBE (UPF-CSIC). His research field is in different aspects on the study of the human genome variation and diversity: human population genetics, molecular evolution, comparative genomics and the interaction between human evolutionary biology and other fields, including medicine, genetic of complex diseases, statistical genetics and others. Recent publications are mainly on the footprint of natural selection in the human genome and the emerging field of Evolutionary Systems Biology, with the relationship of molecular networks and adaptation in genome-wide perspective. He has published over 350 research papers, most of them since his major dedication to genome studies (since 1992). Director of ICREA (Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats) till 2015.

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