Dr. Aurora Torres is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and Michigan State University (USA). Her research interests lie at the interface of ecology, conservation, and sustainability with a truly trans-disciplinary character. She combines the study of onsite and offsite impacts of urbanization and infrastructure development on human-environmental systems.
She developed her PhD in Ecology at Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (Spanish Research Council; MNCN-CSIC). During her PhD, she studied the impacts of intensive land-uses – including, infrastructure development and urban sprawl – on landscapes at multiple scales. After her PhD she became a postdoctoral researcher at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv-MLU) where she worked on a science-policy project that focused on strengthening the EU ecological restoration agenda with a perspective of rewilding to create a coherent ecological network in Europe.
In 2017, she published an article in Science that highlights how the overexploitation of sand supplies is damaging the environment, endangering communities, and promoting violent conflict including sand mafias. At present, she coordinates the SANDLINKS project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/846474), which aims to integrate, test, and quantify the main linkages between construction minerals use, economic activity, environmental pressures, and social outcomes. She applies a systems integration approach to address these issues systematically and to integrate research from diverse geographic locations and disciplines.