Juan Fernández Gracia

Juan Fernández Gracia
Profile
As a kid I studied in the German School in Barcelona, where I first got a prize for my grades in physics. It consisted in a suscription for a year to the German Physical Society and gave me a push to learn more about physics. After that I studied a degree in Physics at the University of Barcelona. During the last year of the degree studies I received a scholarship from the spanish Ministry of Education Culture and Sports for collaborating with Dr. Bartomeu Fiol at the department of Fundamental Physics of the University of Barcelona, studying black hole solutions in hyperbolic spacetime as a Research assistant.  

I decided to shift the focus of my studies for my PhD toward a field that caught more my attention, namely Complex Systems. I received a scholarship from the Government of the Balearic Islands to do my masters in Physics and my PhD at the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems in Palma de Mallorca on opinion dynamics under the supervision of Prof. Maxi San Miguel and Dr. Víctor M. Eguíluz. During the PhD I did a 3 month visit to Harvard University under the supervision of Dr. Jukka-Pekka Onnela, where I learned about modeling of epidemics and was exposed to the research setting in the Boston area. I want to stress the work that we published in PRL (IF=8.462) after finishing my PhD, 'Is the Voter Model a Model for Voters?' (PRL 113, 089903 (2014)). This work implied learning about political science literature on electoral studies, analysing real world electoral data, designing a model that could reproduce statistical regularities of the data, applying analytical tools to describe the characteristics of the model and learning visualization techniques typical from GIS. 

After receiving my PhD I stayed in Mallorca for a 6 month postdoc at the Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA, UIB-CSIC), working on complex systems perspectives on marine animal movement ecology, which was the seed for 4 of the papers in my publication list, one of which is a review on human mobility which frames it in ecological theories. This review was published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution (IF=15.268) and another one of the studies was also recently published in PNAS (IF=9.661). My next postdoctoral position was at the department of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (2015-2017) under the supervision of Dr. Caroline Buckee and Dr. Jukka-Pekka Onnela. My scientific production wasn't particularly high during this period. 

After that postdoc I returned to IFISC with a postdoctoral contract through the project CAASE, which is an integral sensor project from KAUST University (Saudi Arabia) on the design, fabrication and deployment of sensors attached to marine animals and the analysis of the data that comes out of them. As a modeler I have been ever since designing analysis and modeling strategies for various kinds of sensor data that integrate not only movement but also environmental and physiological data. 

In the future I want to keep exploring the ecology of animal movement by adapting methodologies coming from human mobility and designing new ones. One challenge is to include interactions in the description of wild animal mobility, not only between individuals, but also between species, with the environment and with human activities. 

During my PhD I participated in many outreach activities, which I am happy to do again, as for example recently when I participated in Pint of Science.

Recent Publications

Joint effect of ageing and multilayer structure prevents ordering in the voter model

Artime, Oriol; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Ramasco, José J.; San Miguel, Maxi
Scientific Reports 7, 7166 (2017)

A quantitative assessment of Arctic shipping in 2010-2014

Eguíluz, VM; Fernández-Gracia, J; X Irigoien, X; Duarte, CM
Scientifc Reports 6, 30682 (2016)

Bayesian decision making in human collectives with binary choices

Eguíluz, V.M., Masuda, N.; Fernández-Gracia, J.
Plos One 10, e0121332 (2015)

Timing interactions in social simulations: The voter model

Fernández-Gracia, Juan; M. Eguíluz, Víctor; San Miguel, Maxi
Temporal networks (Edited by Holme, P. and Saramäki, J.), Springer, 331-352 (2013)

Dynamics of link states in complex networks: The case of a majority rule

Fernández-Gracia, J.; Castelló, X.; Eguíluz, V.M.; San Miguel , M.
Physical Review E 86, 066113 (1-8) (2012)

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