Juan Fernández Gracia

Juan Fernández Gracia
  • Campus Universitat de les Illes Balears
    E-07122 Palma de Mallorca. Spain
  • Office S05
  • +34 971 25 95 18
  • Contact
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

Aggression-affiliation Motifs in Bottlenose Dolphins’ Social Networks

Perez Manrique, Ana (Advisors: Fernandez-Gracia, Juan; Ramasco, Jose J.)
Master Thesis (2020)

Bipartisanship Breakdown, Functional Networks, and Forensic Analysis in Spanish 2015 and 2016 National Elections

Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Lacasa, Lucas
Complexity 2018, 9684749 (1-23) (2018)

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)

Big data analyses reveal patterns and drivers of the movements of southern elephant seals

Rodríguez, Jorge P.; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Thums, Michele; Hindell, Mark A.; Sequeira, Ana M. M.; Meekan, Mark G.; Costa, Daniel P.; Guinet, Christophe; Harcourt, Robert G.; McMahon, Clive R.; Muelbert, Monica; Duarte, Carlos M.; Eguíluz, Víctor M.
Scientific Reports 7, 112 (2017)

Bayesian decision making in human collectives with binary choices

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

Ongoing Research projects


Impact of social distancing measures on the spreading of COVID-19 pandemics in Spain

P.I.: Jose Javier Ramasco
The project addressed the emergency call launched by the ISCIII and was selected for funding by CSIC. It incorporates three phases: (i) the description of mobility and the changes introduced by the ...

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