PhD Geological Sciences (1986/Complutense University of Madrid). Expert on Meteorites, Planetary Geology and Astrobiology. Several training and research stays in the Universities of Leeds (UK), Heidelberg (Alemania), Toronto (Canada) and California-San Diego (EEUU). Head of the CSIC’s Research Group of Meteorites and Planetary Geosciences, Director of the Lanzarote Geoscience Laboratory, Director of the Spanish Planetology and Astrobiology Network (REDESPA), Honorific Professor of the Dept. of Bioengineering and Aerospace Engineering (Carlos III University of Madrid), Associate Researcher of the Space Science Lab, Hong Kong University and Collaborator of the Planetary Habitability Lab, University of Puerto Rico, at Arecibo.
He was member of the Foundational Agreement of the “Centro de Astrobiología” (associated to the NASA Astrobiology Institute), where he was head of its Planetary Geology Lab and Director of its Planetology and Habitability Department. He is Member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Commission on Astrobiology, Science Team Member of the NASA-MSL (Curiosity), ESA-ExoMars and Mars2020 missions and the BIOMEX (ISS) project. He has led and participated in more than 40 research projects, stressing his participation in the NASA/SETI flight to study the Leonid Meteor Shower, his projects about meteorites, impacts and megacryometeors and his scientific campaigns in the Antarctica, Costa Rica, Iceland and Mauritania on planetary analogues. He has published 10 books (author/editor) and more than 200 articles (around 140 in SCI journals). His articles have made the cover of Nature Geoscience, Geology, Astrobiology, Icarus, Episodes, Spectroscopy Europe and Science (in this last one as science team member of NASA-MSL). He has supervised 14 PhD and TFG/Master theses and has given more than 250 talks in many countries. He was special guest (on planetary geology and astrobiology) of the prestigious Lecture Tour of the Austrian Mineralogical Association.
He has been Member of the CSIC Science Advisory Committee, Councillor of the European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA), Member of the UN/ECOSOC Natural Resources Committee, Member of the European Geoscience Union (EGU) Planetary Science Division, President of the IUGS-COGE, Spanish representative and Vice-Chair of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD), founding member of the Latin America Network on Astrobiology and the European Astrobiology Institute. He is instructor of ESA astronauts in the ESA-PANGAEA Course at the Lanzarote and Chinijo Islands Global UNESCO Geopark and he is also President of the International Association for Geoethics, IAGETH (affiliated to the IUGS and IUGG). He is Editorial Board Member of several scientific journals, Editor in Chief of the journal “Geosciences”, and co-editor of the Springer Book Series “Geo-Guide” and “Geoheritage, Geoparks and Geotourism”.
He realizes an intense public outreach activity in journals, newspapers, museums (e.g. MNCN, Museo de las Ciencias de Castilla-La Mancha, Lanzarote Casa de los Volcanes, Museo Elder), radio (scientific collaborator in “A Hombros de Gigantes”), TV, social networks, etc. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, among them, 2 NASA Group Achievement Awards, 5 ESA Team Achievement Awards, the Honour Plaque of the Spanish Association of Scientists, the Quantitative Habitability Award of the Science Academy of Cuba, the Award of the Arabian Geoscience Union and his recognition as Goodwill Ambassador of the Geological Society of Africa.