Barcelona dedicates gardens to the ecologist Ramon Margalef

From now on, the Jardí d'Aclimatació, one of the city’s most interesting botanical sites, located in Parc de Montjuïc between the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium and the Piscines Bernat Picornell Municipal Sports Centre, is to be named after the ecologist Ramon Margalef i López (1919-2004). Margalef is one of Catalonia’s most important scientists and one of the key international figures of 20th-century ecology. His work stood out in the fields of limnology, oceanography and ecology, areas he had written hundreds of publications in.

18/03/2023 - 11:45 h - Environment and sustainability Mupert

A ceremony was held this morning, during which homage was paid and the gardens renamed, with the scientist’s family, several figures from the field of ecology and the Councillor for Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, Eloi Badia, taking part.

The Jardí d’Aclimatació, which now bears the name of Ramon Margalef i López, was created by Nicolau M. Rubió i Tudurí in 1930, just after the International Exposition of 1929. The first species planted there had been taken from the samples from the five continents used in the gardens surrounding the Exposition’s grounds. The precise aim behind these gardens was to discover the development potential of these plant species from around the world in Barcelona’s climate.

The father of ecology

Margalef was appointed to the first ever Chair of Ecology in the whole of Spain at the University of Barcelona in 1967. His teaching and research work at the UB educated an entire generation of ecologists, limnologists and oceanographers. He supervised some 40 doctoral theses between 1971 and 2001.

Dr Ramon Margalef was the recipient of several awards. He received the Huntsman Prize (regarded as the Nobel in oceanography) at its first edition and was also distinguished with the Naumann-Thienemann limnology medal and the Ramón y Cajal Prize. He received the St George’s Cross in 1997 and the Gold Medal from the Catalan government in 2003 for his research work. The Catalan government created the Ramon Margalef Ecology Prize in 2004. He was also awarded several honorary doctorates from Université Laval (Canada), the Université d’Aix-Marseille (France), the Universidad Nacional de Luján (Argentina), the Universitat d’Alacant and the Institut Químic de Sarrià.