Cinco meses después de la última entrada vuelvo para confirmar que no he abandonado el blog. Lo que pasó es que todos mis esfuerzos de escritura de los últimos cinco meses han estado dedicados al ciclo del carbono, a sus dinámicas en el suelo de los bosques y a la modelización del carbono que se nos escapa de los suelos (tal vez algún día me anime a haceros un resumen en el blog sobre este abstracto tema). En definitiva, he dedicado todos mis esfuerzos a escribir la tesis.
Aún no he llegado al final de este largo viaje, pero el primer borrador ya está fuera de mis manos y esperando correcciones y a ser defendido próximamente. Lo importante es que ya ha dejado hueco en mi cabeza para recuperar el placer de escribir acerca de otros temas.
Pero hoy, para romper el hielo y como puente entre todo lo que me ha obsesionado en los últimos meses y los nuevos temas que vendrán, quiero dejar los agradecimientos de la tesis aquí, para quien quiera pasarse a leerlos. Porque los agradecimientos resumen muy bien la historia de mi vida durantes los cuatro años y medio de tesis.
Por primera vez en este blog, dejo un texto en inglés. Sorry!
This PhD started as a real adventure, with a simple Skype interview from Córdoba (Spain), a new project without proposal, a move to Antwerp, and three main supervisors from two different countries. If I am able to write these words now, it is just thanks to all the wise people that surrounded me and the endless interest and support I received on the way. I think this was not an easy travel, but it was a very exciting and satisfactory one. As I said, like a real adventure.
First of all, I want to thank Ivan. There are many reasons to do so, but I will highlight just one: your uncontrollable passion for science and your willingness to share it with your students. Entering your office was seeing the light! In this sense, I am also very grateful to Sebastiaan and Philippe for their numerous comments and continuous training of a new student that had no idea about modelling. Also, many thanks for offering me the opportunity to visit the LSCE (that is, Paris) so often. These numerous trips were one of the most exciting parts of my PhD.
Continuing with academic support (yes, luckily, I had a lot!), I am very grateful to Bertrand, Sara and Bert. You did a great job translating all the complex scientific facts that I could not understand to a very simple language for an inexperienced PhD student. And more importantly, you were there along this long way, supporting and trusting me. I honestly have to say that it was a pleasure working with you. Sara, I don’t know how to thank you for your effort to keep me motivated.
I also want to mention my gratitude to the numerous people I met during this 4.5 years that were willing to help: all the technicians, PhDs and post-docs from the LSCE. Also, the people involved in the ICP Forest network, for sharing their data, contributing to my studies and commenting the never-ending versions of my papers. Specially, thanks to Elisabeth and Peter that invited me to visit the WSL in Switzerland, which was another great stay during my PhD.
And then, there is PLECO, the best research group I could have ended up. Full of great and collaborative colleagues and the most hospitable to foreigners. No matter how the research was going, I was always happy to go every morning to the office! Special thanks to Reinhart, the core of the group. Thanks for your ability to keep such a healthy working atmosphere. Also to Nadine and Nele, for your administrative help. I could not mention all PLECO members here (believe me, there are a lot), but I would like to specially thank a few of them: Marilyn, Kim, Joke and Sophie for welcome me in room 15 at the very beginning, Gonzalo, Laura and Melanie during my whole PhD. I am very happy to have met you!
I finished my PhD from CREAF, Barcelona. And so I kept meeting great colleagues and scientists during the last year of this adventure. Thanks Josep for giving me the opportunity for this very long stay and welcome me in your group. Thanks Jordi for all your statistical support (for me, the first time I could discuss statistics in Spanish, which makes life much easier!). And, in general, to all CREAFers. Really, how is that possible that I worked in the best and most enjoyable research groups?
But not all is work in life. I managed to finish this PhD thanks to all the happy time I had during these 4.5 years. In Belgium, I was very lucky to find colleagues that became real friends (some of them are mentioned above, but not all) and other non-science related friends with who I shared many bike rides, Belgian beers, parties, laughs and much more. I already miss you a lot. Also in Belgium, I became godmother of little Lorenzo who cheered up many weekends with his smile and joy. Thanks Emi for your frequent visits.
In Spain I left many friends that were supporters in the distance. They know me better than anyone and knew how to deal with my worries and so they gave me the courage to keep going. Also, I left a great, amazing and very big family . Some of them understood what I was doing, some of them maybe not, but going back to Spain for Christmas or summer and seeing them was always a new boost to continue working on this thesis on my return.
But most importantly, I really want to thank my parents, my brother and my sister. Thanks María and Javi for your continuous support even in the distance. Javi, many many thanks for your multiple messages with motivating sentences and songs. Both of you were present in my moments of less motivation. The poster you gave me as a present on Christmas 2013 is presiding my desk with an Einstein’s quote and a flying elephant and gave me strength every morning to sit and work :“I didn’t know it was impossible…and I did it”. Apparently, it was possible.
Gracias mamá y papá. I reached this point because of you. You gave me the best educational opportunities. I grew up feeling that there were no boundaries: I could always decide what and where I wanted to study. You offered me only support and good and unbiased advice. Now, I know it is not that easy, to give all these opportunities to three children. So, yes, I am here thanks to you. This thesis is dedicated to both of you…
…And also dedicated to Luis. Because. Luis, you were the real motor that kept me working no matter how frustrating the results were. Your endless patience, love and optimism could always compensate my stress. You never doubted that I will finish the PhD, and I could feel it every morning. Believe me, I don’t have words to thank you for your unconditional support.
Finally, thanks to our little sprout that started growing inside me at the same time I decided to wrap up this thesis. I didn’t see you yet, but you already helped me a lot to finalize. You gave me a new and unknown sensation that filled our days with hope, excitement and love (more love!). I can’t wait to see you and thank you in person. I am ready for the next real adventure.