It is with deep sadness that SCAR has learnt of the recent death from cancer of Dr Andrés Barbosa.
Dr Barbosa was a biologist and ecologist, a leading expert in the study of Antarctic penguins. He led the working group on Wildlife Health Monitoring of SCAR’s Expert Group on Birds and Marine Mammals (EG-BAMM), producing a paper in 2020 on the risks of COVID-19 to Antarctic wildlife. The findings were summarised and presented in pdf an information paper (241 KB) to the Antarctic Treaty’s Committee for Environment Protection (CEP) meeting in 2021. He also co-led the Antarctic Wildlife and Wildlife-Human Interactions work package of SCAR's Standing Committee on the Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS) COVID-19 project, which looked at how susceptible Antarctic wildlife might be to SARS-Cov-2.
In addition to the major role he played in EG-BAMM, Dr Barbosa was a member of the former Scientific Research Programme (SRP) AntEco (State of the Antarctic Ecosystem) and a member of the current SRP Ant-ICON (Integrated Science to Inform Antarctic and Southern Ocean Conservation). He was the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) Delegate to SCAR from 2016.
Our thoughts are with Dr Barbosa's family, friends and colleagues. He will be greatly missed.
The Antarctic Wildlife Health Group and EG-BAMM drafted the following obituary for Andrés Barbosa:
In late January, our dear friend and colleague Professor Andrés Barbosa from the Spanish National Research Council passed away after a short battle with cancer. Andrés was an incredible scientist who dedicated his life to ornithological research and who made vital contributions to our understanding of the lives of penguins and the challenges they faced. He was a great champion of wildlife health and disease surveillance research in Antarctica and established the SCAR Antarctic Wildlife Health group in 2014 to further our knowledge and understanding of the threats facing Antarctica’s wildlife.
Andrés was widely recognised for his extensive work in the fields of ecology, applied physiology and parasitology and made significant contributions to the study of diseases in Antarctic penguins. Andrés was an exceptional mentor to many, who loved to share his knowledge and passion with the world. Those who were lucky to meet him will always remember his energetic and positive spirit and his extraordinary generous nature. In addition to his academic achievements, he was also a passionate musician, artist, and photographer. Andrés, thank you for your endless dedication to Antarctic science, your amazing mentorship and friendship throughout the years, you will be sorely missed by all who knew you.
Our condolences to Andrés’ family and friends.
Meagan Dewar, Arvind Varsani, Wray Grimaldi, Sole Leonardi, and Yan Ropert-Coudert on behalf of the Antarctic Wildlife Health Group, SCAR & SCAR EG-BAMM