Miguel Bastos Araújo (Brussels, 1969) is recognised as one of the world leaders in the study of climate change effects on biodiversity. He obtained a BSc in Geography and Regional Planning from NOVA University of Lisbon (1995) and an MSc in Conservation (1996) and a PhD in Geography (2000), both from the University College London. He is a Research Professor of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Évora, while keeping a honorary position at the Imperial College London. In the past, he held faculty or research positions at the Imperial College London, University of Oxford, University of Copenhagen, CNRS, and the Natural History Museum in London.
The academic contributions of Prof. Araújo can be appraised by his publications record (>200 publications and listed as ‘highly cited‘ by Thomson Reuters every year between 2014 and 2019) and by the track record of the scientists he mentored (over 60 researchers and students).
In recognition of his work, Prof. Araújo won several prestigious awards, including:
- Ernst Haeckel Prize (2019) to “honour senior scientists for their outstanding contribution to European ecological science”;
- Portuguese National Environmental Fernando Pereira Award (2019) given for notable contributions to environmental conservation;
- Pessoa Prize (2018) awarded to “Portuguese citizens whose contributions have been particularly relevant in the domains of arts, literature, or science”;
- Rey Jaime I Prize (2016) awarded to researchers who contributed “to the improvement of our ecological environment”;
- Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2014);
- IBS (International Biogeography Society) MacArthur & Wilson Award (2013), given to an individual “for notable, innovative contributions to biogeography at an early stage in their career”;
- GIBIF (Global Information Biodiversity Facility) Ebbe Nielsen Prize (2013) awarded to researchers that “combine biosystematics and biodiversity informatics in an exciting and novel way”.
- He was also awarded honorary membership to the College of Biologists of Portugal (2019), a honour that was for the first time given to a non-biologist.
The impact of his research on broad scale biodiversity patterns and climate change appeals broadly, with several papers being regularly featured by the International press, as well as by scientific magazines, such as the National Geographic Magazine, Nature’ Reports on Climate Change, the New Scientist, Science’ New Focus, the Scientific American, and the Scientist. His investment in outreach has been prominent. For example, he curated the permanent exhibition on biodiversity, evolution and conservation of National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, and recently accepted to curate the 2020 European Green Week as part of the celebrations of the 2020 Lisbon Green Capital of Europe Award. He also accepted to Chair the Expert’s Committee of the Gulbenkian Foundation Award for Humanity as an attempt to bolster and support people and projects making a difference in the fields of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Miguel Araújo is Editor-in-Chief of Ecography, having served previously as editor of the Journal of Biogeography, Conservation Letters, and Geography Compass. He is also member of the editorial boards of Climate Change Responses, Frontiers of Biogeography, “Natureza & Conservação”.
He also served as Vice-President of the International Biogeography Society, member of the scientific advisory board to the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Natural and Environmental Sciences), and to the scientific committee of DIVERSITAS’ bioDISCOVERY programme. Miguel Araújo contributed to the 2007 4th IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) Assessment Report, for which the IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize. He was also involved in several consultancies with governmental organisations, namely producing a report on the effects of climate change on European protected areas for the Council of Europe, and a study on the effects of climate changes on terrestrial Iberian biodiversity for the Spanish and Portuguese governments.
Professor Araújo has been principal researcher in more than 15 research projects, including five large European funded consortiums on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and one international FBBVA project to investigate climate change impacts on Latin America biodiversity. He was awarded €500,000 under the Rui Nabeiro Biodiversity Chair programme sponsored by Delta Coffee to promote higher education and high-level research in biodiversity and global change. Overall he contributed to raise more than €25.000.000 for research projects.