Miguel Portillo Estrada

Post-doc navorser / gespecialiseerd med.- expert

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Over Miguel Portillo Estrada

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Scientific career:

- MSc in Environmental Sciences (2008) in Sevilla, Spain (where I am originally from)
- PhD in Ecophysiology (2008-2013) in Tartu, Estonia. Estonian University of Life Sciences in the Department of Plant Physiology, supervised by Prof. Ülo Niinemets and Dr. Steffen M. Noe.

- My MSc was about forest nutrient cycling and leaf nutrient dynamics.
- The scope of my PhD thesis was within plant ecophysiology: nutrient cycling, forest litter production and decomposition, soil respiration, plant water relationships, photosynthesis and volatile emissions...
- In 2013, I continued specializing on volatile organic compound emission from plants (with Prof. Ülo Niinemets), where I begun learning the use of PRT-TOF-MS (proton-transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer) and PTR-qMS (quadrupole-based PTR-MS).
- In 2014, I moved to Antwerp to the group of Prof. Reinhart Ceulemans and Prof. Ivan Janssens. I run two mass spectrometers, PTR-TOF-MS and PTR-qMS, in the several experiments that PLECO members are running.

Measurement campaigns

2015: Eddy covariance to monitor isoprene and other volatiles in Lochristi (Dr. Terenzio Zenone, Marie-Curie grant).
2016: Eddy covariance in Lochristi and leaf-level measurements (Dr. Manuela Balzarolo, HYPI project)
2016-17: Measurements of BVOC emissions from maize-planted mesocosms (Dr. Sara Vicca, ERC, StG)

We are also open to scientific colaborations with other groups and institutions:
- Communication between dogs through canid urine volatiles (VUB)
- Communication between lizards through VOCs (Funmorph, UA)
- Predatory relationships through VOCs (Funmorph, UA),
- Degradation of air and soil pollutants by bateria (UHasselt),
- Algae bioreactor carbon cycle (Proviron).

PTR-MS instruments use high-end measuring techniques to monitor the fluxes of volatiles (not CO2, N2O, CH4). Its main strenth is the high time resolution and the possibility of identification of compounds when using the time-of-flight version.


I also coordinate a little chemistry laboratory (room C0.09) where I make carbon and nitrogen analysis with an elemental analyzer.
Since 2003, PLECO hosts annually a Chemistry BSc student from Karel de Grote Hogeschool (Antwerp) to make his final 3-month practicum in our lab. I co-supervise the stage with Prof. Ceulemans.

Statuut & functies

Bijzonder academisch personeel
  • post - doc navorser
Admin. & techn. personeel
  • gespecialiseerd med.- expert

Interne mandaten


Campus Drie Eiken
Universiteitsplein 1
2610 Wilrijk
Tel. 032651727 (secretariaat)