Hi! My name is Mario Tapia and I am Early Stage Researcher (ESR) 3 with Pyrolife. I am excited to join the Tecnosylva team in Spain to conduct research on fire behavior in temperate Northwest Europe. During this journey I will also collaborate with Paulo Fernandes at the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD) and Andy Elliot of WildfireTacAd as part of my secondments.
I am from the San Francisco Bay area in California and my home has an extensive history with natural hazards. Events such as earthquakes, floods and wildfires have always fascinated me and I was driven to further my knowledge. Upon graduating from my undergraduate in California in the field of environmental sciences, my enthusiasm brought me to the Netherlands to pursue an MSc in Geohazards and Earth Observation at the University of Utrecht. During an internship at the applied water research institute, Deltares, I investigated the influence on water hazards to critical infrastructure and modeled the cascading impacts. Under the expertise of the Dutch water management, I was able to develop in the field of flood risk modelling and urban resilience.
As ESR 3, I will be part of the Tecnosylva team in León, Spain. My research project will be to characterize fire behavior in temperate NW Europe ecosystems and contrast it to the well documented fires of the Mediterranean. Research will involve identifying NW European fuels and moisture conditions, assessing how these drivers affect fire behavior, and whether these differences are meaningful. I will also be involved in adapting current Tecnosylva fire models to better serve NW European ecosystems.
I’m very much looking forward to being involved with the PyroLife consortium. I’m eager to explore how my knowledge of flooding and earth observation techniques can be applied to fire behavior modeling. Research in this field will become increasingly important due to climate change and urbanization and I am determined to be at the forefront of developments. Looking forward, I can’t wait to learn from my fellow ESR’s and make contributions to the field of fire research and emergency management. In my free time, I hope to explore serious gaming opportunities to better educate and project risk of wildfires.