alejandra goldenberg vilar


+34 942 20 16 16 Ext. 56125



Alejandra Goldenberg is an aquatic ecologist who completed her PhD at the Department of Aquatic Environmental Ecology (IBED-University of Amsterdam). Her doctoral research focused on studying macro-ecological patterns of diatom communities and applying these patterns to enhance water quality assessments under the European Water Framework Directive. Following her PhD, Alejandra pursued a Postdoc in the group of Palaeoecology – Physical Geography at Utrecht University. During this Postdoc, she developed diatom-based models to infer salinity and tidal height as a potential tool for sea level reconstructions in the Wadden Sea (The Netherlands).

Currently, Alejandra is engaged in research in limnology and hydrology with an emphasis on primary producers, including macrophytes and diatoms. Since 2019, she has been exploring molecular techniques for the characterization of aquatic communities (DNA metabarcoding), developing this research line at IHCantabria. Additionally, Alejandra is keenly interested in studying the effects of anthropogenic impacts such as hydrological alterations and global change on ecosystem functioning.

Alejandra possesses extensive experience as a diatom and macrophyte taxonomist and has undertaken consultancy activities for Spanish water authorities under routine water quality monitoring programs.


Ecology of primary producers (macrophytes and phytobenthos).
New methodologies for ecological monitoring of aquatic ecosystems through DNA metabarcoding in diatoms and through the use of functional groups in diatoms and macrophytes.
Ecosystem functioning in relation to the effects of hydrological alterations and global change.


Refereed articles (8)

Hagemans, K., Donders, T. H., Nooren, K., Scheper, I. E., Stekelenburg, M. C., Theunissen, M.,. Minderhoud, P. S.J Goldenberg-Vilar, A. León-Yánez, S. Ormaza, M. Wagner-Cremer, F. & Cvetkoska, A. (2023). Anthropogenic activities in the páramo trigger ecological shifts in Tropical Andean lakes. Quaternary Research, 1-12.

Pompeu, C. R., Penas, F. J., Goldenberg-Vilar, A., Álvarez-Cabria, M., & Barquín, J. (2022). Assessing the effects of irrigation and hydropower dams on river communities using taxonomic and multiple trait-based approaches. Ecological Indicators, 145, 109662.

Goldenberg Vilar A., Delgado Núñez C., Peñas F., Barquín, J. The effect of altered flow regimes on aquatic primary producer communities: Diatoms and macrophytes.

González-Paz, L., Comesaña, M., Pardo, I., Barquín, J., Goldenberg-Vilar, A., & Delgado, C. (2022). Variability of diatom community composition and structure in mountain streams. Hydrobiologia, 849(5), 1177-1194.

Goldenberg Vilar A, Donders T, Cvetkoska A, Wagner-Cremer F (2018) Seasonality modulates the predictive skills of diatom based salinity transfer functions. PLoS ONE 13(11): e0199343.

Goldenberg Vilar, Alejandra, Vonk, J. Arie, van der geest, Harm, van Dam, Herman & Admiraal, Wim (2014). Typology of diatom communities in the Dutch delta: Recognizing patterns of environmental drivers in nutrient rich ditches. Ecological Indicators, 45, (pp. 561-569).

Goldenberg Vilar, Alejandra, Admiraal, Wim, van Dam, Herman, Vonk, J. Arie, van der geest, Harm & van Loon, Emiel (2014). Eutrophication decreases distance decay of similarity in diatom communities. Freshwater Biology, 59, (pp. 1522-1531).

Goldenberg Vilar, Alejandra, Vonk, J. Arie, van der geest, Harm, van Dam, Herman, Bichebois, Simon & Admiraal, Wim (2014). Suspended organic particles drive the development of attached algal communities in degraded peatlands. Hydrobiologia, 744 (1).


Book chapters

Goldenberg-Vilar, A., Álvarez-Troncoso, R., Roldán, V., & Blanco, S. (2020). Water Quality Assessment. Modern Trends in Diatom Identification: Fundamentals and Applications, 221-237. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.