Who are the experts that take part in our courses?
Our external lecturers
In MicoLab we seek to offer our clients training that provide contents that are useful to them and can be really applied in their plantations. To achieve that, all our courses are designed by taking as reference information the needs we have identified in the sector. Then, we find the best professionals to teach each specific subject.
In this section you’ll be able to review information on the experts that share their knowledge in the classroom and in the field trips of MicoLab’s courses.
María Martín Santafé
PhD Researcher at the CITA of Aragon
She holds a PhD in Forestry Engineering by the University of Zaragoza and is the owner of black truffle plantations.
Since the beginning of her professional life, she has oriented her career towards truffles and truffle farming. Initially, she centered on the management and restoration of wild truffières through truffle forestry, and later she has aimed to the study of plantation management and sanitary problems related to truffle farming.
She is an expert in the study of phytopathological problems in truffle plantations, an area in which she developed her doctoral thesis.
Since 2009, she has been an employee at the Center for Agri-Food Technology and Research of the Government of Aragon (CITA). There she develops research works related to mycology, primarily on truffle cultivation, plant mycorrhization, plantation monitoring, site suitability for truffle cultivation, or morphological and molecular identification of competing mycorrhizae.
She is the author of several books related to truffle farming, and coordinator of one of them. She has participated in many educational and informative programs. Also, she is currently one of the leading promoters of truffle farming in Spain.
Finally, she has her own truffle plantations in which she takes care of the management and truffle harvesting.
For more information about her resume and published works, click here.
Doctoral thesis: Pests and diseases associated with truffle plantations
Major scientific publications:
- Edaphic and temporal patterns of Tuber melanosporumfruitbody traits and effect of localised peat-based amendment
- Phytosanitary problems detected in black truffle cultivation. A review
Ricardo Forcadell Pérez
Manager at Qilex Forest Consultancy Services and CEO at Mytruff
He is a Forest Engineer by the Polytechnic University of Valencia since 2008. He began his professional career in the research field in the areas of truffle farming and truffle forestry at the Mediterranean Center for Environmental Studies (CEAM).
In 2013 he founded Qilex Soc. Coop. a forest consultancy company, based in Teruel. Qilex has a multidisciplinary technical team and develops its activity in the fields of forest management, truffle farming, environmental impact assessment and rural development projects.
From 2017 to the present, Ricardo has been involved in multiple projects for the implementation and management of business models related to truffle farming and forest mycology. The CulturFungi and Interfungi projects stand out from his works in the field of forest mycology. Interfungi is one of the projects coordinated by MicoAragón.
He is also co-founder of Mytruff, a company specialized in optimization and innovation in the management of truffle plantations and in marketing of gourmet truffles. The company also has its own plantations.
In the field of truffle farming, Mytruff’s research and technological innovation projects include the Watertruf project for irrigation water monitoring and management in truffle farming and the development of an artificial intelligence system for precision truffle farming, the TAIS, that stands forTruffle Artificial Intelligence System.
At Mytruff, truffles are collected by professional harvesters, cleaned, graded and carefully prepared, preserving all their aroma, for distribution at a national and international level.
Here you can check some of the scientific publications of the research and management studies in which he has participated:
- Black Truffle Harvesting in Spanish Forests: Trends, Current Policies and Practices, and Implications on its Sustainability
- Long-term soil alteration in historical charcoal hearths affects Tuber melanosporum mycorrhizal development and environmental conditions for fruiting
- Trufficulture and Forest Management in Teruel
Manager at Saturnino Gargallo’s Nurseries
Saturnino is a truffle farmer and the owner and manager of Saturnino Gargallo’s Nurseries.
Saturnino began his career in the world of truffles 55 years ago as a wild truffle harvester. He is a man with great observation skills. He learned about the ecology and biology of the truffle fungus and the proper management to achieve good results by taking care of the wild truffières and harvesting wild truffles.
Approximately 30 years ago, he decided to design and set up the facilities for a truffle plant nursery in order to establish his own plantations. 28 years ago, with those plants made in his nursery, he established his first plantation, which is still in production today. After verifying the good results obtained with his plants, he decided to improve and build new facilities and start the commercial activity of the nursery.
Nowadays his nursery is known for the high quality of its plants. Saturnino devotes many hours and resources to the research, analysis and improvement of his plants and plantations. He is a reference in the sector as one of the oldest truffle farmers. His great communication skills and generosity when it comes to sharing his knowledge are admired and very appreciated. He dedicates time and effort to advising everyone who consults him on how to do the plantations correctly and how to manage them.
In addition, he collaborates with MicoLab in various research and plantation improvement studies.
For us it is an honor to be able to have him as expert to advise and train our clients.
Manager at Alba Herranz Adiestramiento Canino
Alba is a professional dog trainer certified by the Spanish Cynological Federation. She is also a breeder of dogs with solid working bloodlines intended for truffle search. She develops her work through her business of dog training and specialized courses.
She has a experience of more than ten years working with dogs and she belongs to the third generation of dog breeders in her family. She has specialized in training dogs for truffle detection, and she is the manager of her own dog training school. Her family also has truffle orchards in which she trains and polishes the working skills of her dogs.
Alba’s work philosophy is based in the uniqueness of each animal so every training plan must be adapted to the individual dog. The link between the dog and its handler and the positive reinforcement are the basis of her methodology. Learning systems where the dog is subjected are discarded, thus ensuring the well-being of the animal.
Manager of Globaltek Engineering and Irrigation Systems, SLU
Agricultural Engineer, specialized in the Horticulture and Gardening branch, by the Superior Polytechnic University of Orihuela (Alicante, Spain). He has an Official Master’s Degree in Wastewater Treatment Process Engineering.
From 2003 to 2010 he worked at the company CODES, Hydraulic Works and Applications, SA. Initially, he worked as a technician in the design of irrigation and drinking water facilities, and as a sales technician. In a few years, he became a project manager, where he began to execute and manage public and private hydraulic works, hydraulic stakeouts, performance controls, and develop collaborative tasks with site managers and clients.
In June 2010 he founded his own company, of which he is the manager since then: Globaltek Engineering and Irrigation Systems. There he works as technical director and prepares the annual operating plan for the company. He manages the projects directly and designs and studies the hydraulic irrigation and gardening works developed by his company.
Nowadays, due to his passion for hydraulics and the environment, his vision includes renewable energy studies mainly focused on irrigation systems and solar pumping. He applies this knowledge to all types of plantations in Spain.
Globaltek is probably the most prestigious irrigation company in the truffle sector. This is not only due to the quality and efficiency of its designs, but also because of their extensive knowledge of truffle farming techniques that allows them to advise customers effectively.
In the projects section of their website you can check irrigation installations for truffle farming and many other works carried out by his company.
Clara Rascón Lozano
Technical Director at Arte Trufa
College graduate with a Master’s Degree in Cultural and Natural Heritage from the University of Valencia (Spain). Technical director of Arte Trufa, a company specialized in consultancy and management services for truffle plantations and product development for truffle farming.
Clara collaborates frequently with MicoLab and acts as support teacher in courses with contents related to microscopy and spore inoculum preparation and quality assessment.
Her company has its own plantations and laboratory where they apply different treatments and carry out research aimed at achieving more efficient management techniques and improving the production and longevity of truffle plantations.
Clara has years of experience in mycorrhiza and spore analysis, which, combined with her field experience, makes her company a link between the laboratory and the plantations.
Miguel Ballesteros Oyonarte
Consultant Engineer at AGM Consultores
He is a Forest Engineer by the Polytechnic University of Valencia.
From the beginning of his professional career he has been devoted to the field of hydrogeology, mainly to groundwater abstraction and management. He is a founding partner of AGM Consultores, which began its activity in 2014 as a company specialized in hydrogeological studies.
He has participated in the execution of many water prospection throughout the entire national geography, for irrigation associations, companies or individuals. In these projects he always manages all the necessary works which include: the initial hydrogeological study, marking and executing the prospecting works, license and permit processing, construction management, geological control, gauging and final certification.
He has an extensive experience in the field, specifically in the construction management and geological control of more than 5,000 meters of drilling in different lithologies and with different systems (some of them more than 500 m deep), as well as the planning and control of their respective water capacities.
In recent years, the increase in demand for irrigation in truffle plantations has linked him to this sector. He has worked in the technical development and execution of projects for the implementation of truffle plantations together with the Artetrufa company, offering from the beginning of the project the hydrogeological point of view. He also collaborates with this same company in plantation management and improvement projects.
Marisa Esteban Sánchez
Account Manager of Agropecuarias Sánchez Herranz and CEO at Vintro Gestión President of the Young Truffle Growers Association of Teruel
Truffle farmer and co-manager of two companies devoted to truffle farming, Agropecuaria Sánchez Herranz and Vintro Gestión.
She is the President of the Young Truffle Growers Association of Teruel. This association’s objectives include: training truffle farmers through courses given by specialists, establishing good truffle marketing and trading practices and promoting black truffles through gastronomic days and workshops.
She is also Vice President of the Black Truffle Federation of Aragon, promoter of the black truffle quality stamp. For this purpose, the Association has created a work team for the development of a truffle observatory that will report on the product, work on fraud prevention, develop standards for product qualities and a price table. It will aim to consolidate and promote the Black Truffle of Aragón brand.
Marisa is not only a reference in the sector as a plantation manager and truffle grower, but she also is an exceptionally generous person committed to the sector. She has a great intelligence and professional skills that she selflessly devotes to non-profit organizations to achieve common goals for protecting the needs of truffle growers.
Jesús González Herranz
Technical Director of Agropecuarias Sánchez Herranz and Manager at Vintro Gestión
Agricultural Engineer by the University of Barcelona (Spain). He is the owner of plantations that produce black truffles and manager of two companies specialized in truffle farming: Agropecuaria Sánchez Herranz, a company that establishes and manages Tuber melanosporum plantations, and Vintro Gestión, dedicated to black truffle trading.
For 20 years, his theoretical and practical training in truffle farming has been constant and unstoppable, always surrounding himself with the best mentors. At the same time, through his field work and research, he compilates practical information that he then shares with the rest of truffle growers with whom he collaborates. Through his company, he also does complete or partial plantation management in which he gives priority to organic techniques that allow high yields and high-quality truffles but also have a minimal impact on the environment.
Finally, he has designed and developed a machine to make Spanish wells that buries the substrate and spores in a trench. With this system, all needed works are mechanized, from laying the substrate and spores on the bottom of a shallow trench to covering it. This machine’s design and efficient work is currently a benchmark of the sector, and it is used by many truffle farmers.