Roser Nos Ronchera
(b. 1920, Sant Jordi, Castellón de la Plana; d. 2018, Barcelona)
As a biologist, Roser Nos Ronchera, performed innovative scientific and communication work at two emblematic institutions in Barcelona. One was the Zoology Museum (precursor to the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona), where she worked first as a natural science technician (1947-1961) and later as its director (1981-1989). The other was Barcelona Zoo, where she worked in the conservation area (1961-1978).
Roser’s professional career was unconventional for a woman growing up in the 1930s and 1940s. Born in a small town in Castellón de la Plana, having already graduated as a teacher in 1944, in 1947 she was conferred with a degree in Natural Sciences with an Extraordinary Mention by the University of Barcelona. Those who knew her state her to have been energetic, courageous and far-seeing, while emphasizing her extraordinary enthusiasm in fostering scientific careers.
When she was director of the Zoology Museum of Barcelona (1981-1989), at a time when museums were hermetic institutions, she took on the challenge of reconnecting this institution with the city and its people. Roser, by moving the Zoology Museum’s scientific laboratories to the basement, freed up space for an ambitious programme of activities and temporary exhibitions — starting with an exhibition on ecology curated by Ramon Margalef.
As a technical conservationist at Barcelona Zoo (1961-1978), Roser was commissioned to create an aviary that became an avantguard laboratory for the new science of ethology, despite the fact that the scientific community at that time was largely uniterested in the study of animal behaviour. Roser’s interest in investigating the behaviour of birds in captivity resulted in numerous scientific articles of note. Another interest of Roser’s was fostering the research careers of many people, who, still active, acknowledge their great debt to her.