The scientific career of Miguel has always been dominated by the idea of environmental synthesis: synthesis of structures, process synthesis and global description of the ecosystem structure and function. Although his first training was as algologist, he gradually drifted towards the comprehensive study of freshwaters, which led him to biogeochemical processes of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. He received his PhD in Biology (1982) from the Universidad Complutense (Spain). His early carreer as a doctoral scientist (1979-1982) was in Canal de Isabel II (Madrid), Royal Botanical Garden (RJB-CSIC), Department of Botany of Pharmacy Faculty (Universidad Complutense) and Center for Water Research (CIDA-CSIC). Miguel held a postdoc position firsly at the CIDA (1982-1986) and later (1987-1988) at the Institute of Fat Research (IG-CSIC). Then he was Assistant Professor (1989-1990) in the Departament of Plant Biology of the Faculty of Biology (Universidad Complutense). Finally Miguel held a Senior Researcher position in the Spanish Research Council (CSIC), firstly at the CIDA (1990-1992), CCMA-CSIC (1992-2005) and IRN-CSIC (2005-2010) and since then at the MNCN. Miguel has always been interested in the ecosystem as a whole, including the role of humans on shaping ecosystems and, hence, he published several books combining ecosystem description and human history. He is deeply interested in understanding how the Spanish scientific system works and how the daily life of the Spaniard scientists is.