Department of Ecology


Our department aims to conduct research, teach and educational outreach in the fields of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at all organizational levels.

Head of Department: Pablo Marquet

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The department aims to conduct research, teaching and educational outreach in the field of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In order to achieve our goal we work covering all levels of biological organization (from molecule to ecosystem) with the ultimate goal of understanding the processes and mechanisms operating in the generation and maintenance of biodiversity in marine and terrestrial environments, without forgetting  the evolutionary relationships and the intrinsic effects of disturbances (anthropogenic and natural) on the component species of natural systems.


  • Christopher Aiken
  • Francisco Bozinovic
  • Juan Carlos Castilla
  • Juan Correa
  • Luis Ebensperger
  • José Miguel Fariña
  • Sylvain Faugeron
  • Miriam Fernández
  • Aurora Gaxiola
  • Stefan Gelcich
  • Fabián Jaksic
  • Juan Keymer
  • Claudio Latorre
  • Mauricio Lima
  • Pablo Marquet
  • Sergio Navarrete
  • Patricio Ojeda
  • Eduardo Palma
  • Patricio Pliscoff
  • María Fernanda Pérez
  • Nicolás Rozbaczylo
  • Bernabé Santelices
  • Peter von Dassow

Research Lines

The research interests of this department are grouped into five areas:

• Description of terrestrial and marine taxonomy and systematics of flora and fauna, analysis of distribution patterns and geographic information systems, community structure, life cycles studies, growth and reproduction of plants and animals, conservation and biodiversity, and global change.

• Population dynamics and terrestrial and marine communities, predator-prey and herbivore-plant, energy and nutritional ecology, behavioral ecology, and physiological ecology.

• Macroecology, mathematical modeling of natural systems, biological basis of the use and management of terrestrial and marine biotic resources, growth and reproduction of terrestrial and marine organisms of economic importance, and assessment of fish stocks.

• Human-environment interactions, human impact on the marine and terrestrial environment, disturbances, and biological invasions.

• Biology, physiology and ecology evolutionary, reconstruction of phylogenies, molecular systematics, phylogeography, and ecological genetics of terrestrial and marine organisms.

Professors in the Department teach undergraduate courses primarily in animal and plant biology, evolution, biostatistics and ecology according to planning by the department and the School Teaching Directorate for students in Biology, Biochemistry and Marine Biology degrees as well as those in other schools within the University.


The Institute of Biological Sciences, presently the School of Biological Sciences, was established by resolution of the Honorable Council of the University in February of 1970. In 1973, a Rectory decree ratified its organization based on departments, one being the Department of Environmental and Population Biology. A Rectory decree in December 1988 changed its name to the current one of the Department of Ecology. Initially, its internal organization was comprised of the Botany, Zoology and Ecology laboratories. Its current organization includes the FONDAP Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity (CASEB), to which most of its academic and service units are assigned, including the Mediterranean Ecological Research Station (EDIEM) where research and teaching in different ecological systems of central Chile are carried out. Academic scholars from the Department of Ecology are the main users of the existing facilities at the Coastal Marine Research Station (ECIM) that the School has in the town of Las Cruces, El Quisco Municipality, central Chile. The Department also has the "Dr. Patricio Sánchez Reyes" collection of Flora and Fauna that supports significant research work and teaching by the members of the  Department and external users.