Masters in Biological Sciences from the University of Chile and Doctor in Botany and Plant Physiology from Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. He is currently a full professor at the Ecology Department, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago and Adjunct Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York, USA. For the past 30 years, he has been studying forest ecosystems in southern South America, especially in the semiarid and temperate-climate regions. He is one of the founders of the Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) Network in Chile, co-founder of the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, Chile, and of Senda Darwin Biological field Station, Chiloé Island, Chile. He has collaborated with scientists of the Cary Institute, New York, in advancing the study of ecological succession and understanding biogeochemical processes in forests, including soil nutrient cycling and fog water capture. His work has also explored plant-animal mutualistic networks in Mediterranean and temperate forests in Chile. He is also a member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences and the Ecological Society of America.

Research Interests

He directs the laboratory of Terrestrial Ecosystems at the Ecology Department, Universidad Católica de Chile and in Senda Darwin Biological Research Station, Chiloé Island. His main research interest is the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in semiarid and evergreen temperate forest environments.
This question is addressed using field and laboratory experiments, focusing on its relevance to alleviate the impacts of global change. In recent years, the lab has investigated the consequences of an experimental reduction of the amount of rainfall, by removing throughfall and stemflow from the temperate forest. Response variables have included leaf fall and tree regeneration patterns, as well as tree growth. An additional interest of the group is the role of fog water interception by the canopy in the hydric status of relict patches of rain forest on coastal mountaintops of semiarid Chile and the consequences of climate change on the long-term trends in fog water inputs. The main goal is to develop general models of forest susceptibility to changes in water supply via rainfall or oceanic fog.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 63: Environmental Sciences and Ecology