VCCB researcher won Anillo de CyT (science and technology fund) with project focused on replacing traditional intensive-farming using an ecological intensification approach

Sep 8, 2020 | news

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Juan Luis Celis, researcher at the Agronomy School, PUCV and, collaborator of our Wine, Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme, was recently awarded a CONICYT science and technology fund for the project on “Ecological intensification: Integrating ecosystem services knowledge to promote sustainable agriculture in Chile”.

The research project, which awarded a 3-year fund worth CLP $450 million, will be developed together with researchers Blas Lavandero (Universidad de Talca), Aurora Gaxiola (PUC), Sebastián Abades (Universidad Mayor) and Eduardo Arellano (PUC- CAPES).

Professor Celis explained that this project aims to develop a new paradigm in agricultural production focused on ecological intensification, by reproducing the ecological dynamics of natural systems and applying them to agricultural production.

Pollination is a key contribution of nature to ecological intensification and one line of research will address enhancing biological corridors to see if they have a greater impact on pollination, explained the project manager.

Celis also detailed that the project will also study biological controllers particularly in the case of pest control and soil microorganisms associated with natural ecosystems to see if there is a correlation with improved nutrients and access to water.

The agricultural engineer, with a master’s degree in biological sciences, PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology commented that nature-based solutions will focus on the study of fruit trees in three Chilean regions, Valparaiso, Maule and Biobío.

The agronomy specialist noted that the ultimate goal is to provide evidence for public policy decisions at a production level.