Research Associates
Dra. Olga Barbosa – Founder of the VCCB Programme
PhD Sciences, specialising in Ecology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Regional Ministerial Secretary of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation for Chile’s Southern Macro-Region

NDE Researcher – Anillos Conicyt Project – The production of the gender norm

Lecturer, Universidad Austral de Chile

My research is carried out in the interface between ecosystem ecology and biological conservation, in human-dominated landscapes. I am particularly interested in studying how multifunctional landscapes can help to provide ecosystem services mainly in agro-ecosystems and cities. My goal is to identify synergies between the needs of our society and the conservation of biodiversity, developing strategies that can impact and create changes involving different actors. Leading the VCCB has enabled me to do interdisciplinary work and to interact with the wine industry; this has increasingly motivated me to work towards integrating science into society.

Angel Salazar-Rojas
MSc Applied Ecology, Universidad Austral de Chile

Agricultural Engineer, Universidad Católica del Maule, Chile

Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB-Chile)

I’m interested in agroecology and ecosystem services, from the design, agro-ecosystem assessment management to move towards creating more just, fair and caring societies. In the context the VCCB Programme, I have focused on understanding how the interaction of productive, social and environmental factors influence the performance and dynamics of fruit agro-ecosystems, under theoretical frameworks, such as systemic ecology and conservation.

Daniela Tapia Navarrete
MSc Applied Ecology, Universidad Austral de Chile

Biology, Universidad Austral de Chile

Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB-Chile)

My line of research is mainly focused on ecosystem ecology and biological conservation. I study how the assessment of different ecosystem services, provided by natural ecosystems, can be associated with the development of conservation strategies with the industry. Being part of this programme has allowed me to understand the importance of a multidisciplinary approach and how this has become a real conservation opportunity in a scenario where there is an evident lack of public policies.

Dr. Aníbal Pauchard
PhD Forest Ecology, University of Montana, USA

Director, Biological Invasions Laboratory

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Forestry Sciences, Universidad de Concepción, Chile
Aníbal is currently Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Forestry Sciences, Universidad de Concepción. He is the founder and director of the Biological Invasions Laboratory (LIB), a joint initiative between Universidad de Concepción and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity. His research focuses on the ecology of biological invasions and their impact on biodiversity and ecosystem functions.

Using multi-scale approaches, based on field experiments and observations, he has studied synergies between the drivers of global change and invasions in mountain ecosystems. He is also interested in natural resources conservation and management. Pauchard contributes to IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) and is also Associate Editor of international scientific journals, such as the Journal of Applied Ecology and Biological Invasions.

Mg. Javiera Díaz Forestier

MSc. Natural Resources, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Centro de Innovación Hortofrutícola de Valparaíso, Ceres (Fruit & Vegetable Innovation Centre)


My line of work is Chilean native plants and science diffusion. I have worked on various research projects on the use and conservation of native plants, education projects, courses, workshops and editing books for children and adults. In the context of the VCCB Programme, I make biodiversity inventories for vineyards, I participate in biodiversity workshops and in the search for indicators that help to design and monitor conservation practices.

Dr. Juan Luis Celis

PhD Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Universidad de Chile

Lecturer, Agronomy School, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB-Chile)

My line of research is ecology and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in rural and urban landscapes, in order to create tools for sustainable development. In the context of the VCCB programme, with my team we make biodiversity inventories in member vineyards, specifically fauna inventories (birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles) as well as talks, fieldwork and practical activities in the biodiversity workshops.

Juan Armesto

PhD Botany, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, USA

Senior Researcher, Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Juan contributed to the first science-based network that provides support and infrastructure to long-term research in Chilean terrestrial ecosystems. Long-term studies conducted at the Senda Darwin Biological Station (SDBS) include monitoring (10 years) of tree pollinator assemblies, the role of primary forests in supporting canopy biodiversity, and assessing tree recruitment in scrublands. The results provided information on the role of rural landscape ecosystems and the restoration of temperate forests.

Dr. Lohengrin Cavieres G.

PhD Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Universidad de Chile

Senior Lecturer at Natural and Ocean Sciences, Universidad de Concepción, Chile

His research focuses on the distribution patterns and the ecophysiology of native and introduced species along natural gradients to determine the main factors involved in the distribution and abundance of these species and to have a better understanding of the potential consequences of climate change. Therefore, a number of observational and experimental approaches are used in different ecosystems, although the main focus is on high mountain ecosystems. Associate Editor of international scientific journals, such as Alpine Botany, Plant Ecology & Diversity, Gayana Botanica, Ecosistemas.

Dra. Marcela Márquez García

Adviser of Human Dimensions of Conservation, Centro de Humedales Río Cruces

Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Ecology, University of Florida, USA

I conduct interdisciplinary research to understand the perspectives of different actors involved in natural resources management, so as to find strategies to reconcile economic development with nature conservation. Under the VCCB Programme, my research has focused on elucidating the factors that influence the adoption of conservation practices in vineyards, and on assessing the Programme’s biodiversity workshops. In general, I research collaborative and communication processes between multiple actors to apply this knowledge and to promote more effective partnerships for innovation and problem solving in highly complex socio-ecological systems.

MSc. Michel Parra Calderón.
Sociologist and MSc Social Studies of Science and Technology, Universidad de Salamanca

Lecturer, Diploma in Science Communications, Universidad de Chile

Independent Researcher

I study different spaces where engagement and communication practices between science and society are carried out. In recent years, I have specialised in assessing the appropriation and the social impact of science and technology activities on society, to design interventions to promote horizontal dialogue spaces between different types of knowledge. Like many other people, I’m concerned about climate change and its consequences. I believe that the VCCB Programme is making a major contribution by connecting the production sector with the scientific world; together these sectors can significantly promote the change towards a sustainable planet.

Dra.  Nélida Pohl 

Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine

Communications Director, Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB-Chile)

Chair, ACHIPEC 2019-2021

I am the Director of the Science Communication Unit at the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, where I develop projects, activities and products that take environmental sciences to society. In the VCCB programme, I am responsible for transferring science to the production industry. The best thing about working at VCCB is being able to deliver useful tools to boost biological conservation in the private sector, supporting the associated community’s resilience to biodiversity loss, global change and subsequent loss of ecosystem services.

Pablo A. Marquet
Ph.D. Biology, University of New Mexico (USA)

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

The primary focus of my research is on the emerging discipline of macroecology, i.e., an approach to the study of ecological systems that searches for general and invariant principles underlying observed variability and diversity.

I research the ecological and evolutionary implications of the body size in organisms, in an attempt to explain phenomena related to the distribution of body sizes in marine and terrestrial organisms in local communities, insular systems and continental biotas.

Dr. Roland Sánchez

PhD Science, specialising in Ecology and Evolution, Universidad Austral de Chile

Marine Biologist, Universidad Austral de Chile

I work in ecosystem ecology, conservation and microbial ecology, specifically in the VCCB programme and in my doctoral thesis, I analysed the relationship between the diversity of fungi and bacteria that live in vegetation, between the native sclerophyll forest and vine crops, with special emphasis on understanding the implications for the wine industry. The VCCB programme has enabled me to engage in an interdisciplinary work dynamic and address contemporary socio-ecological problems through science.

Dra. Toshiko Miura

PhD Environmental Sciences, YOKOMA National University, Japan

Research Institute of Environment Agriculture & Fisheries Osaka Prefecture,

Research Group on Viticulture and Oenology

My work focuses on linking endemic biodiversity and ecosystem services for viticulture. Specifically, I analyse whether natural ecosystems confined to vineyards affect ecosystem services mediated by microorganisms, such as soil formation and fertility, pest control, and finally for viticulture, microbial terroir. In the VCCB programme I hope that advances in understanding microbial ecology will provide useful information for agricultural management and conservation planning.