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My research is focussed on the plant-environment interaction, including biogeographical aspects and associated microorganisms. This interdisciplinary approach is based on the concept of the plant as a holobiont and aims to generate holistic research in plant and microbial ecology, including their interaction, in natural and agriculture ecosystems of arid zones.
August 2008 - July 2020
- Principal Investigator
- Since 2008, I am a researcher at CEAZA, working on ecology and biogeography of desert plants. Since 2012, I lead the laboratory for Applied Microbiology at CEAZA, dedicated to the identification and characterization of root-associated microorganisms and communities, mechanisms involved in plant-bacteria interaction, and applications to agriculture in arid zones. Currently, both research areas are merged to generate a holistic approach to plant and microbial ecology in arid zones.
CLAP general objective is to improve predictive capabilities of the sensitivity of the Coquimbo region socio-ecological system to climate change. It aims to generate local to mesoscale predictions of future climate change effects in the Coquimbo region by advancing current observational and modeling capabilities in geophysics (land-ocean- atmosphere) and ecology (marine and terrestrial). The integrated understanding of the bio-geophysical system will be used to predict coupled responses (ecological-evolutionary and socio-economic) to climate from a holistic approach taking the ocean-atmosphere processes as the main drivers of the pressure on the system. CLAP aims to fill knowledge gaps necessary to deliver science-based products for addressing the impacts of climate variability on targeted ecosystem services (ES). These ES are fish stocks and landing, aquaculture production, tourism and recreation, moderation of extreme events, carbon sequestration in the context of the sustainability and the carbon neutrality by assisting Chile to meet national and international compromises.
Our aim is to explore the phytogeographic relationships between the coastal and Andean deserts of northern Chile and southern Peru. In particular we are focusing on a potential north-south corridor facilitating biotic exchanges between southern Peru and northern Chilea along the Andes. Additionally, we investigate on the distinctness of coastal and Andean desert vegetation in the northern Atacama Desert.
The objective of the project is to pioneer the research on the mutual evolutionary relationships between Earth surface processes and biota https://sfb1211.uni-koeln.de/ https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/268236062