I currently work as a professor at the place where I obtained my degree on Marine Biology and a Dr.Sc. in Ecology: Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia, Chile. I am also Director of a small local NGO, the Blue Whale Center (www.ballenazul.org) and proud member of the CSG and Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.
I am interested in marine mammal ecology and conservation biology, broadly integrating knowledge from several sub-disciplines to better understand and protect marine systems. I am especially keen on using this understanding to support decision-making that solves environmental problems.
My early work centered on ship-based surveys for cetaceans throughout Chile’s oceanic islands and the Southern Ocean, while later I focused on the population dynamics and other ecological aspects of Antarctic fur seals at Cape Shirreff, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. A large focus of my recent work has revolved around large whales in southern Chile, mainly researching the largest of them all, the blue whale. While we consolidate a marine mammal research program in northern Chilean Patagonia, we aim at strongly promoting the establishment of Marine Protected Areas in Chile, which are a tool for conserving not only marine mammals but the ecosystem as a whole.