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Associated Researchers

Human Dimensions

AldunceDra. Paulina Aldunce (UCH) is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Chile. Her research interests are Disaster Risk Management and Adaptation to Climate Change. She has been involved as principal investigator and co-investigator in several research projects funded by international and national agencies as the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF), among others. Her work has been published in scientific journals as Climate Change and Development, Natural Hazards, Disaster Prevention and Management. She has participated as editor and author of books such as “Desastres asociados al clima en la agricultura y medio rural de Chile” [Climate related disasters in the agricultural and rural area of Chile] and “Hacia la evaluación de prácticas de adaptación ante la variabilidad y el cambio climatico” [Towards Adaptation Practices Evaluation for Climate Variability and Change]. Her most salient nominations include: Lead author of the IPCC Special Report on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (SREX); Review Editor of IPCC WGII Fifth Report and The Summary Report for Policy Makers; Part of the Expert Committee in charge of elaborating Chilean National Action Plan on Climate Change; Distinction as the Best Professor of Renewable Natural Resources Engineer degree 2004, granted by the University´s President Professor Luis A. Riveros, University of Chile; Responsible of building an international data base of Climate Change Adaptation Policies and Strategies for the Government of Chile. Paulina’s undergraduate study is Agriculture Engineering, and she has a Master in Environmental Managing and Planning. At the moment she is in a student commission at The University of Melbourne to complete her PhD study.

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Climate Dynamics


Dr. Patricio Moreno (UCH) is an associate professor at the Ecological Sciences Department of Universidad de Chile. Upon completion of his PhD at the University of Maine, USA, he returned to Chile in 1998 and established a research line, pioneer and leader in the country, that combines paleoecological, geochemical, limno- and glacial geological approaches for unraveling the climate, vegetation and glacial history of the temperate region of western Patagonia. Recent interactions with members of the Geophysics Department of the Universidad de Chile has led to four publications in mainstream scientific journals, as well as two Fondecyt-funded grants in the realm of paleoclimatology. The latter constitute the first research initiatives in Chile that combine modeling and empirical approaches to decipher the climate dynamics underlying extreme glacial and extreme interglacial conditions in the southern mid-latitudes during and since the last glaciation. Moreno has acted as advisor of M.Sc. and Ph.D. students from Universidad de Chile and as co-advisor of Ph.D. students from Stanford University and the University of Cincinnati. Considering the relative infancy of the scientific discipline in the country, Moreno has encouraged his M.Sc. graduates to pursue their Ph.D. programs with researchers from academic institutions overseas, this is how former M.Sc. students have obtained or are currently enrolled in Ph.D. programs in prestigious centers in New Zealand, United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Ongoing projects are aimed at understanding the behavior of the southern westerly winds throughout Patagonia over the last 30,000 years, their possible role as a catalyst of past global climate changes, characterizing the recurrence and extent of ash-falls associated with large explosive volcanic events, and examining the response of the vegetation (magnitude, chronology, rate, frequency, resilience) and fire regimes to past climatic and non-climatic drivers.

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Dr. Duncan Christie (UACH) grew up in Viña del Mar, Chile. He was trained as a Biologist at the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (2000) and obtained his PhD in Forest Sciences from the Universidad Austral de Chile (2008) studying tree-rings and climate dynamics in the South American Altiplano and the Southern Andes. He actively participates in the Collaborative Research Network from the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and the Past Global Changes initiative (PAGES). His main research includes dendroclimatology, water resources variability on multi-centennial time-scales, and global change ecology with emphasis in mountain ecosystems. He is currently based in Valdivia as a professor in the School of Forest Sciences and Natural Resources at the Universidad Austral de Chile.



DePolDr. Ricardo De Pol Holz (UDEC) is an assistant professor in paleoclimate at the Department of Oceanography of the University of Concepción since 2011. His main research areas are the Paleoceanography of the eastern South Pacific during the Late Quaternary and the cycling and fate of radiocarbon and nitrogen in the earth system. He got his Doctorate at the University of Concepción under the guidance of Dr. Osvaldo Ulloa, where he worked on deciphering the causes of large sedimentary nitrogen isotope changes associated to climate change and the oxygenation of the South Pacific thermocline. He was awarded with a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), where he worked on the radiocarbon history of Antarctic Intermediate Water for which, together with Dr. Lloyd Keigwin, were awarded an US’s National Science Foundation grant to continue his work in AAIW water ventilation. He was then appointed as a postdoctoral fellow at the Earth System Science Department of the University of California, Irvine, where he worked at the Keck Accelerator Mass Sprectrometry Radiocarbon Laboratory with Dr. John Southon and Dr. ellen Druffel. He has recently published 2 papers in Nature geosciences on the paleoceanography of the eastern South Pacific and the eastern Indian Ocean. He is the PI of a Fondecyt project and advisor to a Masters Student and several undergraduate students. He teaches courses on isotope geochemistry, fundamental on scientific research and climate of the earth during the geological history.

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RondanelliDr. Roberto Rondanelli (UCH) is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Geophysics at the University of Chile. His main interests are in dynamics of climate, in particular, the mutual interaction between clouds, precipitation, water vapor and radiation. He graduated as a Chemical Engineer in 2000 and got a Masters’ degree in Meteorology in 2001 from the University of Chile. During his doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2009) he dealt with some aspects of the response of clouds and precipitation with temperature and the possible impact of cloud feedbacks in the early earth climate. In collaboration with the Laboratory of Space Exploration at the Department of Electrical Engineering he has started activities in meteorological instrumentation designing instruments and observational platforms with the aim of taking more accurate and flexible observations of the atmosphere.


Ecosystem Services

mauro-gonzlezDr. Mauro E. González, is an associate professor at the Faculty of Forest Science and Natural Resources, Universidad Austral de Chile, since 2008. He is a forester from University Austral de Chile, and he holds a Master of Arts (1999) and a PhD (2002) in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA.  He was awarded with a Fulbright-LASPAU scholarship to develop his master degree in Geography (1997-1999). His research is focused on understanding the influence of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on forest ecosystem dynamics, with the goal of assisting forest ecosystem management, restoration and conservation in the temperate forest ecosystems of south-central Chile.

In particular, he is interested in the influences of human land-use change and climatic variability on spatiotemporal patterns of fire. In his research he uses dendroecological (tree ring), and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques. Current research topics include fire history in the Andes range of south-central Chile and Colorado Rockies, fire ecology in Araucaria and Nothofagus forests, influence of land-use and socioeconomic changes on fire occurrence in central Chile and forest restoration in the Valdivian temperate rainforests of Chile.  Additionally, Dr. González teaches courses in forest ecology, forest dynamics and forest restoration for undergraduate and graduate students.  He is currently directing three masters and one PhD student.

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GomezPhD. Susana Gómez, is a professor at the Natural Resources Engineering School, Department of Basic Sciences, University of Bío-Bío, Chillán. She earned an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Seville (Spain) and a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Concepción (Chile). Her main research line is to evaluate the ecological effects of fire on plant communities; adaptability of species and their resistance to biological invasions.

Currently she´s involved in a collaborative project with researchers from the CSIC (Spain), developing databases on plant responses to fire. Also,  she works in CYTED, a network led by researchers at University Rey Juan Carlos (Spain), where factors that regulate the functionality of semi-arid ecosystems at a global scale are analized

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Modeling and Observing Systems

HunneusDr. Nicolas Huneeus, ingeniero civil químico y Magíster de Geofísica mención ciencias atmosféricas de la Universidad de Chile. Hizo su doctorado en la interacción de las partículas atmosféricas con la radiación solar, en particular desarrollando un método para estimar propiedades ópticas y físicas de las partículas atmosféricas a partir de la combinación de modelos de transferencia radiativa y distintas tipos de observaciones satelitales. Su principal línea de investigación es la estimación de las emisiones globales de aerosoles naturales y antropogénicos, a través de métodos inversos. Paralelamente ha trabajado en la evaluación de modelos numéricos para reproducir el ciclo de vida del polvo del desierto y más recientemente en temas relacionados a la geoingeniería.


RojasDra. Maisa Rojas (UCH) is an Assistant Professor at the Geophysics Department of the University of Chile since 2010. She is Millennium Nucleus: “Paleoclimate” of the Southern Hemisphere. She has an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Chile and a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Oxford, UK. Followed by post-doc at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, IRI, at the University of Columbia, USA.

Throughout her scientific career, she has worked on many different aspects of climate science, being her two main research areas Climate variability of the southern Hemisphere since the last glacial maximum (21,000yrs ago) and regional climate change modeling. The common analysis tools for all these research areas are numerical climate models: Global Models and Regional Climate Models. This research experience has made her Latin American expert on regional climate modeling. She has been the PI of 3 FONDECYT projects; co-investigator en 2 FONDECYT projects; Associated Investigator in two “Anillo” projects, including one in Social Sciences; and participated in 3 European projects). In all these projects she works a number of national and international colleagues from various disciplines and.  She has worked on the impact of climate change on different sectors of society, in particular on agriculture and water resources. She is a lead Author for the paleo climate chapter for the IPCC Assessment Report and also participated in the Presidential Commission for Climate Change. She is currently directing 2 masters and one PhD student and teaches undergraduates courses at the faculty of Engineering.


LambertDr. Fabrice Lambert (UCH) has worked extensively on polar ice-core records. During his PhD in Bern, Switzerland, he participated in two Antarctic expeditions where he measured trace element concentrations using a custom-built “Continuous Flow Analysis” measurement system. He uses advanced statistical tools to investigate the annual to centennial climate variability of the Southern Hemisphere based on high-resolution ice-core data. During his post-doc in Seoul, Korea, he developed a new method to reconstruct present and past atmospheric dust concentrations by combining dust flux measurements in paleoclimatic archives (marine sediments, loess, ice-cores, peat bogs) with simulated deposition variables in dust models, and showed that current climate models may underestimate the climatic effect of aerosols in polar regions.

His current research interests include the spatial and temporal evolution of atmospheric dust concentrations during the last glacial-interglacial transition, and estimates of dust radiative forcing and iron fertilization during this time interval.