We work in interdisciplinary research in the area of global change and coastal marine ecosystems in order to provide information for sustainable management of marine resources, and global change adaptation strategies of coastal communities dependent on ecosystem services provided by the ocean.

Credits cover photo: Mar. Biol. Hugo Carrillo

The “Coastal Ecosystems & Global Environmental Change Lab” (ECCA Lab) is Professor Cristian Vargas’s research lab at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences & EULA Environmental Sciences Center, Universidad de Concepcion, Chile. We work in interdisciplinary research in the area of global change and coastal marine ecosystems in order to provide information for sustainable management of marine resources, and global change adaptation strategies of coastal communities dependent on ecosystem services provided by the ocean. 

Our methodological approaches combine observational oceanography & carbon biogeochemistry (e.g. sensors/loggers, satellite mapping and field campaigns), the use of field and laboratory experiments of different physiological traits (e.g. feeding, respiration, growth, among others), complemented with the use of different tools, such as, stable isotopes or fatty acid biomarker, as well as synthesis work. 

Our experimental work focuses on a wide spectrum of marine organisms, from bacteria, phytoplankton, holoplankton (copepods), to larval stages and adult individuals of marine intertidal/subtidal invertebrates. Dr. Vargas and his lab group are specifically focused on understand whether and how coastal species can respond and/or adapt to future changes in the ocean, including changes driven by multiple-stressors, such as, ocean warming, ocean acidification, deoxygenation, and their interactive effects with local/global pollutants.

Some examples of the kind of research we are working on:

Our laboratory group is also interested in using the scientific results to engage with industry stakeholders or policymakers for exploring potential adaptation strategies of local communities to climate and global change impacts.

Understanding current progress and the knowledge gaps that the industry perceives as important can help scientists and policymakers to trigger and support individual and collective actions towards sustainability.

For this purpose, we work closely with sociologists, socio-ecologists, and economists, aiming to understand the human dimension of global change impacts in coastal ecosystems.

In this context, we have emphasized the cross or multidisciplinary training for our Lab graduate students, which are typically co-tutored by colleagues from different areas (e.g. geographers, sociologists, economists, evolutive biologists, and so on); on this way, we allowed them to naturally develop a multidisciplinary perspective around their specific research interests.

Finally, we work collaboratively with different educational institutions for outreach activities with the active participation of our graduates and postdoc researchers.

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Role of TEmporal scales of oceanographic variability in shaping the Response of Marine Organisms upon changing pH and Oxygen conditions in the coastal zone (TERMO2 Project). FONDECYT Nº 1210171. 2021 – 2025

Understanding biological responses of marine organisms is paramount to improve prediction of the fate of biological systems in coastal...

Coastal Social-Ecological Millennium Institute (SECOS)

The goal of SECOS is to advance social-ecological systems (SES) research by focusing on real world coastal challenges to...

Impact of the photosynthetic primary productivity over the carbonate chemistry and carbon fixation in subsurface oxygen-depleted waters. Fondecyt Postdoctorado: N° 3210281. 2021-2023.

P.I. Dr. Montserrat Aldunate Coastal upwelling systems are very productive ecosystems and play a key role in the ocean...