Dr. Montserrat Aldunate

Montserrat is a Marine Biologist (2008), Master of Science (2014) and Doctor in Oceanography (2019) from the University of Concepción. In 2019, she joined the ECCA Lab in support of the Fondecyt project: “CARbon Cycling and Physiological Traits in Phytoplankton Functional Groups under low pH/low Oxygen conditions (CARpHOX)”.

She developed her doctoral thesis at the Laboratory of Microbial Oceanography at the University of Concepción and the Millennium Institute of Oceanography (IMO), under the supervision of professors Osvaldo Ulloa (guide) and Peter von Dassow (co-guide).

In her thesis she studied the assimilative metabolisms of carbon and nitrogen in picocyanobacteria that inhabit anoxic marine areas in the North Pacific and Southeastern Tropical Ocean.

Montserrat has experience in the study of marine microorganisms, phytoplankton, biogeochemical cycles and the areas of oxygen minimum and low pH. She has developed experiments coupling stable isotopes, flow cytometry, and cell-sorting. She has participated in several field campaigns aboard national scientific vessels (AGS-61 Cabo de Hornos) and international (R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer, R/V New Horizon, R/V Atlantis, R/V Ronald Brown, R/V Tangaroa). In addition, she actively participates in activities and workshops for dissemination and connection with the medium aimed at children and adults.


Aldunate M, von Dassow P, Vargas CA, Ulloa O. 2022. Carbon assimilation by the picoplankton community inhabiting the secondary chlorophyll maximum of the anoxic marine zones of the eastern tropical north and south Pacific. Frontiers in Marine Science 9: 858308. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2022.850308

Vik D, Gazitúa MC, Sun CL, Zayed AA, Aldunate M, Mulholland MR, Ulloa O, Sullivan MB. 2020. Genome‐resolved viral ecology in a marine oxygen minimum zone. Environmental Microbiology. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.15313

Aldunate M, Henríquez-Castillo C, Ji Q, Lueders-Dumont J, Mulholland MR, Ward BB, von Dassow P, Ulloa, O. 2019. Nitrogen assimilation in picocyanobacteria inhabiting the oxygen-deficient waters of the eastern tropical North and South Pacific. Limnology and Oceanography. DOI: 10.1002/lno.11315

Ganesh S, Bertagnolli A, Bristow L, Padilla CC, Blackwood N, Aldunate M, Bourbonnais A, Altabet M, Malmstrom R, Woyke T, Ulloa O, Konstantinidis KT, Thamdrup B, Stewart FJ. 2018. Genomic evidence for the use of alternative nitrogen substrates by anammox bacteria. The ISME Journal. DOI: 10.1038/s41396-018-0223-9.

Aldunate M, De la Iglesia R, Bertagnolli A, Ulloa O. 2018. Oxygen modulates bacterial community composition in the coastal upwelling waters off central Chile. Deep-Sea Research Part II Top. Stud. Oceanogr. 1–12. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2018.02.001.

Garcia-Robledo E, Padilla CC, Aldunate M, Stewart FJ, Ulloa O, Paulmier A, Gregori G, Revsbech NP. 2017. Cryptic oxygen cycling in anoxic marine zones. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 114, 8319–8324. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1619844114.