February 17, 2021 #ChileDiverse #Science and Knowledge.

Chile's unique ecosystems, the benefits of studying marine biology in the world, the benefits of studying marine biology in Chile

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Learning in situ and being able to practice in a real natural laboratory is one of the main reasons why students from all over the world choose Chile to study Marine Biology. 

Our country has great advantages for scientific activities, one of them is our long coastline, "we have about 4,000 km of coastline in a straight line and a maritime territory that covers an area almost 5 times larger than the continental territory", says Dr. Marcelo Gutiérrez, head of Marine Biology at the Universidad de Concepción. Added to this is the great variety of ecosystems with unique characteristics that we have in Chile, "They stand out not only for their beauty, but also for their physical and biological characteristics that turn some marine areas into true natural laboratories. Chile has tropical, temperate, sub-Antarctic and Antarctic zones and a variety of islands, from the cold Patagonian islands to the tropical island of Rapa Nui," says Dr. Pablo A. Oyarzún, Director of Marine Biology at the Universidad Andrés Bello. 

Andrés Bello University

Thanks to our privileged natural wealth, many are the foreign scientists who visit us to contribute to give answers to the different questions of the planet. "In recent decades we have realized that our world is changing and many of the changes come from the sea. That is why we must study them in order to adapt. This is where marine biology plays a fundamental role in the development of societies," says Dr. Pablo A. Oyarzún. From Chile we contribute, generating scientific knowledge that is used, for example, in marine conservation, in fisheries management, in the development of biotechnologies and in aquaculture.

Dr. Marcelo Gutiérrez comments that the study and research of marine sciences in Chile has both a local and global focus, since, on the one hand, many of the problems or questions of interest are occurring simultaneously in other parts of the world and, on the other hand, global trends such as climate change have measurable effects at the local level. "In this way, through the study of contextualized cases in different scenarios we can contribute with knowledge not only for our marine ecosystems, but also for other environments with similar characteristics, as well as for studies that allow us to establish trends at a planetary level on the state of the oceans," he argues. He adds that the renewed look of the new generations of professionals and researchers in marine sciences is fundamental. "In this context, the Universidad de Concepción also offers a degree in Marine Biotechnology and Aquaculture Engineering, which, through the application of knowledge in marine biotechnology and aquaculture, will allow us to establish trends at a planetary level on the state of the oceans. application of knowledge in marine biotechnology contributes to the global problems, ensuring the sustainability of the activities undertaken".

First class facilities

Andrés Bello University

Some of the universities that offer this career have infrastructure to develop research and teaching a few steps from the coast. For example, the Oceanography Department of the Universidad de Concepción has the Marine Biology Station located in Dichato (Bio Bio region), where teaching and laboratory activities are carried out. It also has the oceanographic research boat Kay Kay II, in which students throughout the career make field trips to familiarize themselves with the use of specialized equipment, sample collection and work on board a scientific vessel. This infrastructure is available for undergraduate and graduate students, who can carry out their observations and experiments both in situ and in the field. in situ as well as in properly equipped laboratories.

The Universidad Andrés Bello has a first class marine research center located in the town of Quintay in the Valparaíso Region. This center was built in the ruins of an ex-whaling plant from the last century. CIMARQ currently conducts marine and aquaculture research. "It is a strategic place for our students because that is where we conduct classes, internships and theses, and it is a fantastic place because both professors and students can spend days doing career activities. This is very important for the formation of our students", adds the U. Andrés Bello professor. 

All these characteristics have positioned Chile as one of the great poles of development of Marine Sciences in South America, a recognition that over time has spread worldwide.


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