ProjectSpatial distribution and abundance models for chilean dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia) in Patagonia.
My master’s research project is linked to modeling the distribution and abundance of marine mammals in the fjords of Southern Patagonia, Chile. In particula, I aim to develop models for predicting the distribution and abundance of the chilean dolphin located in Seno Skyring. The development and implementation of this type of spatially explicit model, requires examining multiple environmental drivers (e.g. ocean productions and sea surface temperature, among others) that influence the distribution of marine mammals. Prof. Dr. Jorge Gibbons (University of Magellanes) focuses his research on marine vertebrates, particularly the distribution and the abundance of whales and dolphins in the Humboldt Current and the Chilean fjords. For this reason, it is a very interesting and enlightening opportunity to be trained by him and his group of researchers at the Institute of Patagonia and at the University of Magellan (UMAG). As a young researcher, for me it is very valuable to have the possibility to be acquainted with researchers from abroad and become familiar with their research methods and fieldwork in different fields of marine biology. The Institute of Patagonia is fully coordinated with the University of Magellanes with a broad and multidisciplinary research portfolio, integrating research on the biodiversity of Antarctic and Subantarctic regions to elaborate strategic planning for conservation and management. At the Institute of Patagonia, there are close to 35 scientists and experts grouped in eight research areas: environmental studies, hydrobiology, botany, zoology, austral man’s study, climatology, micropaleontology and horticulture. Many of those areas of expertise and projects aligned with my research interests and relate to my current domain of study, particularly the topics concerning to environmental studies and zoology. Likewise, this Institute functions as a bridge between academia, resource managers, government institutions and society, promoting awareness and exchanging knowledge within its scope of activities, at the local, regional, and global levels. This scientific and research network building will allow me to expand my multidisciplinary knowledge. In addition, this experience will improve my skills on the implementation of spatially explicit simulation models’ skills looking forward to having a greater impact in research projects to understanding the influence of environmental factors in the distribution of marine mammals in the southern of Chile.