[From Deep-Sea Life 15]
Master in Oceanography Student
Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile
I am a Marine Biologist and am studying for a Master in Oceanography in a joint academic programme between the Universidad de Valparaíso and the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaíso in Chile. Dr Eulogio Soto (UV) and Dr Eduardo Quiroga (PUCV) are mentoring my studies, which are related to macrofaunal assemblages inhabiting the surficial sediments of the Atacama trench (7742 metres), and seamounts (2895-4114 metres) in the Southeast Pacific Ocean. The data were collected during a recent oceanographic cruise onboard RV MIRAI organized by JAMSTEC. The main goals of this research are to investigate biodiversity, standing-stock and biogeography of these assemblages, as well as the associated seafloor biogeochemstry. I am currently examining the sediment samples from this expedition to find macrofaunal organisms, in order to assess composition, abundance and diversity. I am very pleased to be providing biological information from one of the most unknown regions in the world, especially as these areas are Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas and Marine Protected Areas (Nazca-Desventuradas and Salas y Gómez seamounts chain and Easter island).
I enjoy studying benthic ecology, data processing and the management of statistical software. When I finish my Master studies I would like to continue deep-sea research, and aim to undertake a PhD in Chile to increase my skillset and my experience of oceanographic cruises.