Professor, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Ecology
The focus of my research program is the emergent discipline of macroecology, understood as that approximation to the study of ecological systems centered in the search for general and invariant principles that underlie their seemingly endless diversity and variability. Because of its synthetic character, research in macroecology is neither restricted to a particular temporal or spatial scale of analysis, nor limited to a particular level of ecological organization, thus encompassing phenomena in both ecological and evolutionary time scales and from local communities to continental and global biotas. What matters is the question and way ecological systems are apprached. The same as in other branches of science, the search for general principles and invariants in complex systems takes the form of statistical regularities such as scaling laws.
The aforementioned interests lead me to carry out research on the ecological and evolutionary implications of the body size of organisms in an attempt to explain general phenomena related to the body size distribution of marine and terrestrial organisms in local communities, insular systems, and continental biotas. At other level of analysis my research has focused on the spatial structure of regional species assemblages, metapopulation dynamics, and the existence of relationships between patterns usually studied in isolation such as the relationship between distribution and abundance, Taylor s power law, the lognormal distribution of abundances, and nestedness. Finally, we continually try to apply our research results to problems related to the conservation of biological diversity, in particular to the analysis of the conservation status of animal species