– Principal Investigator:

Rosanna Ginocchio Cea

– Associate researchers:

Loretto Contreras

Pablo Camus

Eduardo Arellano

Marcelo Miranda

Pablo Becerra

– Postdoctoral associates:

– Professionals and technicians:

Ana Paris Yon, Profesional

– Graduate students

PhD programs:


– Undergraduate students:

– International collaborators:

Dra. Sally Brown, School of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

Dra. Raina Maier, Soil, Water and Environmental Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona, Arizona, USA.


The mining industry is related in various ways to the environment. Some of these interactions have been over-focused, particularly perceived by society as “negative”; other potential interactions with neutral or positive effects have been, on the other hand, sub-considered or undervalued not only by society but also by the mining industry itself. Additionally, there is an extensive discussion among stakeholders (regulators, employers, communities and researchers, among others) on the feasibility of mining in a sustainable way. In this research the CAPES will bring history to allow objectify the effects of the interactions of the mining sector to the environment, with emphasis on enrichment with metals of different environmental matrices (soil, surface and marine waters), and determine how sustainable is this productive sector to various production scenarios. For example, aspects of ecological risk assessment of enrichment with metals (bioavailability, toxicity to organisms and environmental mobility), contributing to the identification of appropriate methodological tools will address risks. Various alternatives for ecological rehabilitation disturbed by the mining industry, based on rebuilding self-sustaining ecosystems sites will be developed. All this knowledge, tools and approaches will be transferred to the mining industry, regulators and society at large, so as to enable sustainable development of the mining sector. Additionally, he will tend to specialized training in these lines of human capital.


1) Objectify the effects of the mining sector interactions with the environment , with emphasis on metal enrichment in different environmental matrices (soil, surface and marine waters).

2) Determine how sustainable is the national mining sector to various alternative scenarios productive and environmental mitigation and rehabilitation.

3) Assess the relevance of the historical and social aspects of mining and environment relationship at the national level.

4) Develop and validate methodologies for environmental rehabilitation appropriate to the national reality.

5) Support regulators in generating new regulations and relevant methodological guides, in addition to supporting the review of existing regulations.

6) Transferring knowledge to stakeholders and contribute to the formation of new human capital at the national level in the field of mining and environmental interaction.

Actual research lines:

1) Integrate management of mining waste and organic waste for assisted phytostabilization cost-effective.

2) Methodology environmental rehabilitation post coal mining.

3) Improvement of propagation steps and post- transplant native woody species for the rehabilitation of degraded areas.

4) Improving the Competitiveness of Mining and Energy through Reduced uncertainty associated with environmental permitting.

5) Analysis of socio- environmental conflicts for mining.

6) Stress tolerance mechanisms for copper and other environmental stresses in intertidal marine algae. Bioavailability and toxicity of metals in the soil for the plants.

Projections and challenges:

Among the important challenges for this line is the better coordination among stakeholders at the national level in the field of mining and the environment (regulators, mining companies, environmental consulting companies, communities, NGOs, etc). Improving the linking between actors is fundamental, high impact and relevance. Additionally, the transfer of various products (support for standards, methodologies, training of advanced human capital, knowledge dissemination to civil society, etc. ) will be key to support this linkage .



1) Flores-Molina MR, Thomas D, Lovazzano C, Núñez A, Zapata J, Kumar M, Correa JA & Contreras-Porcia L (2014) Desiccation stress in intertidal seaweeds: Effects on morphology, antioxidant responses and photosynthetic performance. Aquatic Botany 113: 90-99. PDF: Flores-Molina et al. 2014  

2) Kaless G, Mao L, Moretto J, Picco L & Lenzi MA (2015) The response of a gravel-bed river planform configuration to flow variations and bed reworking: a modelling study. Hydrol. Process. doi: 10.1002/hyp.10504. PDF: Kaless_et_al-2015-Hydrological_Processes

3) Martin MJ, Fredes C, Nuñez G, Ginocchio R & Montenegro G (2014) Comparison of methods for determining the color of Chilean honeys and the relationship of color with botanical origin in central Chile. Cien. Inv. Agr. 41(3): 411-418. PDF: Martin et al. 2014

4) Oppliger LV, von Dassow P, Correa J, Bouchemousse S, Robuchon M, Valero M, Mauger S & C Destombe (2014) Alteration Of Sexual Reproduction And Genetic Diversity In The Kelp SpeciesLaminaria digitata At The Southern Limit Of Its Range. Plos One 9: 1-11. PDF: Oppliger et al. 2014

5) Ramírez ME, Contreras-Porcia L, Guillemin ML, Brodie J, Valdivia C, Flores-Molina MR, Núñez A, Contador CB & Lovazzano C (2014) Pyropia orbicularis sp. nov. (Rhodophyta, Bangiaceae) based on a population previously known as Porphyra columbina from the central coast of Chile. Phytotaxa 158(2): 133-153. PDF: Ramírez et al. 2014 (Phytotaxa)

6) Ritter A, Correa J, Dittami S, Goulitquer S, Boyen C, Potin P & T Tonon (2014) Transcriptomic And Metabolomic Analysis Of Copper Stress Acclimation In Ectocarpus siliculosus Highlights Signaling And Tolerance Mechanisms In Brown Algae. Bmc Plant Biology 14:1-17. PDF: Ritter at al 2014

7) Sordet C, Andrade S, Correa J, Contreras-Porcia, L, Lovazzano C, Goulitquer S & P Potin (2014) Physiological Plasticity Of Dictyota kunthii (Phaeophyceae) To Copper Excess. Aquatic Toxicology 150: 220-228. PDF: Sodet et al 2014_abstract


1) Bravo-Fritz CP, Sáez-Navarrete CA, Herrera Zeppelin LA & Ginocchio Cea R (2015) Site selection for microalgae farming on an industrial scale in Chile. Algal Research 11: 343-349. PDF

2) Hernández A, Miranda M, Arellano EC,Saura S, Ovalle C (2015) Landscape dynamics and their effect on the functional connectivity of a Mediterranean landscape in Chile. Ecological Indicators 48: 198-206. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.08.010. PDF: Hernandez et al. 2015

3) Krueger-Hadfield SA, Roze D, Destombe C, Correa J & Valero M (2015) O father, where art thou?  Paternity analyses in a natural population of the red seaweed Chondrus crispus.  Heredity 114: 185–194. PDF: Krueger-Hadfield et al. 2015_abstract

4) López-Cristoffanini C, Zapata J, Gaillard F, Potin P, Correa JA & Contreras-Porcia L (2015) Identification of proteins involved in desiccation tolerance in the red seaweed Pyropia orbicularis (Rhodophyta, Bangiales). Proteomics 15: 3954–3968. PDF

5) Morales NS, Becerra PI, Arellano EC & Gilabert HB (2015). Effect of large and small herbivores on seed and seedling survival of Beilschmiedia miersii in central Chile. Bosque (Valdivia), 36(1), 127-132. PDF: Morales et al. 2015 Bosque

6) Ovalle JF, Arellano EC & Ginocchio R (2015). Trade-Offs between Drought Survival and Rooting Strategy of Two South American Mediterranean Tree Species: Implications for Dryland Forests Restoration. Forests 6(10):3733-3747. PDF

7) Picco L, Sitzia T, Mao L, Comiti F & Lenzi MA (2015) Linking riparian woody communities and fluviomorphological characteristics in a regulated gravel-bed river (Piave River, Northern Italy). Ecohydrology. doi: 10.1002/eco.1616. PDF: Picco_et_al-2015-Ecohydrology

8) Vieira VMNCS,Oppliger LV, Engelen AH, Correa JA (2015) A New Method to Quantify and Compare the Multiple Components of Fitness-A Study Case with Kelp Niche Partition by Divergent Microstage Adaptations to Temperature. PLoS ONE 10(3):  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119670. PDF: Vieira et al. 2015 (1)

9)Verdejo J, Ginocchio R, Sauvé S, Salgado E & Neaman A (2015) Thresholds of copper phytotoxicity in field-collected agricultural soils exposed to copper mining activities in Chile. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 122: 171-177. PDF

10) Yangüez K, Lovazzano C, Contreras-Porcia L & Ehrenfeld N (2015) Response to oxidative stress induced by high light and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the biodiesel producer model Nannochloropsis salina (Ochrophyta, Eustigmatales). Biol. Mar. Oceanogr. 50(S1): 163-175. PDF: Yanguez et al. 2015


1) Glade FE, Miranda MD, Meza FJ & van Leeuwen W (2016) Productivity and phenological responses of natural vegetation to present and future inter-annual climate variability across semi-arid river basins in Chile. Environ Monit Assess 188: 676. PDF

2) Guajardo E, Correa JA & Contreras-Porcia L (2016) Role of abscisic acid (ABA) in activating antioxidant tolerance responses to desiccation stress in intertidal seaweed species. Planta 243(3):767-81. PDF

3) Guillemin ML, Contreras-Porcia L, Ramírez ME, Macaya EC, Contador CB, Woods H, Wyatt C & Brodie J (2016) The bladed Bangiales (Rhodophyta) of the South Eastern Pacific: Molecular species delimitation reveals extensive diversity. Mol Phylogenet Evol 94(Pt B):814-26. PDF

4) Hernández A, Miranda MD, Arellano EC & Dobbs C (2016) Landscape trajectories and their effect on fragmentation for a Mediterranean semi-arid ecosystem in Central Chile. Journal of Arid Environments 127: 74-81. PDF

5) Hernández A, Arellano EC, Morales-Moraga D & Miranda MD (2016) Understanding the effect of three decades of land use change on soil quality and biomass productivity in a Mediterranean landscape in Chile. Catena 140: 195-204. PDF

6) Ovalle JF, Arellano EC, Ginocchio R & Becerra P (2016).  Fertilizer location modifies root zone salinity, root morphology, and water-stress resistance of tree seedlings according to the watering regime in a dryland reforestation. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci., 179: 223–233. PDF

7) Petitpas R, Ibarra JT, Miranda M & Bonacic C (2016) Spatial patterns in a 24-year period show a case of increase forest cover and decrease fragmentation in Andean temperate landscapes, Chile. Cien. Inv. Agr. 43(3):384-395. PDF

8) Rodríguez-Córdova LA, Sáez-Navarrete CA, Ishanoglu V, Herrera L & Ginocchio R (2016) Tolerance of Magellan fungi in peat to anthracene and n-dodecane for potential use in bioremediation. Cien. Inv. Agr. 43(1):85-93. PDF

9) Valenzuela P, Arellano EC, Burger JA & Becerra P (2016) Using facilitation microsites as a restoration tool for conversion of degraded grasslands to forests in Southern Patagonia. Ecological Engineering.95: 580-587. PDF


1) Fellous A, Andrade S, Vidal-Ramirez F, Ricardo Calderón & Jessica Beltran & Juan A. Correa (2017). Modulatory effect of the exudates released by the brown kelp Lessonia spicata on the toxicity of copper in early developmental stages of ecologically related organisms Environ Sci Pollut Res 24: 3900. PDF

2) Fierro C, López-Cristoffanini C, Meynard A, Lovazzano C, Castañeda F, Guajardo E & Contreras-Porcia L (2017) Expression profile of desiccation tolerance factors in intertidal seaweed species during the tidal cycle. Planta. 245(6):1149-1164. doi: 10.1007/s00425-017-2673-0. PDF

3) Ginocchio R, León-Lobos P, Arellano EC, Anic V, Ovalle JF & Baker AJM (2017) Soil physicochemical factors as environmental filters for spontaneous plant colonization of abandoned tailing dumps. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 24(15):13484-13496. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-8894-8. PDF

4) Gutierrez I & Becerra P (2017) The effect of native forest replacement by Pinus radiata plantations on riparian plant communities in Chile. Plant Ecology & Diversity. 10 (1): 65-75. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2017.1294630. PDF

5) Kumar M, Padula MP, Davey P, Pernice M, Jiang Z, Sablok G, Contreras-Porcia L & Ralph PJ (2017) Proteome Analysis Reveals Extensive Light Stress-Response Reprogramming in the Seagrass Zostera muelleri (Alismatales, Zosteraceae) Metabolism. Front. Plant Sci. 7:2023. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.02023. PDF