Dr. Marcelo Oliva (Puerto Aysén, Chile, 1952) holds a degree in Biology m/Fisheries Biology (1978) from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Perú. He returned to Chile in 1980 to join Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas of the Antofagasta Regional Office as an academic. He begins his research activities in marine parasitology, initially focusing in taxonomy of parasites of fish and molluscs, and then evolving to ecological aspects of the Host-Parasite relationship.
In 1988 he travels to Peru (Universidad Ricardo Palma) to collaborate with Dr. José Luis Luque (presently in Brazil) to develop the Laboratory of Marine Parasitology, following the same research line: Parasite Ecology. In 1991 he returns to Chile and resumes his position at Universidad de Anbofagasta where he develops projects on pathological aspects and castration caused by parasites in gastropod mollusks. He initiates a new research line related to parasites as biological tools in fish population studies: migration and stock units. In 2000 he received his PhD in Biological Oceanography IUEM by the Université de Bretagne Occidentale in Brest, France.
In 2003 he is promoted to Professor at the University of Antofagasta, where in addition to HIS research activities he has held various management positions as a member of the Honorable Board of the University, Director of the Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, on several occasions, Director of the PhD Program in Applied Sciences m/ Coastal Marine Systems. Since March 2014 he serves as Vice President for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies of the University of Antofagasta. He served as Chairman of the 'International Committee of Fish Parasitology' until September 2015.
In 2007 he started his research in ecology and evolution of marine parasites funded by FONDECYT. His most important contributions in this area refer to biogeographic processes in marine parasites, ecology and evolution.
His research in IMO will be conducted in the frame of Research Line 4: The Deep Ocean. His main concern is to understand the evolutionary and biogeographic relationships of fish of the deep sea, particularly the connectivity between "coastal" populations and those associated with Oceanic Islands, trenches and seamounts, using metazoan parasites as biological tools.
He is currently conducting the FONDECYT 1140173 Project 'HOST PARASITE PHYLOGENY, PHYLOGEOGRAPHY AND PARASITE FITNESS: UNDERSTANDING THE EVOLUTION PATTERN IN MARINE PARASITES'