Víctor Aguilera, PhD.

Research line researcher @ IMO
Researcher @ CEAZA




Assistant Researcher @ IMO


Doctor in Oceanography @ UDEC


After receiving instruction in biology, Dr. Aguilera obtained a doctoral degree in oceanography at the University of Concepción (2010) with a thesis on the carbon cycle and the pelagic trophic dynamics of the upwelling systems off the Chilean coast. In order to explain the prevalence and biological success of plankton in this dynamic environment, Dr. Aguilera conducted his research on the basis of experimental ecology and also used many biochemical and molecular tools. Some of the results of his research work indicate that there are rapid micro-phytoplankton successions in response to changes in an aquatic environment greatly affected by upwelling; these result in smaller zooplankton high reproductive efficiency and secondary production. The knowledge Dr. Aguilera acquired about plankton ecology in upwelling environments in the Humboldt system made it possible for him to do a 3-year-long Fondecyt postdoc in 2011, during which he evaluated the effects of geographic variations in salinity and the system of carbonates related to climate change on zooplankton life history traits. This project was supported by the Aquatic Systems Research Unit at EULA-Chile Environmental Research Center in cooperation with the project ANILLO ACT-132. The most important result of this research was the establishment of the role of environmental history in zooplankton acclimation and responses to modulators of climate change (CO2 and temperature). After finishing his postdoc (2014), Dr. Aguilera joined the Institute of Natural Sciences Alexander von Humboldt at the University of Antofagasta, where he worked as an assistant professor for three years. At that educational institution, Dr. Aguilera carried out a Fondecyt Initiation Project seeking to evaluate coupling between pH phenology in an area of permanent upwelling and the biology of dominating zooplankton species. Dr. Aguilera is currently (2017) living in Coquimbo and works as a researcher at the Center for Dryland Studies (CEAZA). He is also a member of the Latin American (LAOCA) and Global (GOA-ON) Ocean Acidification Network.

Research Areas: biological oceanography, experimental ecology, ocean acidification, phenotypic plasticity and adaptation of plankton.


Intra‐seasonal hydrographic variations and nearshore carbonates system off northern Chile during the 2015 El Niño event

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences | Volume 125, Pages 1-17

doi:10.1029/2020JG005704November, 2020

Vargas, C.A.Aguilera, V.M.Dewitte, B.

pH and other upwelling hydrographic drivers in regulating copepod reproduction during the 2015 El Niño event: A follow-up study

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Volume 234, Article 106640

doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2020.106640March, 2020

Antagonistic interplay between pH and food resources afects copepod traits and performance in a yearround upwelling system

Scientific Reports | Volume 10, Pages 1-12

doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56621-6January, 2020

Upwelling modulation of functional traits of a dominant planktonic grazer during "warm-acid" El Niño 2015 in a year-round upwelling area of Humboldt Current.

PLOS One | Volume 14, Issue 1, Article e0209823

doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0209823January, 2019

Temperature and pCO2 jointly affect the emergence and survival of cercariae from a snail host: implications for future parasitic infections in the Humboldt Current System

International Journal for Parasitology | Volume 49, Issue 1, Pages 49-61

doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2018.08.006January, 2019

Leiva, N.V.Manríquez, P.HAguilera, V.M.González, M.T.

Species-specific responses to ocean acidification should account for local adaptation and adaptive plasticity

Nature Ecology & Evolution | Volume 1, Article 0084

doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0084March, 2017

Vargas, C.A.Lagos, N.A.Lardies, M.A.Duarte, C.Manríquez, P.H.Aguilera, V.M.Broitman, B.Widdicombe, S.Dupont, S.

Electrophoretic protein profiles of mid-sized copepod Calanoides patagoniensis steadily fed bloom-forming diatoms

Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research | Volume 43, Issue 4, Pages 798-806

doi:10.3856/vol43-issue4-fulltext-20September, 2015

Aguilera, V.M.Escribano, R.Martínez-Oyanedel, J.

CO2-driven ocean acidification disrupts the filter feeding behavior in chilean gastropod and bivalve species from different geographic localities

Estuaries and Coasts | Volume 38, Issue 4, Pages 1163-1177

doi:10.1007/s12237-014-9873-7July, 2015

Vargas, C.A.Aguilera, V.M.San Martín, V.Manríquez, P.H.Navarro, J.M.Duarte, C.Torres, R.Lardies, M.A.Lagos, N.A.

Adaptive variability to low-pH river discharges in Acartia tonsa and stress responses to high PCO2 conditions

Marine Ecology-An Evolutionary Perspective | Volume 37, Issue 1, Pages 215-226

doi:10.1111/maec.12282April, 2015

Aguilera, V.M.Vargas, C.A.Lardies, A.M.Poupin, M.

Intraspecific variability in the response of the edible mussel Mytilus chilensis (Hupe) to ocean acidification

Estuaries and Coasts | Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 590-598

doi:10.1007/s12237-014-9845-yMarch, 2015

Duarte, C.Navarro, J.M.Acuña, K.Torres, R.Lardies, M.A.Vargas, C.A.Lagos, A.N.Aguilera, V.M.

Combined effects of temperature and ocean acidification on the juvenile individuals of the mussel Mytilus chilensis

Journal of Sea Research | Volume 85, Pages 308-314

doi:10.1016/j.seares.2013.06.002January, 2014

Duarte, C.Navarro, J.M.Acuña, K.Torres, R.Manríquez, P.H.Lardies, M.A.Vargas, C.A.Lagos, N.A.Aguilera, V.M.
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