Dr. Carmen E. Morales (Chile, 1955) received her Ph.D. from the University of London (UK) in 1992. Her thesis focused on the role of zooplankton in the transfer of organic carbon in the water column, emphasizing the importance of smaller sized zooplankton and active transport of carbon. This research was developed in the framework of the international JGOFS (Joint Global Ocean Flux Study).
In 1993 she obtained a grant from CONICYT (National Council of Science and Technology) for a postdoctoral study FIFG (Fisheries Development Institute). As part of that research, she described the spatial and temporal variability of phytoplankton biomass in the northern region of Chile and its relation to oceanographic conditions. She also carried out one of the first characterizations of the spatial and interannual variability of oxygen minimum zones in the northern region of Chile and a description of how it affects plankton and larvae of anchovy.
In 1995, she joined the Secretariat of Fisheries as a consultant on marine protected areas, and developed specific legislation concerning marine parks and reserves. This is specific to the creation of the first marine reserve in Chile in 1997.
Since 1997 she works at the University of Concepción (UdeC) FONDAP first as a researcher and then as Associate Professor (2000-present). Part of the research team that created the FONDAP-COPAS (2000-2012) Center and recently, which creates the Millennium Institute of Oceanography.
Her most relevant contributions to oceanography in recent years are linked to the physical-biological interactions focused on the effects of coastal upwelling, fronts, and mesoscale eddies on the structure and dynamics of planktonic communities (picoplankton to mesoplankton).
Her focus of research at the Millennium Institute of Oceanography is focused on the effect of mesoscale processes and submesoescala on the structure and dynamics of plankton communities in the South-eastern Pacific.
She currently serves on the Editorial Board of the journals Journal of Plankton Research, and Journal of Marine Biology and Oceanography. She is also a member of the international CLIVAR Pacific Panel Program (Climate Variability and Predictability) component of the International Programme WCRP (World Climate Research Programme).