International Symposium “Recent Research on Magellan-Antarctic Connections” Punta Arenas, 28th and 29th May 2020

The International Symposium “Magellan-Antarctic Connections” will be held during the week of the 40th National Marine Chilean Science Conference on the 28th and 29th of May, 2020.  Both events will take place at the University of Magallanes, Punta Arenas, Chile. The main purpose of this symposium is to provide insight into recent and current ecologic, evolutionary, biogeographic, geologic, and oceanographic research in the Magellan region and its connections with the Antarctic. This meeting will be joined by scientists with the common goal to enhance the development of Magellan and Antarctic research and to facilitate the exchange of scientific information in a framework of international collaboration.

Content, concept, and scientific significance

The Magellan region is a highly vulnerable and complex ecosystem, which will be severely affected by climate change due to its proximity and close connection with the Antarctic. It offers a unique natural laboratory that demands increasing research in the near future. In the last years, the need for sub-Antarctic and Antarctic research has increased, and as a consequence, much research effort has to be oriented towards the study of ecologic, evolutionary, geologic and oceanographic processes and how they are connected. Novel information, training of young scientists and cooperative projects should provide improved facilities to study and understand those processes that give rise to the similarities and differences between the austral-polar biotas and their extreme environments. Thus, the symposium offers a scientific platform for presenting and discussing some of the latest advances in research that focuses on life and environmental sciences in high latitude marine systems.

Principal objectives to achieve:

– To fill gaps in scientific knowledge about the state of sub-Antarctic and Antarctic marine ecosystems.

– To provide basic information on the main factors that may impact sub-Antarctic and Antarctic marine systems.

– To stimulate possible joint research projects, to enhance future scientific polar and subpolar knowledge through national and international collaboration.

This meeting has the aim of preparing a third IBMANT symposium (IBMANT III), as a follow-up of the two conferences held in Punta Arenas (1997) and Ushuaia (2003), in two years’ time.

The symposium will be divided in three major sections:

  • Understanding key ocean-atmosphere-ice interactions in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic ecosystems.
  • Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic advances in marine biological research: Gaps and challenges in benthic ecology from individuals to ecosystems.
  • Paleoceanographic and geological studies on sub-Antarctic and Antarctic systems, gaps and challenges for the next years.
Understanding key ocean-atmosphere-ice interactions in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic ecosystems.
Coordinator: José Luis Iriarte (IDEAL, Universidad Austral de Chile)

Environmental and ecological vulnerabilities were important criteria in the decision to choose research in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic coastal systems, given their sensitivity to climate changes in complex coastal zones that are undergoing increasing human development and impact. Examples are the development of natural perturbations (harmful algae blooms), global climate change and regional anthropogenic activities such as tourism, induced large variability in shellfish stocks and potential massive aquaculture arrival, among other activities. This section will put particular emphasis on integrating studies, such as (1) how ocean chemistry and physical structures respond to climatic forcing and may affect the biological processes and community/trophic structure on different spatial/temporal scales, (2) the role of key functional species such as whales and krill populations, (3) how global problems pertaining to oceanography and global change related to glacial melting and change of the input of freshwater to the coastal ocean, (4) how actual interactions of environmental stressors such as temperature,  acidification, and salinity affect biological performance of microbial assemblages such as HAB.

Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic advances in marine biological research: Gaps and challenges in benthic ecology from individuals to ecosystems.
Coordinator: Claudia Andrade (Instituto de la Patagonia, Universidad de Magallanes)

Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic ecosystems are experiencing significant ecological and environmental change. Benthic studies have been concentrated on a relatively small number of sites, and the ecology of those communities has shown well-defined patterns dominated by suspension feeders, playing an important role in the organic carbon flow. In this symposium, we will focus on spatiotemporal patterns of benthic communities considering multi-approaches in the field of ecology, physiology and genetics. The main task will consider to evaluate (1) the legacy of the Last Glacial cycles over spatial patterns of genetic diversity and genetic connectivity between Antarctic and South American populations, (2) how sub-Antarctic and Antarctic benthic communities are shaped in terms of trophic structure, and (3) the impact of environmental factors on benthic communities, productivity, distribution, and ecosystem functioning.

Paleoceanographic and geological studies on sub-Antarctic and Antarctic systems, gaps and challenges for the next years.
Coordinator: Lorena Rebolledo (Instituto Antártico Chileno).

The main goal of this section is to present paleoceanographic, and geological studies in the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions, emphasizing the gaps, challenges for improved studies, collaboration between countries and researchers. This section will focus on the key questions of connections between sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions, and the evolution of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) during the Last Glacial Maximum with special reference to evidence in the Magellan region.


We invite papers in the Research Topic: Oceanography and Benthic Ecology of Patagonian fjords – 500 years from the Discovery of the Strait of Magellan. This Research Topic in Frontiers in Marine Science celebrates the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Strait of Magellan, on October 21st, 2020. This initiative will include several Chilean institutions and other institutions from Italy and Germany interested in scientific research related to Patagonian ecosystems. Further information about this research topic check it here:—500-years-from-the-discovery-of-the-strait-m#comments

Editor in Chief: Dr. Eduardo Quiroga, PUCV.
Collaborators: Drs. Nelson Silva and Giorgio Bavestrello

Key Dates:

Deadline for symposium abstract submission: 15 March 2020. Inscriptions: For more information please contact:,,
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Deadline for abstract submission in special volume in Frontiers in Marine Science: 31 March 2020. For more information please contact