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The end of man is knowledge, but there is one thing he can’t know.  He can’t know whether knowledge will save him or kill him. He will be killed, all right, but he can’t know whether he is killed because of the knowledge which he has got or because of the knowledge which he hasn’t got and which if he had it, would save him.


From All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren




Research Interests:

Scientists, decision makers and the general public are increasingly aware that cultural, economic and social aspects of environmental questions must be analyzed together with ecological perspectives to understand today’s pressing global issues (e.g., climate change, urbanization, biocultural homogenization, invasive species) (Carpenter et al. 2009). In this context, my research emphasizes timely questions that seek to reconceive ecosystems as socio-ecological systems. In particular, I have worked on the socio-ecological role of invasive species in novel communities/ecosystems, specifically watersheds. In turn, these ecological questions coincide with striving to understand the interaction between ecology and society by designing and implementing long-term socio-ecological research programs.


Since 2000, my research has been part of broader collaborative efforts, as a leading member of an interdisciplinary group of academics, based in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile, integrating multiple scales and disciplines and simultaneously addressing environmental questions that combine social and ecological phenomena. Consequently, I have conducted a suite of studies on natural history and community ecology of sub-Antarctic birds (Anderson & Rozzi 2000, Brown et al. 2007, Pizarro et al. in press). Yet, the focus of my work has been 1) community and ecosystem-level approaches to understand the role of invasive species in a “pristine” wilderness biome (Anderson et al. 2006a, 2009) and 2) sub-Antarctic stream ecosystem and food web ecology (Anderson & Rosemond 2007, 2010). At the same time, I have researched and implemented interdisciplinary platforms for Chile’s first Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research Network (Anderson et al. 2008, 2010, in preparation).


As my career matures, I am interested in deepening the understanding of socio-ecological systems, using the tools provided by a systems approach, to consolidate an agenda that effectively promotes trans-disciplinary research, education and socially-relevant outcomes working in the following core areas:


1.     Understanding environmental problems as socio-ecological systems:

My principal line of research has contributed to a timely discussion within the theory and practice of environmental sciences regarding our understanding of “invasive” species (see Davis et al. 2011, Simberloff et al. 2011). In 2002, I initiated a systematic strategy to study the role of human-introduced species in southern Patagonia. First, establishing their assemblages and distributions led to the “discovery” that, despite being one of the world’s last remaining pristine wilderness areas, the sub-Antarctic ecoregion is actually replete with exotic, often invasive species (Anderson et al. 2006a). We proceeded to quantify the population-, community- and ecosystem-level consequences of these invasions, especially an invasive ecosystem engineer–the North America beaver (Castor canadensis), focusing on impacts to riparian plant communities (Anderson et al. 2006b, Wallem et al. 2010), stream ecosystem function (Anderson & Rosemond 2007), freshwater fish communities (Moorman et al. 2009) and terrestrial-aquatic food webs (Anderson & Rosemond 2010). A review synthesized the invasive beaver effects and compared them to their native role (Anderson et al. 2009).

After establishing basic community- and ecosystem-level information on these introduced species in a novel biome, we evaluated invasion biology per se in the region (Pauchard et al. 2010, Anderson & Valenzuela 2014), finding that more studies are needed in three specific areas, which we then began to address: i) general theory (Wallem et al. 2010, Valenzuela et al. 2014), ii) applied management (Davis et al. 2012, Ballari et al. in review) and iii) social dimensions (Zagarola et al. 2014).  Plus, partially based our ecological research, Argentina and Chile signed a binational treaty in 2008 to restore native forests by eradicating beavers (Anderson et al. 2011), which led a group of us to ask “how?” The answers to this question quickly opened up a new suite of research that required a deeper, social-ecological systems approach. With funding from NatGeo and the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture, we addressed the restoration process itself in native forests (Henn et al. 2014), and we also began to inquire about the process’ human dimensions, via support from an U.S. NSF Coupled Nature-Human Systems Grant (Santo et al. 2015) and participation in a SESYNC working group on comprehensive ecological restoration (Suding et al. 2015). Then, a global review of the social dimensions of biological invasions, including social conflicts, allowed us to propose Cognitive Hierarchy Theory as a way to mitigate problems by diagnosing whether they are based on values versus perceptions (Estevez et al. 2015). Now, I lead an NSF-CONICET project to distinguish biotic versus institutional drivers of ecosystem restoration success.


2.     Integrating Science and Society:

To study and integrate the multiple disciplines and scales required to address the world’s pressing resource issues, academics must also effectively create and implement long-term socio-ecological research (LTSER) programs and platforms. As the first national coordinator of Chile’s LTSER Network, I was able to work with leading scientists and philosophers to develop and analyze the implementation such initiatives, publishing the experience in the leading journal in environmental philosophy–Environmental Ethics (Anderson et al. 2008) and coordinating a special edition of the Revista Chilena de Historia Natural (Anderson et al. 2010). Both of these special editions were published in English and Spanish to engage academics and science-policy makers. Subsequently, I worked with an array of collaborators on issues like improving broader impact evaluation criteria in Latin America to enhance the social-ecological relevance of research (Monjeau et al. 2013, 2015; Anderson et al. 2015) and also institutional approaches to link ecosystem services and human well-being, currently as a lead author on the IPBES Americas Assessment. Finally, since helping create the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (CHBR, Anderson et al. 2014), I have been involved in projects to link tourism-science, including training tour guides to implement long-term monitoring protocols (e.g., phenology) at sites throughout the archipelago (Davis et al. 2013).


In this context, my research confronts major challenges in environmental research and management. As a handling editor for Conservation Biology and via my involvement with IPBES, I am actively engaged in these discussions and processes at regional and global scales (see Teel et al. in prep.), making me aware that gaps still persist to combine conceptual and empirical scientific research with broader, humanistic approaches, which are needed to fully understand, manage and conserve socio-ecosystems (Anderson et al. 2015, Pizarro et al. in review). Since 2000, my research role has been as a leader in collaborative efforts to integrate multiple scales and disciplines and simultaneously address environmental questions that combine social and ecological phenomena. Consequently, I have conducted studies that range from basic natural history to ecosystem-level approaches to understand a “pristine” wilderness biome. At the same time, however, I have led interdisciplinary research at the interface of socio-ecological dimensions of these question and link theory and management, including creating research platforms and integrating science and society.


Grants Awarded:


Integrating Social and Ecological Systems

2015-2017:   Inter-Governmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Regional Assessment for the Americas. Integrating Ecosystem Benefits and Human Well-Being. Chapter Lead Author: C.B. Anderson.

2015-2017:   U.S. National Science Foundation – Argentine National Council for Scientific and Technical Research. Binational Collaborative Programs. Understanding biotic and institutional drivers that facilitate or constrain watershed restoration: a comparative study of two iconic landscapes from Patagonia and the Grand Canyon. PI: C.B. Anderson. CoPIs: S. Ballari (CONICET), E. Nielsen (N. Arizona U.): ~$12,000 USD.

2015-2016:   Argentine National Parks Administration & National University of Tierra del Fuego. Education & Introduction to Research Projects. Socio-ecological evaluation of Tierra del Fuego National Park. PI: C.B. Anderson. Co-PIs: A. Valenzuela, M. Malizia, P. Van Aert, P. Rodríguez, V. Car. ~$2,500 USD.

2015-2016:   Argentine National Parks Administration & National University of Tierra del Fuego. Education & Introduction to Research Projects. The aquatic biodiversity of Tierra del Fuego National Park: an interdisciplinary and socio-ecological focus. PI: A.E.J. Valenzuela. Co-PIs: M. Malizia, P. Van Aert, P. Rodríguez, C.B. Anderson, N. Ader. ~$2,500 USD.

2014:            U.S. NSF, National Center for Socio-Environmental Synthesis. Working Group on Ecological Restoration and Ecosystem Services. PIs: J.B. Callicott & M. Palmer. Senior Personnel: C.B. Anderson. ~$2,000 USD.

2012-2015:   National Science Foundation Dynamics of Coupled Nature-Human Systems Program Ecology, Culture & Outcomes: linking human perceptions and socio-ecological thresholds for ecosystem restoration (ECO-Link). PI: C.B. Anderson. Co-PIs: M. Sorice & C.J. Donlan: $250,000 USD.

2005-2006:   Global Environment Facility PDF-A Grant, World Bank – Implementing the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. PI: R. Rozzi. Co-PIs: A. Berghoefer, C.B. Anderson & F. Massardo: $25,000 USD.


Integrating Ecology with Management

2015-2018:   Argentine Ministry of Science, Technology & Productive Innovation. Scientific and Technological Research Program (PICT 2015). Research and management of exotic carnivores in southern Patagonia: eradication of the American mink (Neovison vison) in the Fuegian Archipelago as a case study (Resolution 270/15, PICT-2014-3334). PI: A.E.J. Valenzuela. Co-PI: C.B. Anderson. $240,000 pesos.

2015-2018:   Argentine Ministry of Science, Technology & Productive Innovation. Scientific and Technological Research Program (PICT 2014). Argentine Innovation Plan 2020. Linking species and ecosystem levels for conservation and management of southern Patagonian forests: the study of aquatic macroinvertebrates to develop bioindicators of ecosystem services (Resolution 270/15, PICT-2014-2842). PI: C.B. Anderson. Senior Personnel: E. Domínguez, M. Armstrong, A. Malits, P. Rodríguez, M.G. Martínez Pastur, M.V. Lencinas $225,400 pesos.

2014-2017:   Argentine Ministry of Agriculture Sustainable Forest Plantations Program (MSRN BIRF LN 7520 AR) Applied Research Projects Plantations in Riparian Forests of Nothofagus pumilio degraded by Castor canadensis in Tierra del Fuego for the recuperation of their forestry potential and environmental services. PIs: G. Marintez Pastur. Collaborators: M. Cellini, M.V. Lencinas & C.B. Anderson. ~$40,000.

2013-2015:   Argentine Ministry of Science and Technology, National Agency for the Promotion of Science and Technology Impact of livestock on plant communities and their associated entomofauna along a latitudinal gradient of Southern Patagonian forests (BID PICT 2012 Nº1028). Director: M.V. Lencinas. CoPI: R. Soler. Collaborators: G. Martínez Pastur, P. Peri, C.B. Anderson, G. Kreps, E. Gallo. $150,000 Argentine pesos.

2013:            National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant Restoration of riparian forests impacted by beavers. PI: J. Henn. Co-Major Advisor: C.B. Anderson. $4,500 USD.

2011-2013:  Argentine National Agency for the Promotion of Science and Technology Bicentennial PICT Impact of agricultural, livestock and forestry practices on soil entomofauna associated with vegetation community changes in southern Patagonia. PI: M.V. Lencinas. Collaborator:  C.B. Anderson. ~$12,000 USD.

2011-2012:   Rufford Small Grant for Nature – Integrating riparian Nothofagus antarctica forests into the study of beaver invasion on Tierra del Fuego Island, Argentina. PI: R. Soler. Collaborator: C.B. Anderson. £5,800.

2012-2013:   Chilean National Forestry Service Public Bid #1038-67-LE11 to provide prospection and trapping services for North American beavers in Parrillar Lake National Reserve. Science Advisor: C.B. Anderson. $10,000 USD.

2008-2010:   University of Magallanes Internal Grant Decomposition dynamics in subantarctic streams. PI: C.B. Anderson. ~$1,600 USD.

2004:            Consultancy Contract on Invasive Species, UFZ Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany. PI: C.B. Anderson. €1,000.


Integrating Research with Training and Networking

2013-2017:   National Science Foundation (EE.UU.) International Research Experience for Students Program Patagonian Research Experiences in Sustainability Science (PRESS): Understanding social-ecological drivers and consequences of global change (IIA 1261229). PI: E. Nielsen. Co-PIs: C.B. Anderson, G. Koch, E. Nielsen & M. Armstrong. $250.000 USD.

2014-2015:   Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Program for Stays by Foreign Researchers during Sabbatical Periods. Stay for Dr. Merav Ben-David. PI: C.B. Anderson. ~$12,000 USD.

2013:            Argentine Ministry of Education, Secretary of University Policies, Network Strengthening Program VI Building an Inter-University Network for Research, Education and Outreach in Archipelagic Systems: PIs P. Van Aert. Co-PIs: C.B. Anderson, C. Teixido: ~$10,000 USD.

2013:            Argentine Ministry of Education, Secretary of University Policies, Network Strengthening Program VI Towards the social and institutional construction of the southern Patagonian territory: an inter-university network in the extreme south of South America. PI: P. van Aert. Co-PIs: C.B. Anderson, C. Teixido: ~$10,000 USD.

2011:            Chilean National Science and Technology Commission Short Stay Program. Funding for 2.5 month stay of Brendon Larson to develop applied research projects and teaching on the social dimensions of invasive

                     species with the Universidad de Magallanes. PI: C.B. Anderson. ~$20,000 USD.

2009-2012:   NSF International Research Experience for Students Award Integrating Environmental Sciences and Philosophy in the World’s Southernmost Forested Ecosystem. PI: J. Kennedy. Co-PIs: C.B. Anderson & R. Rozzi: $150,000 USD.

2009-2011:   Chilean National Science and Technology Commission Bicentennial Program Postdoctoral Program. PI: A. Mansilla. Co-PIs: C.B. Anderson & R. Rozzi: ~$100,000 USD.

2009:            Millennium Scientific Initiative Networking Project Long-Term Monitoring and Ecosystem Experiments. PI: J. Gutierrez. Co-PIs: C.B. Anderson, F. Squeo & J. Armesto: ~$24,000 USD.

2008-2009:   AVINA Foundation Patagonian Leadership Network Consolidating the Omora Consortium. PIs: R. Rozzi, C.B. Anderson & V. Morales: $25,000 USD.

2008-2009:   Millennium Scientific Initiative Networking Project Consolidating a Chilean Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research Network. PI: R. Rozzi. Co-PIs: J. Armesto, C.B. Anderson & J. Gutierrez: ~$30,000 USD.

2008:            U.S. Embassy in Chile – U.S. Department of State Grant (S-CI800-08-GR-049) to the Omora Sub-Antarctic Research Alliance to finance visit of Dr. Ed Stashko (VP for Global Programs of the Organization for Tropical Studies) to advise development of the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program. PI: C.B. Anderson. $3,635 USD.


Integrating Science and Society

2013-2014:   Chilean National Commission on Scientific and Technological Research.  Linking Science-Industry Program Scientific-Technological Transfer for the Training of the Tourism Sector in the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctic Region. Director: S. Murcia & E. Davis. Senior Personnel: C.B. Anderson. ~$80,000 USD.

2012-2013:   Chilean National Scientific and Technological Research Commission & Magallanes and Chilean Antarctic Regional Government Regional Fund for Innovation and Competitiveness Thematic Communicational Atlas to Sites of Tourism Interest on Navarino Island and Surroundings. PIs: E. Davis & S. Opazo. Senior Personnel: C.B. Anderson. ~$65,000 USD.

2008-2010:   Rufford Foundation Small Grant for Nature The Omora Bird Observatory: Long-Term Ornithological Studies and Conservation in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile. PI: J.C. Pizarro. Major Advisor: C.B. Anderson. £5,700.


Dissertation and Postdoctoral Grants

2006-2008:   Millennium Scientific Initiative Postdoctoral Fellowship. PI: C.B. Anderson. ~$44,000 USD.

2006:            University of Georgia Final Year University-Wide Fellowship. PI: C.B. Anderson. ~$25,000 USD.

2004-2006:   National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. PI: C.B. Anderson. Major Advisor: A.D. Rosemond: $12,000 USD.

2004:            Boren Fellowship – National Security Education Program, U.S. Defense Department. PI: C.B. Anderson. ~$20,000 USD.

                     Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research. PI: C.B. Anderson. $300 USD.

                     Robert A. Sheldon Memorial Award. PI: C.B. Anderson. $500 USD.

                     Tinker Foundation Travel Scholarship. PI: C.B. Anderson. $1,500 USD.

2003:            Fulbright Scholarship – U.S. State Department. PI: C.B. Anderson. ~$18,000

2001-2003:   University of Georgia Doctoral Assistantship. PI: C.B. Anderson. ~$50,000