Collaborative Research in the CHBR

leah.jpgSince 2007, Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Leah Dudley has been collaborating in the thesis of University of Magallanes student Ana María Caicheo, under the direction of Drs. Ricardo Rozzi and Francisca Massardo. In March, Ana María and Leah finished one of their final field expeditions as part of this innovative thesis that seeks to determine the role of insects in dispersing the spores of Tayloria mirabilis. The relationship of insects and non-vascular plants is a completely undeveloped field of inquiry in the Southern Hemisphere. This project is a collaborative effort between the IEB, UMAG and Omora with international associates from the University of Labrador, University of Connecticut and Cornell University and is a pioneering activity in the CHBR to determine the ecological role of the “miniature forests” of Cape Horn, which not only are some of the most diverse organisisms in the subantarctic biome, but could potentially also fulfill key ecological functions.