About this Research Topic
Fjords are deep and glacially carved estuarine ecosystems that are particular to certain coastlines and have several characteristics that distinguish them from shallower embayments. Patagonian fjords (41–55°S) are one the most structured ecosystems in the world, with particular differences from other fjord environments at higher latitudes such as in Scandinavia and New Zealand. In addition, Patagonian fjords constitute a dynamic estuarine system characterized by sharp gradients in salinity, aquatic productivity, and suspended sediment concentrations. In fact, fjords exhibit many oceanographic processes occurring over a wide range of space and time scales. Moreover, due to their location at the interface between marine and terrestrial environments, they rapidly respond to changes in continental and marine conditions alike. However, there is limited investigation into Patagonian fjords’ benthic communities, which appear to be sensitive to climate changes. The need here is for a deeper understanding of this ecosystem and its resilience to the long-term effects of pollution.
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.
Professor Nelson Silva - Biography
At the age of 75, Professor Nelson Silva Sandoval passed away in Valparaíso, an academic at the Escuela de Ciencias del Mar of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) for more than 50 years. He participated in various oceanographic expeditions, both nationally and internationally, which spanned from northern Chile to Antarctica, including the oceanic islands and seamounts. His academic dedication was complete. Tireless in his classes, giving special commitment to his relationship with students, transferring his knowledge, rigor, and ethics to new professionals through numerous undergraduate and graduate courses. Whose effort and quality made him worthy in 2015 of the "Award for Distinguished Teaching" and in 2016 of the University's "Fides et Labor Award for Academic Merit" in recognition of its extensive and distinguished academic career. The study of the ocean was another of his great passions, leading and collaborating on numerous projects, including more than 100 scientific publications and presentations at conferences.
In addition, he has participated in the developing and promoting one of his significant contributions to marine research in Chile, such as the creation of the CIMAR Program (Cruises for Marine Research in Remote Areas). This program steadily promoted research in the Oceanic Islands (Juan Fernández Archipelago and Rapa Nui Island) and, especially, in the Patagonian Fjords Ecosystem. This tremendous initiative and management of Professor Silva has lasted uninterruptedly since 1995, with the realization of 25 cruises to date. A significant contribution, which meant the edition in 2006 of the book "Advances in oceanographic knowledge of the Chilean inland waters between Puerto Montt and Cabo de Hornos," all of which led to it being honored by the National Oceanography Committee (CONA). At the end of his university career, he continued to participate in different publications, an activity about which he was passionate. That accompanied him until the end of his life. His great human qualities, friendly personality, scientific rigor, and dedication to others will always remain in the memory of those who knew him.
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