Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
Facultad de Recursos Naturales
Escuela de Ciencias del Mar
Avda. Brasil 2950

Valparaíso, Chile

Postal Address

Casilla 1150
Puerto Montt

Email Adress:
Phone: 0056-65-2280368 (Puerto Montt), 0056-65-2972147 (Huinay)
Fax: 0056-65-2280368


Managing Scientists/Scientific Coordinator of Huinay Scientific Field Station (since October 2004)

Ph.D. student of Dr. Ralph Tollrian, Department of Ecology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Germany
Cooperation partner in Chile: Dr. Elena Clasing, Department of Marine Biology, Universidad Austral de Chile (UACH)
Special subject advisors: Dr. Paul Dayton, Scripps Institution, USA; Dr. Wolf Arntz, Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research


“A novel approach for structural analyses of benthic communities exemplified by Chilean fiords”

Shallow water benthic communities in the fiord Comao are studied with focus on cold-water corals. The investigations are carried out at Huinay Scientific Field Station.


Gunter CV Phd Thesis ProyectIn a first phase, a novel method for inventory and reproducible characterization of benthic communities will be developed and applied. The method combines tried and tested procedures from terrestrial plant sociology (Braun-Blanquet) with modern techniques for benthic research like SCUBA-diving and digital underwater photography. The method will be designed for application on a broad spectrum of benthic communities. It allows a rapid asessment procedure for large areas as well as a reproducible detailed analysis of benthic communities and a combination of both. The results will provide information about benthic biodiversity in the northern Chilean fiord region. This phase of the project is integrated in the Census of Marine Life and the NaGISA project. In a second phase, basic abiotic constants will be recorded at selected communities and variable factors will be monitored during an entire year cycle. Key factors molding these communities shall be detected, which allow conclusions on dynamics within these communities and the reasons for high diversity in the fiords.




Since Oct. 02:             PhD thesis project

Aug. 00 – Sept. 02:     Teaching and Research Assistant at the Department of Ecology of the LMU (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München),     Munich; free-lance at the ZSM (Zoologische Staatssammlung München)

Aug. 99 – July 00:        Graduate Studies in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas (KU)

Oct. 98:                       Diplom (Master) in Biology at the LMU, Munich, Germany: grade[1] 1.0 obtaining “first class honors”
Diploma examinations:

  • Ecology; main topic of examination: marine population dynamics and harvesting concepts
  • Zoology (systematics); main topic of examination: marine zoology, Humboldt Current
  • Botany (systematics); main topic of examination: marine algae
  • Soil science

Oct. 97 – Oct. 98:       Diploma thesis: “Contributions to the Sea Anemone Fauna of Chile (Cnidaria, Anthozoa)”, advisor: Dr. Gerhard Haszprunar atZoologische Staatssammlung München, LMU/ZSM (Zoological State Collection Munich); second advisor: Dr. Karin Riemann,Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven

Aug. 94 – Oct. 95:       One year of integrated graduate studies in marine biology at the Universidad de Concepción, Chile, with emphasis on marine invertebrates

Nov. 92 – Oct. 97:       Hauptstudium Biologie (graduate studies) in biology at the LMU, Munich

Nov. 92:                      Vordiplom (graduation), grade1 1.6; subjects: biology, chemistry and physics

Oct. 90 – Nov. 92:       Grundstudium Biologie (undergraduate studies) at the LMU, Munich

June 88:                       Abitur (University entrance qualification): grade1 1.9

[1] German Grading System: 1.0 (best) – 6.0 (worst)


Oct. 97-Oct. 98:           “Beiträge zur Aktinienfauna Chiles (Cnidaria: Anthozoa); Teil 2”, “Contributions to the Sea Anemone Fauna of Chile (Cnidaria: Anthozoa); Part 2”

Overwiew over the 7 most common mesomyarian Actiniaria in shallow water – sampled during a 6 months expedition along the Chilean coast, together with Dr. Verena Häussermann 

Adviser: Dr. Gerhard Haszprunar, ZSM / LMU
Additional advisers: Dr. Karin Riemann, AWI Bremerhaven; Dr. Hajo Schmidt, Universität Heidelberg


Selected Conference Posters and Talks (out of 62):

  1. Försterra, G. and Häussermann, V. (1995): “Actiniaria y Corallimorpharia en la área costera de Concepción”; XV Jornada de Ciencias de Mar in Coquimbo/Chile
  2. Försterra, G. &  Häussermann, V. (2001): “Large assemblages of azooxanthellate Scleractinia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) in shallow waters of South Chilean fjords”; Terra Nostra 01/6: 155; 4th Annual Meeting of the GfBS; abstract
  3. Försterra, G. (2002): “Reconstructing a lost world – the urgent need for reproducible inventory methods in benthic science”, 8.-12.11.02,Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo.
  4. Försterra, G. (2003): “The south Chilean fjord region- methods and techniques for structural analysis of shallow water benthic communities”,IBMANT and ANDEEP meeting, 19.-24.10.2003, Ushuaia, Argentina, abstract.
  5. Försterra, G. (2004): A novel approach to diversity assessments of macro-epi-benthic communities exemplified by Chilean fjords; Annual NABSmeeting, Vancouver, Canada, 6.-11.6.2004, abstract.
  6. Försterra. G. (2005): Optimizing sampling- and analysis patterns for digital-photographic macro-epibenthic community studies – a combined theoretical and practical approach exemplified by a Chilean fjord. Annual COLACMAR meeting, May16-20 2005, Vina del Mar, Chile, abstract.
  7. Försterra. G. & V. Häussermann (2005): In Sight, Still Out of mind! — Coral Banks in Chilean Fjords: Characteristics, Distribution, Threats. 3rd International Symposium on Deep Sea Corals ISDSC 3, November 28-December 2; Miami, Florida, USA, p. 125, abstract.
  8. McCulloch, M., P. Montagna, G. Försterra, G. Mortimer, V. Häussermann & C. Mazzoli (2005). Uranium-series dating and growth rates of the cool-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus from the Chilean fjords. 3rd International Symposium on Deep Sea Corals ISDSC 3, November 28-December 2; Miami, Florida, USA, p. 191; pdf poster.
  9. Försterra, Günter and Vreni Häussermann (2006): Fjord regions as laboratories for understanding processes in marine ecosystems affected by climate changes. 41st European Marine Biology Symposium EMBS41, Cork, Ireland, September 4-8, 2006, abstract.
  10. Försterra, Günter (2006): Inadequacies of the NaGISA protocol for application in the Chilean fjord region and alternative procedures. 1st NaGISA World Coference, Kobe, Japan, October 15-18; p. 28; abstract.
  11. Försterra, G. and Häussermann, V. (2007): Where the deep sea comes into reach – deep-water emergence in the Chilean fjord region. New Frontiers in Marine Science; June 26-29, Baltimore, USA
  12. Försterra, G., Häussermann, V. (2008): Saving a biodiversity hotspot: baseline studied as research priority for the Chilean Patagonian Fjord Region. 1st World Congress on Marine Biodiversity, Valencia, Spain, November 11-15.
  13. Günter Försterra, Verena Häussermann, Michelle Marcotte and Josh Biro (2008): Taxonomic tools for assessing marine biodiversity – a new field guide for the Chilean fjords; Congreso de Ciencias del Mar, Vina del Mar, May 26-30, 2008.
  14. Försterra & Häussermann (2008): Fjord regions: where the deep sea comes into reach.  4th International symposium of deep-sea corals, December 1-5, Wellington, New Zealand.
  15. Fiona Bahr, Michelle Marcotte, Axel Hausmann, Josh Biro, Vreni Häussermann, Günter Försterra (2009): The Patagonian Fjord Region: A hotspot that should not leave us cold; Biodiversity Hotspots, Luxemburg, March 26-28.
  16. Försterra, G. & Häussermann, V. (2009): The Chilean fjord region – Problems in managing an unknown but complex system; International Marine Conservation Congress IMCC, Washington D.C., May 20-24
  17. Försterra, G. & Häussermann, V. (2009): Typically Special: The Patagonian Fjord Region and its characteristics; Fjord Meeting, Bergen, May 7 and 8, 2009.
  18. Försterra, G., Mayr, C. and Häussermann, V. (2010): Cold water corals and endolithic algae – parasitism, commensalism or mutualism? 45th European Marine Biology Symposium; Edinburgh, Scotia, August 23-27.
  19. G. Försterra, V. Häussermann , K. Hiscock, E. Plotnek and D. Genter (2011): . Shallow cold water coral reefs in Chilean Patagonia – ecosystems that may be destroyed before they are really known. 9th International Temperate Reefs Symposium; Plymouth, UK, July 4-8. Poster.
  20.  Försterra, G. & Häussermann, V. (2011): Time to say goodbye! – Why digital imaging techniques should replace diver observations in benthic assessments. 2nd International Marine Concervation Congress; Victoria, BC, Canada, May 14-18. Talk.
  21. Försterra, G. & Häussermann, V. (2011): Fundamental problems in managing largely unknown diverse marine systems in Chilean Patagonia. 2nd World Congress on Marine Biodiversity; Aberdeen, Scotland, September 26-30. Talk.
  22. Försterra, Günter, Vreni Hӓussermann, Christoph Mayr, and Carin Jantzen (2012): Low pH and the role of endolythic algae in CWC; International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals, Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 1-5, 2012.
  23. Christiane Hassenrück, Carin Jantzen, Günter Försterra and Verena Häussermann (2012): Growth rates and skeletal density of Desmophyllum dianthus – effect of association with endolithic algae. YOUMARES 3.0, Lübeck, Germany, September 12-14, 2012
  24. Häussermann, Verena & Försterra, Günter: Los fiordos chilenos- mar incógnito y “hot spot” de biodiversidad. Simposio de “Censu de la Vida Marina Chile”, XXXIII congreso Ciencias del Mar, Mayo 27-30, 2013, Antofagasta, Chile.
  25. Günter Försterra, Vreni Häussermann and David Bellhoff: Lending MARXAN a helping hand – ways to improve analyses of poor data sets, exemplified on the Chilean fjord region, International Marine Protected Area congress IMPAC, October 21-27, 2013, Marseille & Corsica, France.
  26. Günter Försterra, Vreni Häussermann: Cold-water corals of Chilean Patagonia – distribution and threats, 8th International Coelenterate Meeting, ICCB, Eilat, Israel, December 1-5, 2013.
  27. Häussermann V, G Försterra, D Bellhoff (2014). Filling gaps – species distribution models help to improve the resolution of zoogeographical analysis for Chilean Patagonia. World Congress on Marine Biodiversity, Qingdao, China, October 12-16.
  28. Gottschlich, J Laudien, V Häussermann, G Försterra, J Smith (2014). The impact of changing substrate angles on abundance and diversity of hard bottom communities during primary succession. MARES conference 2014, Olhão, Portugal. November 17-21.
  29. Gottschlich, J Laudien, V Häussermann, G Försterra (2014). Modulation of the intensity of abiotic parameters caused by substratum inclinations and its implication on hard-bottom benthic community structure. YOUMARES conference 2014, Stralsund, Germany. September 10-12.
  30. Henry Goehlich, Jürgen Laudien, Christopher Nowak, Carin Jantzen, Vreni Häussermann, Claudio Richter. “Can specimens of the cold-water coral Desmopyllum dianthus adapt to a changing environment in the Chilean Fjord Region?” 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress, Glasgow, Scotland, August 14-18, 2014
  31. Jantzen C., Laudien J., Nowak C., McConnell KM., Häussermann, V. In situ growth rate of a cold water coral in a natural pH gradient. XXX1V Congreso Ciencias del Mar, Osorno, Chile. May 26-30.
  32. Försterra G., J. Laudien, C. Jantzen, R. Waller, J. Sellanes, K. McConnell, U. Pörschmann, C. Fuentes, P. Muñoz & V. Häussermann (2015). ¿Qué causa la muerte de corales en la Patagonia chilena? – hipótesis sobre la muerte masiva de bancos de Desmophyllum dianthus. XXXV Congreso Ciencias del Mar, Coquimbo Mayo 25-29 2015.
  33. Häussermann V, Försterra G, Burrows M, Gorny M & Bellhoff (2015): D. Llenando los espacios blancos – modelos de distribución de especies ayudan a mejorar la resolución de análisis zoogeográficos y de áreas marinas protegidas. XXXV Congreso Ciencias del Mar, Coquimbo Mayo 25-29 2015.
  1. G. Försterra, V. Häussermann, R. Fitzek y Yany G. (2004, version revisada 10.1.2006): Propuesta para el establecimiento de un parque marino en los fiordos Comau y Renihue (incluyendo Quintupeu, Cahuelmo y la isla Lilihuapi); pdf
  2. V. Häussermann, G. Försterra, A. Wehrmann, M. Thiel, M. Schrödl y E. Clasing (2004): Primer workshop en la Estacion Cientifica Huinay: los fiordos chilenos; pdf: English, Spanish, German
  3. Försterra, Günter, Häussermann, Verena (2007): Impactos relacionados con la construccion de una carretera a lo largo de los fiordos Comau y Reñihué.
  1. Försterra, G. & Häussermann, V (2004): Chilean fjords – an endangered paradise. Global Marine Environment 1: 12-13
  2. Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (2004): Chilean sea anemones – forgotten flowers of the sea. Global Marine Environment 1: 16-17
  3. Försterra, G. & Häussermann, V (2004): Die chilenischen Fjorde – ein bedrohtes Paradies. GfBS newsletter 13: 24-26, 57
  4. Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (2004): Die chilenischen Seeanemonen – vergessene Blumen des Meeres. GfBS newsletter 13: 31-33, 57
  5. Hajdu, E., Willenz, P., Lôbo-Hajdu, G., Desqueyroux-Faundez, R., Carvalho, M., Häussermann, V., Försterra, G. and M. Scuteri (2005): Marine sponges biodiversity. Project AMBARC-diving and wading in South America. Global Marine Environment 4: 28-29.
  6. Försterra, G., Häussermann, V. & Gerard P. Foley Jr. (2006): Adding pieces to a complex puzzle – discovering the benthic life in the channels and fjords of Chilean Patagonia. Global Marine Environment 3: 18-21.
  7. Willenz, P., Häussermann, V., Försterra, G., Schrödl, M., Melzer, R., Atwood, L. and Jorda, C. (2007): Finding more pieces of the Chilean puzzle.Global Marine Environment 5: 26-29.
  • Terra X, ZDF, German (2015)
  • Pew one minute video
  • Huinay – paraiso para la ciencia, TVN (2013), starting minute 27
  • Cambio Global, TVN (2013), starting minute 17.20
  • Chile’s wild south: The fjords of the settlers, ARTE (2011)
  • Patagonia special, in series Thalassa, France 3 (February 2008)
  • Prometheus Wissenschaftsfernsehen für Baden-Württemberg: Unbekanntes Patagonien – Meeresforschung in Chiles Fjorden (2006)
  • Das Reich der Tiefe kommt nach oben/El reino abisal invade los fiordos, journal GEO (October 2013, German; December 2013, Spanish
  • Numerous reports in Chilean, German and Spanish newspapers and television (2003-now, e.g. report on dead whales in Golfo de Penas in “Ultimas Noticias”, May 2015)
  • Photographic exhibition “Los fiordos de la Patagonia – un paraiso al final del mundo” (2014-2015; Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Coyhaique)
  • Underwater photo author for the book about the planned marine reserve in Bahía Tic Toc, South Chile; Ed.: Pumalin Foundation; 2002
  • “Underwater Field guide to Ross Island and McMurdo Sound, Antarctica – Cnidaria”, 2001; 
  • The chapter „Cnidaria“ in the book „Das Mittelmeer –  Fauna, Flora, Ökologie, Band II/1, Bestimmungsführer“, Editor: Robert Hofrichter, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, 2003
  • TV documentation “La Ley de la Selva: Huinay”, Megavisión, March 2004
  • Exposition for the „Month of the Sea“, Hornopirén, Chile, May 2004
  • the ARD Scientific Quiz “Kopfball” (cnidae picture), 2005
  • the Netwatch section of the Science Magazin 2004, Science 309: 2009; and a report on the BIOPAT programm in the Science and Development Network of the Journal “Science” (March 2004)



Invited Talks: since 1998, more than 100 talks in 13 countries

  1. A. Zahn, M. Steiger, B. Petri, G. Försterra (1991); “Beiträge zum Artenschutz Nr. 17, Amphibienkartierung im Landkreis Altötting”, S. 113 – 117, Schriftenreihe des Bayerischen Landesamts für Umweltschutz.
  2. Häussermann, V. and Försterra, G. (2001): “A new species of sea anemone from Chile, Anemonia alicemartinae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa). An invader or an indicator for environmental change in shallow water?” (Organisms Diversity & Evolution 1(3): 211-224); abstract and colour pictures, pdf(Copyright Urban & Fischer Verlag 2001)
  3. Försterra, G. & Häussermann, V. (2003): “First report on large scleractinian (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) accumulations in cold-temperate shallow water of south Chilean fjords” (Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 345: 117-128); pdf (copyright Museum Naturalis, 2003)
  4. Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (2003): “First evidence for coloniality in sea anemones”; Marine Ecology Progress Series 257: 291-294; pdf(copyright Inter-Research 2003)
  5. Försterra, G., Beuck, L., Häussermann, V. & Freiwald, A. (2005): Shallow water Desmophyllum dianthus (Scleractinia) from Chile: characteristics of the biocenoses, the bioeroding community, heterotrophic interactions and (palaeo)-bathymetrical implications. In: Freiwald, A., Roberts, J. M. (eds.): Cold-water corals and ecosystems. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 937-977; pdf (copyright Springer Verlag).
  6. Cairns, S., V. Häussermann and G. Försterra (2005). A review of the Scleractinia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) of Chile, with the description of two new species; Zootaxa 1018: 14-46; pdf (copyright Magnolia Press)
  7. Häussermann, V. and Försterra, G.(2005): Distribution patterns of Chilean shallow-water sea anemones (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria, Corallimorpharia); with a discussion of the taxonomic and zoogeographic relationships between the actinofauna of the South East Pacific, the South West Atlantic and Antarctica; Pages 91-102 in W. E. Arntz, G. A. Lovrich and S. Thatje, eds. The Magellan-Antarctic connection: links and frontiers at high southern latitudes. Scientia Marina 69 (Suppl. 2); pdf (copyright).
  8. Michael Schrödl, María-Angélica Alarcón, Luis R. Bedriñana, Francisco J. Bravo, Carlos M. Bustamante, Rosana Carvalho, Günther Försterra, Carlos Gallardo, Verena Häussermann, Andrea Salmen (2005): Nudipleura (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia) from the southern Chilean Comau Fjord, with redescription of Polycera priva Marcus, 1959; Vita Malacologica 3: 23-33.; pdf (copyright).
  9. van Ofwegen, L., Häussermann, V. and Försterra, G. (2006): A new genus of soft coral (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea: Clavulariidae) from Chile. Zootaxa 1219: 47-57; pdf (copyright Magnolia press).
  10. Schwabe, E., Försterra, G., Häussermann, V., Alarcón, M.-A. and Schrödl, M. (2006): Chitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) from the southern Chilean Comau Fjord, with reinstatement of Tonicia calbucensis Plate, 1897. Zootaxa 1341: 1-27; pdf (copyright Magnolia Press).
  11. Melzer, Roland R., Schrödl, Michael, Häussermann, Verena, Försterra, Günter, and Montoya Bravo, Maria Fernanda (2006): Pycnogonids on cnidarians at Comau fjord, Southern Chile: a report on 2005 SCUBA collections. Spixiana 29: 237-242; pdf.
  12. Häussermann, Verena & Günter Försterra (2007). Extraordinary abundance of hydrocorals (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Stylasteridae) in shallow water of the Patagonian fjord region. Polar Biology 30 (4): 487-492; pdf (copyright Springer) (online first:
  13. Häussermann, V. and G. Försterra. 2007. Large assemblages of cold-water corals in Chile: a summary of recent findings and potential impacts. Pages 195­-207 in George R. Y. and S. D. Cairns, eds. Conservation and adaptive management of seamount and deep-sea coral ecosystems. Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami. 324 p.
  14. van Ofwegen, Leen, Häussermann, Verena & Günter Försterra (2007): The genus Alcyonium (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea: Alcyoniidae) in Chile. Zootaxa 1607: 1-19.
  15. Galea, Horia, Häussermann, Verena and Günter Försterra (2007): Hydrozoa, fjord Comau, Chile. Check list 3(2): 159-167.
  16. Galea, Horia, Häussermann, Verena and Försterra, Günter (2007): Cnidaria, Hydrozoa: First records, local and extended world distribution, region of south-Chilean fjords. Check List 3(4): 308-320.
  17. Galea, Horia, Försterra, Günter, and Häussermann, Verena (2007): Additions to the hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from the fjords region of southern Chile. Zootaxa 1650: 55-68.
  18. Försterra, Günter & Verena Häussermann (2008): Unusual symbiotic relationships between microendolithic phototrophic organisms and azooxanthellate Scleractinia from Chilean fjords. Marine Ecology Progress Series 370: 121-125.
  19. Häussermann, Verena and Försterra, Günter (2008): A new species of sea anemone from the Chilean fjord region, Paraisanthus fabiani (Actiniaria: Isanthidae), with a discussion of the family Isanthidae Carlgren, 1938. Zootaxa 1897: 27-42.
  20. Försterra, Günter, Häussermann, Verena & Carsten Lüter (2008): Mass occurrences of the recent brachiopod Magellania venosa (Terebratellidae) in the fjords Comau and Reñihue, Chile. Marine Ecology 29: 342-347.
  21. Lagger, Cristián, Tatián, Marcos, Häussermann, Vreni and Försterra, Günter (2009): Ascidians (Chordata; Ascidiacea) from the southern Chilean Comau Fjord. Spixiana 32 (2): 173-185.
  22. Verena Häussermann, Michael Dawson and Günter Försterra (2009): First record of the moon jellyfish, Aurelia (Scyphozoa: Semaeostomeae), for Chile. Spixiana 32 (1): 3-7.
  23. Galea, Horia, Häussermann, Verena, and Försterra, Günter (2009): New additions to the hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from the fjord region of southern Chile. Zootaxa 2019: 1-28.
  24. Michael J. Risk, Meghan Burchell, Katharina de Roo, Rob Nairn, Mike Tubrett, Günter Försterra (2010): Trace elements in bivalve shells from the Río Cruces, Chile. Aquatic Biology 10: 85-97.
  25. Christoph C. Mayr, Günter Försterra, Verena Häussermann, Anja Wunderlich, Jürke Grau (2011): Stable isotope variability in a Chilean fjord food web: implications for N- and C-cycles. Marine Ecology Progress Series 428: 89-104.
  26. Malcolm McCulloch, Julie Trotter, Paolo Montagna, Jim Falter, Robert Dunbar, Andre Freiwald, Gunter Forsterra, Matthias Lopez Correa, Cornelia Maier, Andres Ruggeberg, Marco Tavianil (2012): Boron Isotope Systematics of Cold-water Scleractinian Corals: Internal pH Up-regulation and Response to Ocean Acidification. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 87: 21-34
  27. Häussermann, Vreni, Günter Försterra, and Emma Plotnek (2012): Sightings of marine mammals and birds in the Comau fjord, Northern Patagonia, between 2003 and mid 2012. Spixiana 35 (2): 247-262.
  28. Försterra, Günter, and Häussermann, Verena (2012): Report on sustained southern blue whales sightings (Balaenoptera musculus Linnaeus, 1758) in a narrow fjord during autumn-winter in southern Chile. Spixiana 35 (2): 237-245.
  29. Jantzen, Carin, Jürgen Laudien, Stefanie Sokol, Franziska Kupprat, Günter Försterra, Verena Häussermann and Claudio Richter (2013): In situ short-term growth rates of a cold-water coral. Marine and Freshwater Research 64 (7): 631-641. DOI:
  30. Jantzen C, Häussermann V, Försterra G, Laudien J, Ardelan M, Maier S, Richter C (2013): Occurrence of a cold-water coral along natural pH gradients (Patagonia, Chile). Marine Biology 160 (10): 2597-2607. DOI 10.1007/s00227-013-2254-0.
  31. Baumgarten Sebastian, Jürgen Laudien, Carin Jantzen, Verena Häussermann, Günter Försterra (2013): Population structure, growth and production of a recent brachiopod from the Chilean fjord region. Marine Ecology. DOI:10.1111/maec.12097.
  32. Hassenrück Christiane, Carin Jantzen, Günter Försterra & Verena Häussermann (2013): Rates of apical septal extension of Desmophyllum dianthus: effect of association with endolithic photo-autotrophs. Marine Biology. DOI:10.1007/s00227-013-2281-x.
  33. Försterra Günter, Vreni Häussermann, Roland R. Melzer & Andrea Weis (2013): A deep water pycnogonid close to the beach: Colossendeis macerrima Hoek, 1881 spotted at 18 m in the Chilean fjords. Spixiana 36 (1): 20.
  34. Häussermann V & Försterra G (2013): Vast reef-like accumulation of the hydrocoral Errina antarctica (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) wiped out in Central Patagonia. Coral Reefs. DOI 10.1007/s00338-013-1088-z
  35. Häussermann, Verena, Acevedo, Jorge, Försterra, Günter, Marcotte, Michelle, and Aguayo-Lobo, Anelio (2013): Killer whales in Chilean Patagonia: Population, behavioural observations, and individual identifications. Revista de Biologia Marina y Oceanografia 48 (1): 73-85.
  36. Häussermann Vreni, Günter Försterra, Roland R. Melzer and Roland Meyer (2013): Gradual changes of benthic biodiversity in Comau fjord, Chilean Patagonia – lateral observations over a decade of taxonomic research. Spixiana 36 (2): 161-171.
  37. Galea HR, D Schories, G Försterra & V Häussermann (2014): New species and new records of hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from Chile. Zootaxa3852 (1): 001-050.
  38. Försterra G, Häussermann V, Laudien J, Jantzen C, Sellanes J and Muñoz P (2014): Mass die off of the cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus in the Chilean Patagonian fiord region. Bulletin of Marine Science 90 (3): 895-899.
  39. Häussermann V & Försterra G (2014): Vast reef-like accumulation of the hydrocoral Errina antarctica (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) wiped out in Central Patagonia. Coral Reefs 33 (1) 29. DOI 10.1007/s00338-013-1088-z
  40. Macaya EC, Rafael Riosmena-Rodríguez, Roland R. Melzer, Roland Meyer, Günter Försterra,Vreni Häussermann (2014): Rhodolith beds in the South-East Pacific. Marine Biodiversity. DOI 10.1007/s12526-014-0254-z
  41. Günter Försterra, Vreni Häussermann, Jürgen Laudien, Carin Jantzen, Javier Sellanes and Praxedes Muñoz (2014): Mass die off of the cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus in the Chilean Patagonian Fjord Region. Bulletin of Marine Science 90 (3): 895-899.
  42. Jantzen C, Försterra G & J Laudien (2014): Growth form of the cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus n Chilean fjords. Bulletin of Marine Science 90 (2): 579-580.
  43. Christoph Mayr, Lorena Rebolledo, Katharina Schulte, Astrid Schuster, Bernd Zolitschka, Günter Försterra, Verena Häussermann (2014): Responses of nitrogen and carbon deposition rates in Comau Fjord (42°S, Southern Chile) to natural and anthropogenic impacts during the last century. Continental and Shelf Research 78: 29-38.
  44. Graham J. Edgar, Rick D. Stuart-Smith, Trevor J. Willis, Stuart Kininmonth, Susan C. Baker, Stuart Banks,Neville S. Barrett, Mikel A. Becerro, Anthony T. F. Bernard, Just Berkhout, Colin D. Buxton, Stuart J. Campbell, Antonia T. Cooper, Marlene Davey, Sophie C. Edgar, Günter Försterra, David E. Galvan, Alejo J. Irigoyen, David J. Kushner, Rodrigo Moura, P. Ed Parnell, Nick T. Shears, German Soler, Elisabeth M. A. Strain & Russell J. Thomson (2014): Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features. Nature 506: 216-221. doi:10.1038/nature13022
  45. Häussermann V & G Försterra (2015): In situ broadcast spawning of Corynactis Chilean Patagonia. Coral Reefs 34:119. DOI 10.1007/s00338-014-1256-9.
  1. Försterra, G. (2009)*: Ecological and Biogeographical Aspects of the Chilean Fjord Region, p. 61-76. In: Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (eds.):Marine Benthic Fauna of Chilean Patagonia, Nature in Focus, Puerto Montt, 1000 pp.
  2. Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (2009)*: Actiniaria–Sea Anemones, p. 215-266. In: Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (eds.): Marine Benthic Fauna of Chilean Patagonia, Nature in Focus, Puerto Montt, 1000 pp.
  3. Försterra, G. & Häussermann, V. (2009)*: Scleractinia–Stony Corals, p. 273-282. In: Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (eds.): Marine Benthic Fauna of Chilean Patagonia, Nature in Focus, Puerto Montt, 1000 pp.
  4. Sinniger, F., Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (2009)*: Zoantharia–Zoanthids, p. 283-290. In: Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (eds.): Marine Benthic Fauna of Chilean Patagonia, Nature in Focus, Santiago de Chile, 1000 pp.
  5. Försterra, G. (2003): Chapter “Scleractinia“ in the reference work “Das Mittelmeer“, Ed.: Dr. Robert Hofrichter, Spektrum Verlag
  6. Opresko, D. and Försterra, G. (2003): Chapter “Antipatharia“ in the reference work “Das Mittelmeer“, Ed.: Dr. Robert Hofrichter, Spektrum Verlag

*: this chapter is also published in the Spanish edition “Fauna Marina Bentónica de la Patagonia Chilena”

  1. Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (eds.) (2009): Marine Benthic Fauna of Chilean Patagonia, Nature in Focus, Puerto Montt, 1000 pp.
  2. Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (eds.) (2009): Fauna Marina Bentónica de la Patagonia Chilena, Nature in Focus, Puerto Montt, 1000 pp.
  1. Schlatter, R., Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (in press): Some like it hot – hummingbirds making use of hotsprings in Chilean Patagonia (Neornithes, Apodiformes, Trochilidae). Spixiana

  2. Outeiro L, F Viddi, R Hucke-Gaete, G Försterra, V Häussermann, H Oyarzo, K Kosiel, S Villasante (in press): Using ecosystem services mapping for marine spatial planning in Southern Chile under scenario assessment. Ecosystem Services.

  3. Victor A Gallardo, Vreni Häussermann, Carola Espinoza, Laura Fillinger and Günter Försterra (in review): Giant sulfur bacteria in cold vents expanding into the intertidal in Southern Chile. Marine Biodiversity.

  4. Reyes, P., Försterra, G., McConnell, K. & Häussermann, V. (in review): Under jelly protectorate ̶ fish sheltering in medusae (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) tentacles in Chilean Patagonia. Fish Biology


  • Travel stipend for Marine Biology Congress in Coquimbo / Chile by Universidad de Concepción; 1995
  • One year DAAD (German Academic Exchange service) scholarship for integrated studies in a foreign country (IAS) at the Universidad de Concepción (1994/1995)
  • Travel stipend by the Alfred-Wegener-Institut Bremerhaven for a presentation; 2000
  • PEET (Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy) fellowship at the University of Kansas, Aug. 1999 – Jan. 2000
  • scholarship for research activities on the marine biological station of the Huinay Foundation in the Comao Fiord, South Chile , since January 2003
  • 2 year DAAD scholarship for Ph.D. studies (HSP III)  at the Universidad Austral de Chile; Valdivia, Chile; Oct. 2002 – Sept. 2004
  • Travel award for the 3rd International Symposium on Cold-Water Corals, Miami, USA, Nov. 28-Dec.2, 2005; GIBS
  • Travel stipend for the 1st NaGISA World Congress, Kobe, Japan, by NaGISA (2006)
  • Travel stipend for the MARXAN Best Practises workshop in Vancouver, BC, Canada, April 2-5, 2007, by PacMARA (U$D 1.000.- ) (2007)
  • Travel stipend for the PICES/ICES Meeting “New frontiers in Marine Science”, Baltimore, June 26-29, 2007, by PICES (U$D 1.000.- ) (2007)


  • Award “VI Premios Europeos de Medio Ambiente a la Empresa” to Endesa for the success of the Huinay Foundation; Spain, April 2004


  • U$D 9.860.-     Grant of the PADI Foundation for the project “Geographical and bathymetrical distribution of the azooxanthellate coral banks in the northern Patagonian fjord region and implications for their conservation”; May 2005
  • U$D 2.400.-     Approx. Grant of the Brasilean gouvernment (PROSUL; project leader Eduardo Hajdu) for the Brasilean-Chilean-Argentinean project “Biogeography of South American sponges and anthozoans”; March 2005
  • U$D 5.145.-     Grant of the PADI Foundation for work on the inventory of Chilean gorgonians (2006)
  • U$D 5.000.-     Mini-grant from COML for data capture and rescue on marine benthos from the Patagonian fjords,(2009)
  • U$D 21.000.-   From NaGISA for production of Chilean field guide (2009)
  • € 5.000.-           From BIOPAT for production of Chilean field guide (2009)
  • U$D 285.000.- 2012-2015: Co- investigator of Fondecyt project Nº 1131039: “Zoogeography of the Chilean fjord region (42ºS – 56ºS) based on selected taxa with different reproductive and dispersal characteristics ”
  • 2013-2015:      Co-investigator of of Conicyt/BMBF project Nº PCCI2012-060 for international cooperation: “CARO: Caryophyllia huinayensis in a changing ocean”
  • U$D 245.000.- 2015-2018 Main investigator of Fondecyt project N° 1150843 “Mass mortalities of cold-water corals in Chilean Patagonia: causes, consequences, recovery and resilience”
  • U$D 245.000.- (twice)2015-2018Co-investigator of Conicyt/BMBF project BMBF20140041 “PlAnkton and cold-water Coral ecology in Comau Fjord, Chile” (PACOC) 


  • Logistic support of NAVIMAG for biodiversity studies of the Northern and Central Patagonian Zone (March 2005, March 2006, November 2011, March 2012, April 2014, April 2015)
  • Logistic support of CAP for biodiversity studies of the Madre de Dios Archipelago (April 2013)
  • Logistic support of Naviera Austral, DAP, Transmarchilay and NAVIMAG for a biodiversity study of the Southern Patagonian Zone (December/January 2010/2011)
  • Logistic support of Añihue Reserve for biodiversity studies (January 2011, February 2012, March 2013, February 2014, February 2015)
  • Logistic support of NGO Sinergias for a biodiversity study in Llico Bajo (January 2009)
  • Logistic support of Naviera Austral, Fundacion Pumalin, and Fundacion Tantauco for a biodiversity study of Isla Magdalena and Southern Chiloe(February 2008)
  • Logistic support of Naviera Austral, Raul Marin Balmaceda, Fiordo Palvitad, Fundacion Otway for a biodiversity study of the Northern Patagonian Zone (March 2007)
  • Invitation and travel support for the scientific workshop “Investigación ambiental en la salmonicultura chilena – Gasto o Inversión?”, Puerto Montt, Chile, by WWF (April 2006)
  • Logistic support for biodiversity studies in the Northern and Central Patagonian Zone by CONAF and the Geo-Bio-Center of the LMU Munich (March 2005, 2006)
  • Invitation and travel support to the CEQUA meeting, Puerto Natales, Chile, by CEQUA (May 2005)
  • Teaching Assistant for “Vegetation Societies” at the Department of Phytogeography (summer 1996)
  • Teaching assistant and dive guide for “Biology and Ecology of Coral Reefs” (winter 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001)
  • Research assistant / curatorial assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Daphne Fautin at KU (Aug.’99 – Jan. ‘00)
  • Teaching assistant and underwater photographer for “Biology and Ecology of Norwegian Fjords” (summer 2001)
  • Master of Business Class “Biodiversity of Chilean fjords”, 08/2003, 08/2004 and 8/2005
  • Since 2013: MARXAN analysis for a proposal of a network of MPAs for the Chilean gouvernment
  • Since 2011: member of the SEREMI consulting group for the new ministry of environment
  • 2011: co-organization of three MARXAN workshops in Chile (given by PACMARA)
  • 2006-2009: Co-edition of the taxonomic field guide “Marine Benthic Fauna of Chilean Patagonia”
  • January 2006: Proposal of a marine protected area in the fjords Comau and Reñihue to the Undersecretary of Fisheries, pdf
  • Since March 2005: Bioregionalisation of the Chilean fjord region for a zonification as base for a sustainable development
  • May 2001: Establishing own business for photo/video nature documentation and sale of photo/video equipment. Specialty: Underwater photography
  • February 2001: Underwater photo documentation and evaluation for the project of a marine reserve in south Chile for the Pumalin foundation
  • Feb. 1999: Responsible management of an ecologically-run lodge in Costa Rica (Playa Preciosa)(interpreter, guide for whale watching and rain forest tours, organization)
  • Since 1997: Free-lance at the Zoologische Staatssammlung München
  • 1996-2002: Assisting persons with special needs in Munich
  • Since 1995: Expedition experience (responsible organisation and realization of 13 major marine biological expeditions in Chile with up to 11 participating scientists)
  • Since 1994: Curatorial experiences (establishment and management of collections of Chilean sea anemones; sampling and preservation of invertebrates), curatorial assistant at the University of Kansas (1999/2000)

Expeditions of G. Försterra and V. Häussermann to collect anthozoans between 1997 ans 2002

  • “Chilean cnidarians I”: Arica to Punta Arenas, October 1997-April 1998, GME1: 16-17, 12-13; see picture of field laboratory above, photo2,photo3photo4
  • “Chilean cnidarians II”: Puerto Montt to Puerto Chacabuco, December 1999-January 2000, GME1: 16-17, 12-13
  • “Chilean cnidarians III”: Puerto Montt to Puerto Chacabuco, January to April 2001, GME1: 16-17, 12-13

Expeditions organised as directors of the Huinay Scientific Field Station (since 2002)

  • “Huinay Fiordos 1”: Northern Patagonian Zone (Chiloé Island and Guaitecas Islands), 28.2.-10.3.2005; Participants: Eduardo Hajdu, Gisele Lobo-Hajdu, Philippe Willenz, Mariana Carvalho, Vreni Häussermann, Günter Försterra, Donat Willenz, thanks to PROSUL Brazil! GME 3photo,webreport of P. Willenz
  • “Huinay Fiordos 2”: Central Patagonioan Zone (Tempano and Bernardo fjord and neighbouring channels, Puerto Eden), 20.3.-2.4.2005, participants: Vreni Häussermann, Günter Försterra, Roddy Foley, thanks to CONAF, NAVIMAG and Tempano project! GME 3informe Tempanophoto1photo2photo3photo4photo5; report in Spanish.
  • “Huinay Fiordos 3”: Central Patagonian Zone (Puerto Natales to Golfo de Penas), 1.3.-20.3.2006, participants: Vreni Häussermann, Günter Försterra, Michael Schrödl, Roland Melzer, Philippe Willenz, Liz Atwood, Christian Jorda, many thanks to CONAF and Navimag!, photo1,photo2photo3GME 5; report in Spanish; webreport of P. Willenz
  • “Huinay Fiordos 4”: Northern Patagonian Zone (Chiloé Island, Fiordo Palvitad, Fiordo Pitipalena, 5.3.-22.3.2007, participants: Günter Försterra, Nicola Reiff, Roland Meier, Katharina Jörger, Russell Smart, Aruna Singh; photo1photo2photo3.
  • “Huinay Fiordos 5”: Reñihue fjord (Xth region), 16.02.2007 – 26.02.2007, Participants: Philippe Willenz, Eduardo Hajdu, Josh Biro, Daniela Lopez, Mauricio Melipillan (captain); oorganized by V. Häussermann. Thanks to Pumalin Foundation!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 6”: Fjords and channels of the Northern Patagonian Zone (Seno Ventisqueros, Canal Puyuhuapi, Puerto Cisnes, Canal Frodden, Seno Magdalena, Parque Tantauco/Isla de Chiloé), 10.02.2008 – 27.02.2008,  Participants: Vreni Häussermann, Günter Fösterra, Nicola Reiff, Philippe Willenz, Michelle Marcotte, Josh Biro. Thanks to Parque Tantauco!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 7”: Xth Region (Llico Bajo/costa abierta, Canal Chacao/Isla de Chiloé), 17.01.2009 – 25.01.2009, Participants: Vreni Häussermann, Gunter Fösterra (con Fabian), Philippe Willenz, Josh Biro, Michelle Marcotte, Hannes Imhoff, Josefina Peters. Thanks to Synergias!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 8”: Reñihue fjord (Xth region), 07.02.2009 – 12.02.2009, Participants: Philippe Willenz, Americo Montiel, Michelle Marcotte, Josh Biro; organized by V. Häussermann. Thanks to Pumalin Foundation!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 9”: Isla Navarino (Beagle channel) and Anihué (XII y XI región), 03.12.2010 – 20.01.2011, Participants: Vreni Häussermann, Günter Fösterra (with Fabian, Fiona), Michelle Marcotte, David Bybee (with Herenui, Tevai, Matohi, Ahiatea), Estefanía Rodriguez, Philipp Moell (with Alex), Alejandro Grajales, Graham Edgar. Many thanks to DAP, NAVIMAG, Naviera Austral and the American Museum of Natural History!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 10”: Reñihue fjord (Xth region), 19.03.2011 – 21.03.2011, Participants: Roland Melzer, Roland Meyer, Andrea Weiss; organized by V. Häussermann. Thanks to Pumalin Foundation!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 11”: Islas Chonos (XI región), 18.11.2011 – 02.12.2011, participants: Günter Fösterra, David Bellhoff, Daniel Genter, Zarelle Bellhoff, Emma Plotnek; organized by V. Häussermann. Thanks to CONAF, the crew of the Petrel and NAVIMAG!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 12”: Anihue (XI región), 19.–28.2.2012, participants: David Bellhoff, Lisa Reichel, Jens Müller, Jürgen Laudien. Many thanks to Felipe Gonzales & Añihue Reserve
  • “Huinay Fiordos 13”: Puerto Eden (XI región), 08.03.2012 – 23.03.2012, participants: Günter Fösterra, David Bellhoff, Daniel Genter, Zarelle Bellhoff, Emma Plotnek; organized by V. Häussermann. Thanks to Keri and Gregor from Northanger and NAVIMAG!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 14”: Isla Madre de Dios, 20.2.2012 – 5.3.2012, participants: Claudio Richter, Laura Fillinger, Carin Jantzen, Tobias Funke, Mathías Hune, Narissa Bax
  • “Huinay Fiordos 15”: Fiordo Reñihué (X region), 13.8.2012, participants: Rhian Waller, Dan Genter, Christopher Rigaud. Thanks to Pumalin Foundation!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 16”: Madre de Dios Archipielago (XII region), Abril 10- Mayo 1, 2013, participants: Vreni Häusserman, Günter Försterra, Kaitlin McConnell, Ulrich Pörschmann, David Bellhoff, Roland Meyer, Roland Melzer, Daniela Henkel, Luis Hernández. Thanks to IMOPAC!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 17”: Añihué (XI region), 7. – 12.3.2013, participants: Jürgen Laudien, Lisa Reichel, Henry Göhlich, David Bellhoff. Thanks to Anihue Reserve!Huinay Fiordos 18”: Reñihué Fjord, March 18-20, 2013, participants: Vreni
  • Häusserman, Günter Försterra, Kaitlin McConnell, Jürgen Laudien, Lisa Reichel, Henry Göhlich. Thanks to Pumalin Foundation!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 19”: Valdivia to Canal Chacao (X region), 2. – 11.2.2014, participants: Vreni Häusserman, Günter Försterra, Kaitlin McConnell, Ulrich Pörschmann
  • “Huinay Fiordos 20”: Añihué and Reñihué, 4. – 11.2.2014, participants: Jürgen Laudien, Svantje Gottschlich, Erik Wurz, Christopher Nowak, Henry Göhlich. Thanks to Reserva Añihue, Parque Pumalin
  • “Huinay Fiordos 21”: Chonos and Guaitecas Archipielago to Peninsula Taitao, 2. – 18.4.2014, participants: Vreni Häusserman, Kaitlin McConnell, Ulrich Pörschmann, Anna Dewert, Sarah Feind. Thanks to NAVIMAG, and the captains of the Saoirse Keri Lee Pashuk and Greg Landreth!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 22”: Chiloé and Guafo Island, 10. – 19.1.2015, participants: Vreni Häusserman, Kaitlin McConnell, Ulrich Pörschmann, Günter Försterra. Many thanks to Parque Tantauco!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 23”: Añihué and Reñihué, 9. – 19.2.2015, participants: Jürgen Laudien, Günter Försterra, Verena Häussermann, Susann Diercks, Felix Rossbach, Max Neffgen. Many thanks to Reserva Añihue and Parque Pumalin!
  • “Huinay Fiordos 24”: Pto. Edén to Golfo de Penas, 14.4. – 3.5.2015, participants: Vreni Häusserman, Kaitlin McConnell, Ulrich Pörschmann, Insa Stolz, Henry Göhlich. Thanks to NAVIMAG, and the captains of the Saoirse Keri Lee Pashuk and Greg Landreth!




  • German (native language)
  • English (fluently)
  • Spanish (fluently)
  • French (fluently)


Rescue Diver (PADI) and CMAS Gold/*** (license for and experience in leading dive groups), Chilean diving license

Computer applications

Windows, MS Word, Power Point, Excel, Front Page, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, Endnote, Internet (basic HTML skills)

  • GRE (5/99): total score 1860 (Verbal: 430, Analytical: 750, Quantitative: 680)

  • GRE biology (11/99): total score 810 (Cell. and Mol. Biol.: score 72, Organism Biol.: score 85, Ecol. and Evol.: score 80; top 6 %)

  • TOEFL (2/99): total score 263 (Comp.-based test)



Marine ecology, invertebrate taxonomy, marine spatial planning using decision support tools, natural resources management

Ecology of benthic communities of South Chile, anthozoans (cold-water corals and sea anemones), fjord regions, marine protected areas

  • Sociedad de Ciencias del Mar de Chile (since 2015)
  • Verein deutscher Biologen (VdBiol, 2000-2014)
  • Gesellschaft für biologische Systematik (GfBS, 2001-2014)
  • Fjord Research Network FjoRNet (
  • Census of Marine Life (COML, since 2002), WWF (since 1997)
  • Pro Regenwald (1990-1997)
  • Society for Nature Conservation in Germany (BUND, since 1980)

Nature and underwater photography, sea kayaking, mountaineering, trekking, triathlon, sailing

Most recent update 20th of May 2015