We are a team of Scientists working at Huinay Scientific Field Station, run by the Huinay Foundation.

For more information, see here.

Dr. Vreni Häussermann

Director of
Huinay Scientific Field Station

Vreni Häussermann is a marine biologist and director of Huinay Scientific Field Station since 2003. Under her direction, Huinay Scientific Field Station has become one of the most active and productive research facilities of Chilean Patagonia with more than 100 publications up to date. She is promoting and carrying out multi-disciplinary research that is needed to facilitate conservation and sustainable resource management in this region. Her work is dedicated to baseline research projects such as species inventories and studies of patterns in biological diversity through space and time. Research topics include benthic invertebrates, especially anthozoans (cold-water corals and sea anemones), fjord regions and marine protected areas. In 2009, together with Günter Försterra, she edited and published the first comprehensive taxonomic field guide of marine benthic invertebrates of Chilean Patagonia, which presents the first marine field guide for multiple groups of organisms in the fjord region. She was principal investigator in seven research projects (Fondecyt, Conicyt, Pew Charitable Trust and PADI Foundation) dealing with the zoogeography of Chilean Patagonia, the ecology of cold-water corals, and the design of a network of marine protected areas for Chilean Patagonia, respectively, and co-investigator on four further projects (Fondecyt, Conicyt, Waitt Foundation, OBIS). To this day, she has co-authored more than 50 scientific publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented over 70 talks and posters at national and international conferences. Moreover, she has organized and led 31 scientific sampling expeditions with up to 11 scientists to remote areas of Chilean Patagonia together with Günter Försterra. She has also been counselling the Chilean government concerning sustainable use of the marine resources and marine protected areas since 2006. In the same year, her team developed and submitted a proposal for a marine protected area (MPA) in two fjords with unique cold-water coral banks. In 2016, they presented a proposal for a network of MPAs for Chilean Patagonia to the Chilean government. She has contributed to international initiatives such as the Census of Marine Life, the Discover Life program, Mission Blue and Google Ocean. Her work is documented in numerous television and newspaper reports and a traveling exhibition on marine biodiversity of the Chilean fjord region.

See more information about Vreni Here

Günter Försterra Dipl. Biol.

Managing Scientists/Scientific Coordinator of Huinay Scientific Field Station

In 2009, together with Vreni Häussermann he edited and published the first comprehensive taxonomic field guide of marine benthic invertebrates of Chilean Patagonia, the first marine field guide for multiple groups of organisms in the fjord region. His research topics include benthic invertebrate ecology, especially cold-water corals, fjord regions and marine protected areas. He was the principal investigator of two research projects (Fondecyt, OBIS) including the ongoing project on mortalities of cold-water corals mentioned in this webpage.

See more information about Günter Here

Stacy Ballyram

GIS/Database Assistant
BSc Geography and Postgrad Diploma Geoinformatics

Stacy Ballyram is a marine biologist and data analyst with experience in the fields of marine benthic ecology, environmental modelling and geographic information sciences.

Currently, Stacy is working as the GIS-Database Assistant at the Huinay Scientific Field Station in Chilean Patagonia. Here she is principally in charge of data analysis on the various research projects undertaken by the station, including marine spatial planning, species distribution modelling and zoogeographic analysis.

When Stacy is not engaged in data informatics, she spends her time as an assistant diver and is avid campaigner for environmental outreach and education.

Contact information:



– Always be your best self

Aris Thomasberger

Research Assistant
BSc Ecosystem Management and MRM Natural Resource Management

Aris Thomasberger is internationally trained in the field of coastal and marine management and conservation.

As one of the two Technical Research Assistants and diver at the Huinay Scientific Field Station, he is looking after the numerous stations own research projects and carries out various tasks in the field ranging from diving into the fjords depths to climbing up the mountain tops.

In addition he is making sure that the teams of visiting scientists can get the best out of their research done in and around the field station.

Contact information:


Mette Schiønning

Research Assistant
BA International Business Communication and MRM Natural Resource Management

Mette Schiønning is an internationally-skilled person with a multidisciplinary background in English, economics and coastal/marine management.

Working as a Technical Research Assistant and Diver at the Huinay Scientific Field Station, Mette has already spent numerous of hours diving in the fjord collecting samples and taking underwater photography. When she is not in the water, she also works on other long-term projects, ensures visiting scientists can complete their researches to general maintenance and upkeep of the station´s scientific equipment.

Mette is highly devoted to elasmobranch research and has a strong interest in fisheries and community-based management.

Contact information:


Francine Beaujot

Previous Research Assistant

MSc candidate in Marine Biological Resources

Francine worked as a Research Assistant in at the Huinay Scientific Field Station from 2015-2017, she organized and participated in diving expeditions in the Madre de Dios Archipelago and in the Strait of Magellan. She also participated in an Antarctica expedition in 2017 with the Insitituto Antárctico Chileno in Base Yelcho. She has received the Erasmus Mundus Partner Country Scholarship for an international MSc in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea) and will graduate in 2019.

Being Canadian and Argentinian, Francine enjoys travel, adventure and exploration research. Her thesis is in deep-sea research through Sorbonne University in France, and looks at hydrothermal vent biogeochemistry in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Contact information:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/francinebeaujot
Facebook: www.facebook.com/francine.beaujot
Instagram: www.instagram.com/francinebeaujot


Insa Stolz, M. Sc.

Previous Research Assistant
PhD candidate at Christian Albrechts University Kiel, Germany, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany and Centro de investigación (i~mar), Universidad de Los Lagos, Puerto Montt, Chile.

Insa has been passionate about diving and marine science since she was a child. During her master’s degree she specialised in the physiology of corals and for her PhD she is combining ecology, microbiology and taxonomy to investigate the influence of aquaculture farms on marine sponges. She enjoys diving, art, photography, nature and traveling.



Ecosystem Research in Chilean Patagonia


Scientific Office: +56 652912147


Casilla # 1150, Puerto Montt, Chile.


Huinay (HSFS)

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