Plant life at the extremes in the Atacama Desert - by Prof. Rodrigo Gutierrez

Speaker: Rodrigo Gutierrez

Full Professor at the Faculty of Biological Sciences,

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

– Hosted by Professor Monika Chodasiewicz and Professor Heribert Hirt


Join us in Building 2, Level 5, Room 5220.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can follow the seminar on  Zoom.


Throughout evolution, plants adapted to flourish in a variety of ecosystems, including extreme deserts. In the current changing climate scenario, it is essential to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms that enable plant resilience under extreme conditions. We characterized three extreme ecosystems along a natural altitudinal gradient of environmental parameters on the western slopes of the Andes in the Atacama Desert. Using phylogenomics and metabolomics approaches, we identified genes and metabolites involved in developmental, regulatory and metabolic processes associated with environmental adaptation. Our study provides new insights into plant abiotic stress tolerance, and improves our understanding of the highly unique, pristine Atacama Desert ecosystem.

About the speaker

Professor Rodrigo Gutierrez is a Full Professor and current Director for Research and Planning at the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Deputy Director of the Millennium Institute for Integrative Biology, Principal Investigator at the Center for Genome Regulation and Investigator at the Ecology and Biodiversity Institute. He received multiple awards and honors during his career, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Early Career Scientist award, John A. Boezi Memorial Alumnus Award from Michigan State University and the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is one of the founders of the Chilean Society of Plant Biologists and its first elected president.

Event Quick Information

09 May, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Building 2, Level 5, Room 5220