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

E-mail address:  gunter_forsterra(-at-)yahoo.com
Phone: 0056-65-2280368 (Puerto Montt), 0056-65-2972147 (Huinay)
Fax: 0056-65-2280368

Present Position
PhD Thesis Project 
Diploma Thesis Research
Professional Presentations
University Activities
Relevant Working experience
Special skills
Proficiency Tests
Professional Interests
Non-University activities
Further links

Present Position:  Managing scientists/Scientific Coordinator of Huinay Scientific Field Station (since October 2004)

PhD Thesis Project:  "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.

In 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 at Zoologische 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)

Diploma Thesis Research:
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

 Professional Presentations:

Selected Conference Posters and Talks (out of 112):

  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 NABS meeting, 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. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Pelejero C, RM Sherrell, S Fuertes, R Kozdon, A López-Sanz, AC Gagnon, V Häussermann, G Forsterra, E Calvo (2016): Experimental proxy calibration in cold water corals. International Conference on Palaeoceanography, Utrecht, August 29-September 2, 2016. Poster.
  33. Gertraud M. Schmidt, Marlene Wall, Claudio Richter, Dirk de Beer, Vreni Häussermann, Jürgen Laudien, Günter Försterra, Juan Höfer, Nur García-Herrera, Paula Martis, Humberto E. González, Aris Thomasberger  (2017). Estudios en un fiordo chileno con un fuerte gradiente de pH regulación del pH interno por el coral de aguas frias Desmophyllum dianthus. Simposio Latinoamericano en Acidificación del Océano Red Laoca Octubre 2017
  34. Ballyram, S., Häussermann, V., Försterra, G., Bellhoff, D., Menzel, M. (2017). Pioneering species distribution modelling for benthic marine invertebrates in Chilean Patagonia. XXXVII Congreso de Ciencias del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile, May 23-26 2017.
  35. Luis Outeiro, Vreni Häussermann, Francisco Viddi, Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete, Günter Försterra et.al. (2017): Using ecosystem services mapping for marine spatial planning in southern Chile under scenario assessment. MARE conference, University of Amsterdam, 05-07.07.2017
  36. Stacy Ballyram, Verena Häussermann, Günter Försterra, David Bellhoff, and Michael Menzel (2017): Using MARXAN and species distribution modelling as tools for identifying marine protected areas in Chilean Patagonia. Oral presentation. International Marine Protected Area Congress, La Serena, Chile, September 4-8, 2017.
  37. Montecinos Y., Vila A., Häussermann V., Balinos MG., Ballyram S., Guijón R., Försterra G., Falabella V., Torres C., Jara N. y M. Gorny (2018). Identificando áreas prioritarias para la conservación en la Patagonia Chilena. XXXVII Congreso de Ciencias del Mar, Valdivia, Chile, May 14-18 2018
  38. Verena Häussermann and Günter Försterra (2018). Potential impacts of climate change on the marine life of Chilean Patagonia. XXXVII Congreso de Ciencias del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile, May 14-18 2018 (invited talks)
  39. Ballyram, S. A., Häussermann, V., Försterra, G, Laudien, J, Valdiva, N., Villalobos, V., Contreras, L., Nielsen, S., Burrows, M., Torres, R., Oban, R. (2019) ABIOTIC key factors influencing species composition in Chilean Patagonian fjords and their usefulness as proxies for species distribution models, habitat mapping and predicting patterns in benthic assemblages. XXXVIII Congreso Ciencias del Mar, Iquique, Chile, 27-30 Mayo 2019

Unpublished reports:

  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.

Newsletter contributions:

  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.

Relevant recent media presence:

Selected contributions of underwater photos:

- 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; http://scilib.ucsd.edu/sio/nsf/fguide/  

- 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

In the fjords Comau and Reñihue, large assemblages of azooxanthelate corals can be found on vertical and overhanging walls; 25 m.

King crabs can regularly be observed while SCUBA diving in the fjords.


  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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-006-0207-5). 
  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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF12200.
  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. Zootaxa 3852 (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. http://dx.doi.org/10.5343/bms.2013.1064.
  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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2014.02.004
  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 sp.in Chilean Patagonia. Coral Reefs 34:119. DOI 10.1007/s00338-014-1256-9.
  46. Outeiro L, F Viddi, R Hucke-Gaete, G Försterra, V Häussermann, H Oyarzo, K Kosiel, S Villasante (2015): Using ecosystem services mapping for marine spatial planning in Southern Chile under scenario assessment. Ecosystem Services.
  47. Schlatter, R., Häussermann, V. & Försterra, G. (2015): Some like it hot – hummingbirds making use of hotsprings in Chilean Patagonia (Neornithes, Apodiformes, Trochilidae). Spixiana 38 (1): 48.
  48. Häussermann V, G Försterra & S Cairns (2016): New record of the primnoid gorgonian Primnoella delicatissima Kükenthal, 1909 for Chilean waters. Spixiana 39 (2): 147-148.
  49. Reyes P, V Häussermann & Günter Försterra (2016): New Zealand Trumpeter re-discovered in Patagonian fjords after more than 100 years. Spixiana 39 (1): 14.
  50. Ceseña F., Meyer R., Mergl C.P., Häussermann V., Försterra G., McConnell K. &  Melzer R. R. (2016): Decapoda of the Huinay Fiordos-expeditions to the Chilean fjords 2005-2014: Inventory, pictorial atlas and faunistic remarks. Spixiana 39 (2): 153-198.
  51. Horia R. Galea, Dirk Schories, Verena Häussermann & Günter Försterra (2017): Taxonomic revision of the genus Sertularella (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from southern South America and the subantarctic, with descriptions of five new species. Revue suisse de Zoologie (September 2017) 124 (2): 255-321.
  52. Rossin, A. M., Waller, R. G., & Försterra, G. (2017). Reproduction of the cold-water coral Primnoella chilensis (Philippi, 1894). Continental Shelf Research, 144, 31-37.
  53. Verena Häussermann, Carolina S. Gutstein, Michael Beddington, David Cassis, Carlos Olavarria, Andrew C. Dale, Ana M. Valenzuela-Toro, Maria Jose Perez-Alvarez, Hector H. Sepúlveda, Kaitlin M.McConnell, Fanny E. Horwitz and Günter Försterra (2017): Largest baleen whale mass mortality during strong El Niño event is likely related to harmful toxic algal bloom. Peer J. 51pp. DOI 10.7717/peerj.3123.
  54. Carlos Hermosilla, Jörg Hirzmann, Liliana M. R. Silva, Sandra Scheufen, Ellen Prenger-Berninghoff, Christa Ewers, Vreni Häussermann, Günter Försterra, Sven Poppert and Anja Taubert (2018): Gastrointestinal parasites and bacteria in free-living South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) in Chilean Comau Fjord and new host record of a Diphyllobothrium scoticum-like cestode. Frontiers in Marine Science 5: 1-13 (article 459.)
  55. Keri A. Feehan, Rhian Waller and Günter Försterra (2019): Highly Seasonal Reproduction in Desmophyllum dianthus from the Northern Patagonian Fjords. Marine Biology 166: 1-13 (article 52 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-019-3495-3)
  56. Martínez-Dios, A, Pelejero, C,  López-Sanz, A, Sherrell, R, Ko, S, Häussermann, V, Försterra, G, Calvo, E (2020): Effects of low pH and feeding on calcification rates of the cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthusPeerJ.

Book chapters

  1. Försterra, G., Häussermann V, & J Laudien (2017) Animal forests in the Chilean fiord region: Discoveries and perspectives in shallow and deep waters. In: Marine Animal Forests (ed. Sergio Rossi). 35 pp. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-17001-5_3-1.
  2. Robinson N., Fernández-García C., Riosmena-Rodríguez R., Rosas-Alquicira E.F., Konar, B., Chenelot H., Jewett  S.C., Melzer R.R., Meyer R., Försterra G., Häussermann V. & Macaya E. (2017): Chapter 13 Eastern Pacific p. 319-333. In: Riosmena-Rodríguez R., Nelson W. & Aguirre, J. (2017): Rhodolith/ Maërl Beds: A Global Perspective. Springer. Coastal Research Library 15. Series Editor: Charles W. Finkl Department of Geosciences Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL USA.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Försterra, G. (2003): Chapter “Scleractinia“ in the reference work “Das Mittelmeer“, Ed.: Dr. Robert Hofrichter, Spektrum Verlag
  8. 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”

Edited Books

  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.

Selected publications submitted or in preparation:

  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

Steep slopes, luxuriant terrestrial vegetation and high precipitation
cause a high influx of organic matter in south Chilean fjords.

Recently discovered shallow-water hydrocoral "reefs"
in southern Chilean fjords. Madre de Dios Arquipielago; 25 m.

Scholarships, awards and grants:

A) Scholarships

B) Awards

C) Grants

D) Logistic support, invitations

University Activities:
- 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  

Relevant Working experience:


Field laboratory in the Atacama Desert, North Chile.

Diving in Caleta Gonzalo, Renihue fjord, South Chile.

Expeditions :

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

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

Special Skills :

Languages:                   German (native language) 

                                    English, Spanish, French (all fluently)
Diving:                          Rescue Diver (PADI) and CMAS Gold/*** (license for and experience in leading divegroups), Chilean diving license
Computer applications: Windows, MS Office, Word Perfect, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, Endnote, MARXAN, Internet (basic HTML skills)

Proficiency Tests :  

Professional Interests:
General:     Marine ecology, invertebrate taxonomy, marine spatial planning using decision support tools, natural resources management
Specific:     Ecology of benthic communities of South Chile, anthozoans (cold-water corals and sea anemones), fjord regions, marine protected areas

Professional Affiliations:

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 (www.fjord-research.net); 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

 Some more pictures of South Chilean benthic communities...

  Large assemblages of the azooxanthellate coral Desmophyllum dianthus.

D. dianthus reaches densities up to 1500 individuals / m².

A large, slightly overhanging wall.

Within dense populations specimens of D. dianthus may show extreme length growth. 


Most recent update 15th of January 2020