Leonardo Fernández

I am performing a doctoral thesis in joint supervision between the Universidad de Concepción [Chile] and the Université de Neuchâtel [Switzerland]. My doctoral research focuses on clarifying the processes that originate and maintain protist diversity patterns at different spatial scales. For this, I assess explicit hypotheses that fall within the disciplines of community ecology, biogeography and macroecology. Despite that at present I am focused on protists, I am not biased and therefore, in the past I have also worked on metazoans. Currently, I am involved in several projects that analyze the spatial distribution of protist diversity in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Switzerland.


Academic education

2011 - 2016

PhD student: Université de Neuchâtel [Switzerland] and Universidad de Concepción [Chile]

2002 - 2008

BSc in Marine Biology & Degree in Marine Biology


Employment & teaching experience

  • Chief of the Laboratory of Environmental Assessment, Litoral Austral limitada, Chile. Role: Monitoring & assessment of the impact of salmon farms and other industries on the environment. Over 700 environmental reports were issued under my responsibility [2008-2010]

  • Contribution to teaching, Universidad de Concepción, Chile [BSc courses: zoology, neontology & macroecology] [2011]

  • Contribution to teaching, Universidad de Los Lagos, Chile [BSc courses: microbiology & foraminiferology] [2005-2007]


Grants - scholarships

  • Co-supervision Doctoral scholarship, CONICYT, Chile [2013-present]
  • Doctoral scholarship, CONICYT, Chile [2011-present]
  • Mobility grant, IDPOB, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland [2013]
  • Mobility grant, Universidad de Concepción, Chile [2013]
  • Karukinka research grant, Wildlife Conservation Society [2012-2013]
  • Registration scholarship, Universidad de Concepción, Chile [2011]
  • BAES scholarship, JUNAEB, Chile [2005-2007]
  • Employment fellowship, Universidad de Los Lagos, Chile [2005-2007]



Peer-reviewed journals

Fernández LD [2015] Source-sink dynamics shapes the spatial distribution of soil protists in an arid shrubland of northern Chile. J Arid Environ 113: 121–125.

Fernández LD, Zapata J, Meisterfeld R, Baessolo L [2012] First records and community patterns of Arcellinida inhabiting a pristine and remote island from Southeastern Pacific. Acta Protozool 51: 139–154.

Fernández LD, Zapata J [2011] Seasonal variation in the community structure of testate amoebae in a temperate peatland from Southern Chile. Bol Soc Biol Concepcion 80: 27–39.

Fernández LD [2011] New records and range extensions, Why? Bol Biodivers Chile 5: 1–2. *

Fernández LD, Zapata J [2010] Distribution of benthic foraminifera in the Quillaipe Inlet, Chile: implications for sea-level studies. Rev Chil Hist Nat 83: 567–583. *

Fernández LD, Zapata J [2010] Taphonomic record in Ammonia beccarii (Foraminifera) in the Quillaipe Inlet, Chile. Lat Am J Aquat Res 38: 286–291. *

Fernández LD [2010] Foraminifera of the Contaco Estuary, Chile. Bol Biodivers Chile 4: 18–62. *

Fernández LD [2010] Extension of the range of distribution of Saccocirrus sonomacus in the South Pacific Bol Biodivers Chile 4: 100-102. *

Fernández LD, Rau J, Arriagada A [2009] Assessing the quality of the riparian vegetation in the Maullín River, Chile, using the QBR index. Gayana Bot 62: 269–278. *

Zapata J, Fernández LD [2008] Morphology and biometry of Apodera vas (Certes, 1889) from two peatlands in southern Chile. Acta Protozool 47: 389–395.

Books and book chapters

Fernández LD [In press] Geological Epochs. 321 pp. USA: Academy Publish.

Díaz-Aros R, Fernández LD [In press] The great American interchange: The intercontinental migration of large predators. In: Geological Epochs. USA: Academy Publish.

Fernández LD, Briones E, Martínez R [2008] Fauna and flora of the Llanquihue Lake. 120 pp. Chile: Centro de gestión y desarrollo empresarial limitada. *

Reports in newspaper

Mirada C. [2014] La Ruta de la Biodiversidad. Newspaper -La Segunda-, Chile.

* (In Spanish)


Presentations to scientific meetings

I have participated with more than 20 contributions (posters and/or talks) in different South American and European scientific meetings [Only the two most recent talks are shown]:

  • Fernández LD, Lara E, Schiaffino R, Izaguirre I [2015] A lake-dwelling microalga (Bathycoccaceae) exhibits population genetic structure among lacustrine populations in southern Argentinean Patagonia. 34th annual meeting of the German Society of Protozoology. March 3rd-6th, Magdeburg, Germany. Oral presentation.
  • Fernández LD, Rivera R, Fournier B, Hernández CE, Lara E, Mitchell EAD [2015] Soil testate amoeba diversity follows a unimodal latitudinal pattern in southwestern South America caused by short- and long-term processes. 34th annual meeting of the German Society of Protozoology. March 3rd-6th, Magdeburg, Germany. Oral presentation.


Other activities

Founder and director of the scientific journal ‘Boletín de Biodiversidad de Chile’ [this name will officially change to: Biodiversity and Natural History in the coming days]


email adress