CEODOS Chile: A consortium for surveying the coastal ocean in the eastern South Pacific


The CEODOS program (co-coordinated by the COPAS center) is a new chilean initiative that will follow the present and future status of the biological pump along the entire coast of Chile every 5 years.

There is a global agreement in the scientific community that the combination of climate change and human activities has a noticeable impact on the physics and biochemical properties of the oceans. These environmental changes have a direct influence on plankton species that thrive at any specific location. Thus, they also have a direct impact on the fragile equilibrium that enables the biological carbon pump to function efficiently, the food chain to be balanced, and the exchanges between different oceanic areas to take place.

The TARA Oceans Foundation and the Chilean consortium CEODOS Chile (coordinated by Alejandro Maass and Camila Fernández) carried out the first integral expedition along the Chilean coast covering 4000 km as the first leg of the TARA MICROBIOMES expedition (2021-2023). During the 2 months that took to perform 34 sampling stations for physical and chemical parameters and genomics (February-May 2021), the team gathered a complete set of parameters to evaluate the effectiveness and diversity of the biological pump along the coast. The same exercise was done during Leg 2 of TARA MICROBIOME expedition in late 2021 and early 2022 along the Atlantic coast of South America (Brazil, Argentina) whereas Leg 3 covering the Atlantic coast of Africa is ongoing (AtlantECO program piloted by Daniele Ludicone SZN, Italy). The combined data sets of TARA MICROBIOMES could potentially provide the first complete assessment of carbon fixation along three of the main diversity hotspots in the global ocean. 

The working group will encourage the development of novel protocols and techniques for studying the marine microbiome (genomics, bioinformatics and imagery, among other measurements), meeting the challenges for reinforcing the capabilities of developing countries. This is the main motivation for creating a multi-institutional consortium able to play a key role in local and global policy making and scientific assessments.

The marine environment is under cumulative stress from climate change and human activities. The general trend observed in all oceans is an increase in water temperatures and acidification, as well as a decrease in the quantity of dissolved oxygen.

The effects of such environmental changes are starting to be noticeable in the entire marine system.

Possible consequences for ecosystem services are difficult to predict and quantify. The main services considered in today’s research priorities are:

1) Biological Carbon Pump: absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere.

2) Primary production: being the basis of all food chains in the ocean relying heavily on phytoplankton blooms.

3) Connectivity: providing regulation and transport between different ocean regions.

The diversity and function of plankton and in particular the marine microbiome is increasingly relevant in scientific assessments of blue carbon efficiency.

The Chilean consortium CEODOS-Chile gathers eight centres of excellence funded by ANID (Chilean national science foundation) dedicated to oceanographic, mathematical modelling and data sciences. Together with TARA Foundation through a FFEM project (KOPAS, French Fund for World Environment, France) they will use the most conspicuous data set to date along the Chilean coast for positioning plankton diversity as a tool for the design of marine protected areas. The importance of the marine microbiome for designing marine protected areas has just started to be taken into consideration. However, there is increasing awareness of the need of high quality biogeochemical and biological data in order to increase observation capability.  Biogeochemical and genomic surveys combined with autonomous observing systems will increase the efficiency of mitigation and adaptation programs. This first exercise will be a tipping stone in future coastal strategies for climate change adaptation.

Relevance to POGO and fit with POGO’s Strategy

With growing climate change impacts, the coastal ocean is rapidly changing. Serious and meaningful efforts to mitigate and adapt to these fast changes impose the necessity for decision-makers to become equally fast, adaptable, but also rational in deciding what actions to take. In this context, the United Nations initiative to implement the Decade of Oceans Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) is engaging the scientific community, decision-makers, and civil society towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and ultimately protect 30% of the oceans by 2030. Among the challenges of this decade, it is crucial to address the lack of data and knowledge on marine planktonic organisms or marine microbiome as well as the chronic lack of biogeochemical observations that coincide with the frequency of physical surveying in the ocean.

The CEODOS Chile working group and AtlantECO will assess one of the main gaps of knowledge in oceanography: the possibility of combining high frequency physical and biological parameters. We propose to establish a working group to accelerate the outcomes of our joint expedition carried out in 2021-2022 and to prepare the next integrative expedition along the Chilean coast (CEODOS Chile II) programmed for 2025. This initiative responds to the POGO priorities set for innovation in ocean observations while expanding the observing systems in place and challenging sampling possibilities with high geographical coverage and timely periodicity. It also is pertinent to the Ocean Biomolecular Observation network (OBON) funded by the Decade Program of UN in its challenges 2 and 7 mainly with clear outcomes onto homogenizing techniques in eDNA data production and best practices.

Milestones and Deliverables:

  1. Integration of Chilean measurements
  2. Integration of Atlantic measurements
  3. Proposition of hot spots of carbon fixation for Chilean authorities- Magallanes as a first case study
  4. Proposition of hot spots of carbon fixation for Chilean authorities –

Status: Active Working group

Year: 2022-2023

Members involved

Working group Participants


  • Dr Camila Fernandez, : Universidad de Concepción & CNRS, Chile


  • Alejandro Maass, Center for Mathematical Modelling and Center for Genome Regulation, Universidad de Chile, Chile
  • Silvio Pantoja, COPAS Center, Universidad de Concepcion, Chile
  • Daniele Iudicone, Stazione Zoologica “A. Dohrn”, Naples, Italy
  • Damien Eveillard, CNRS, France
  • Diego Narvaez, UdeC, Chile
  • Matthew Mazloff, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA
  • Falk Feddersen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA
  • Seth John, University of Southern California, USA
Scroll to Top