Sub-Antarctic Ecosystems and Biocultural Conservation

Integrating ecological sciences and environmental philosophy to preserve and understand the biocultural diversity of the Sub-Antarctic ecoregion


A fundamental premise of biocultural conservation is that cultural and philosophical perspectives must be combined with empirical scientific research to achieve viable conservation and sustainable development practices. The Sub-Antarctic Ecosystems and Biocultural Conservation research cluster is at the forefront of this precept and a keystone player in a project of international importance: the preservation of the rich biological and cultural attributes of the Cape Horn Archipelago – located at the southern tip of South America in the Sub-Antarctic ecoregion; one of the world’s last remaining pristine wilderness areas and the closest continental region to Antarctica. As such, the UNT-based cluster contributes additional research opportunities to projects initiated by the broader alliance of institutions that constitute the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, coordinated by UNT in the United States and the University of Magallanes and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity in Chile, by integrating ecological sciences with environmental philosophy and the arts in a context of collaborative research, international partnerships, interdisciplinary education and public outreach. The cluster’s work spans borders as well as disciplines, and a field station in Omora Ethnobotanical Park serves as an important research hub and laboratory where scholars collaborate with participants, ranging from local communities to internationally renowned institutions, including UNESCO.