Laboratory of Environmental Sciences

The Laboratory of Environmental Sciences (LACA in Spanish acronym) of the UCSC belongs to the Faculty of Sciences and is led by Dr. Sergio Contreras. LACA began in 2014 with the objective of supporting research work, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the area of (paleo) biogeochemistry, achieving its consolidation with the assignment of a project (Fondecyt 1160719) in 2016. Currently, it has an MAE (Microwave Assisted Extraction) instrument for the extraction of total lipids in various environmental matrices (e.g. air, water, sediment, plant and animal tissues) and an improved and efficient line of separation and purification of lipids as n-alkanes, sterols, and fatty acids. Currently, the LACA-UCSC keeps in development school internships, research seminars and pre-graduate theses, post-graduate theses and technical assistance. Welcome to contact us for questions and possible joint work.

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Environmental and Climate Change

In the Laboratory of Environmental Science, we are interested in studying the biogeochemical role of the Earth System's biosphere and hydrosphere; focusing on the natural variability of systems and how environmental and climatic changes could affect their dynamics.

Biogeochemistry of Aquatic Systems

Using a multi-directional biogeochemical approach, we extract information from the biosphere, contained in its total organic matter, in specific organic compounds (e.g., alkanes, fatty acids, alcohols, etc.) and inorganic constituents, in order to study changes and perturbations of the Earth system focused on aquatic ecosystems.

Land Biogeochemical Footprint

Seeking to improve the environmental indicators of terrigenous contribution and changes of vegetation at the molecular level, we study organic compounds in terrestrial plants and soils in order to obtain specific footprints of some type of vegetation (e.g., native vegetation), and if it is transmitted to the soil and lake sediments in South-Central Chile.


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1era Campaña Fondecyt 1160719 (Laguna Verde, Tolhuaca)