Vreni Häussermann

2016 Laureate, Exploration
Germany, Chile, Born 1970


Project Goal

Marine exploration to protect Patagonia's fjords 

Location: Patagonia, Chile

Born on 1 August 1970, Vreni Häussermann first visited Chile for one year of international studies in 1994, and completed her PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich in zoology in 2004.

In 2009, she published the first marine field guide for organisms in the area. The illustrated guide, Marine Benthic Fauna of Chilean Patagonia, was prefaced by acclaimed underwater explorer Sylvia Earle. 

Häussermann and Försterra’s dedication was such that for five years at the start of their career in Patagonia, they worked as night carers for people living with disability to fund their marine biology work during the day. Just as they were questioning whether they would ever be able to make a living from biology, they were offered positions at Huinay.

Häussermann has been Scientific Director of the Huinay Scientific Field Station in Chilean Patagonia since 2003 and, in this capacity, has helped turn it into one of the leading research centres in the area. Her background as a biologist has equipped her to carry out important research on the region’s species and biological diversity. She is affiliated to the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and advises both the government and NGOs on conservation and marine resource management.

Other 2016 Laureates