Ma. Rafaela Retamal Díaz, Ph.D.


Resident Lecturer in Political and Social Dimensions of Conservation


Puerto Natales, Chile


B.S. in Biology
Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile

M.Sc., in Integrated Watershed Management
Tropical Agricultural Center of Research and Education (CATIE), Turrialba, Costa Rica

PhD in Environmental Sciences
Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile


SFS 3081: Political and Social Dimensions of Conservation

SFS 3282: Patagonian Winter

SFS 4910: Directed Research

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Faculty Profile

Dr. Rafaela Retamal completed her undergraduate in Biology at the University of Concepción, Chile in 2001. She traveled to Costa Rica and attended CATIE (the Tropical Agricultural Research and Teaching Center), where she got her M.Sc. in Integrated Management of Hydrographic Basins in 2006. She returned to Chile and received her Doctorate in 2015 from the University of Concepción in Environmental Sciences, focusing on Continental Aquatic Systems. Dr. Retamal has researched erosion modeling in lake basins, payments for ecosystem services, and perceptions on water management. She has advised on environmental impact assessments and environmental sustainability.
Recently, she founded ECOSOR Chile, a consulting company whose mission is to support moving tourism towards sustainability and turning global change into opportunities through nature-based solutions (NbS). She directed the recent public exhibition “Planeta Agua: Entre Ríos y Fiordos,” a science dissemination project covering freshwater systems in Chilean Patagonia and was the scientific advisor for the documentary “Patagonia: Todo es uno”. Today, she is dedicated to supporting initiatives in art, culture, and heritage that promote a transformation from a culture of law to a culture of knowledge. She is working to conserve wetlands and aquatic ecosystems, focusing primarily on Patagonia, which must be considered as a socioecological laboratory.

Academics & Research

Professional Activities

  • Socioecology and Ethnoecology Chilean Society (SOSOET): member and part of Financial commision.
  • Red de Investigadoras, partner.
  • Asociación Gremial de Mujeres Líderes de Copia (AG MLC), partner.
  • Premios Verdes, Technical Committee

Research Interests

  • Water and wetlands governance
  • Environmental policy
  • Socioecology


Retamal, R; Madrigal, R; Alpizar, F; Jimenez, F. 2008. Serie técnica Programa Focuencas II: Innovación, aprendizaje, y Comunicación para la Cogestión Adaptativa de Cuencas. ASDI-CATIE. Turrialba, Costa Rica. 53 p.
Díaz-Jaramillo M, Ribas J. L, Lund L, Ventura J, Baptista P, da Rocha A, Retamal M.R, Bertrán C, Barra R & Monserrat J.M. 2010. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 73 (4): 515–523.
Retamal, Ma. Rafaela, Rojas, Jorge; Parra, Oscar. 2011. Ambiente & Sociedade 14(1):175-194
Retamal, M.R., Melo, O., Arumi, J.L. In: Rivera (2012). Chile: Environmental, Political and Social Issues. Nova Science Publishers. 33-68 p
Melo, O., Retamal, M.R. In: Rivera (2012). Chile: Environmental, Political and Social Issues. Nova Science Publishers. 1-32 p.
Retamal, M. R., Andreoli, A., Arumi, J., Rojas, J., & Parra, O. 2013. Análisis interno. Interciencia, 38(1), 8-16.
Colleran, B; Lacy, SN; Retamal, MR. 2020 River Research and Applications, 37(9): 1962-1969
Lacy, SN; Retamal Diaz, MR; Colleran, B. 2021. ”Gayana Botanica, 78(2): 191-195.
Retamal Díaz, M.R., et al. 2023. Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental (SEA) Online Guia-AI-Humedales-SEIA-2023.pdf (
Retamal Díaz, M.R., et al. 2023. Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental (SEA) Online: Guia-EVA-Humedales_2023.pdf (