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The MOBAK-testing instruments are based on the basic motor competencies of schoolchildren and allow to assess them through eight test items that include “Object movement” and “Self movement”.

The aim is to register the basic motor competencies of Chilean schoolchildren and to identify how they are related to the motivation and attitudes towards physical activity out of school. Therefore, academics of the University of Potsdam (Germany) and University of Basel (Switzerland) came to the Universidad de La Frontera for the “Conference on Pedagogic Socialization of Basic Motor Competencies in Physical Education class” and to validate the MOBAK-testing instruments in Chile.

In this context, Dr. Jaime Cárcamo, an UFRO academic, commented that “considering that the development of basic motor competencies is one of the main objectives in PE class, it is important to know the impact the class has in schoolchildren, in order to determine if the objectives of the curricular bases are met and also to get to know their impact on the development of habits for an active lifestyle.”

“In this context, this Fondecyt project seeks to evaluate the motor competencies in schoolchildren in 5th grade and their relation to physical activity outside of school, as well as psychosocial aspects such as the children’s attitudes and motivation. This is why we decided to use the MOBAK-testing instrument, because it is a validated instrument to assess basic motor competencies in children which is used in Europe to determine the impact of PE classes”, the Dr. Jaime Cárcamo pointed out.


This conference was held within the framework of the Fondecyt (Chilean National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development) Project No. 11170525, “Basic motor competencies as part of the PE curriculum and the relation to motivation, enjoyment, attitudes and out-of-school physical activity in schoolchildren of the Chilean Araukanía Region”, and included presentations by the European academics Dr. Erin Gerlach (University of Potsdam) and Dr. Christian Herrmann (University of Basel), about the measurement, importance and evaluation of basic motor competencies. These topics were embedded in one large presentation which was held in German with consecutive interpretation into Spanish.

“Thanks to the visit of these academics, we were able to train PE teachers and university students who are part of the team of this Fondecyt project. The application of the MOBAK-5 testing instrument will start in May and has the objective to apply the tests in Chilean schoolchildren and to determine their level of motor competencies, which they need in different situations of their in-PE-class and out-of-school activities”, Dr. Jaime Cárcamo concluded.

The conference took place at the Universidad de La Frontera, in the Auditorium “Selva Saavedra”, and was sponsored by the Chilean National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (Fondecyt Project No. 11170525) and the Universidad de La Frontera thorugh the Department of Physical Education, Sport and Recreation and the Outreach and Community Engagement Division (Extension Project EXS18-0028).

Written by: María Carolina Oyarzún
UFRO School of Pedagogy

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UFRO U Alcala 2

The joint work since 2010 has been formalized by this Agreement that made academic collaboration possible and offers new opportunities of linkage.

The Universidad de Alcalá (UAH) in Spain is among the best higher education institutions in Spain and the most ancient ones in Europe. It also is the most current partner of the Universidad de La Frontera, after the signing of a Collaboration Agreement.

The Agreement is a formalization of joint work that dates back to 2010 and that has created the possibility of academic collaboration. It has been signed by the Vice-rector of International Affairs, Miguel Angel Sotelo, of the UAH, in the presence of the Dean and the Vice-dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Forestry Science of the UFRO, Rodolfo Pihán and Adison Altamirano. The signing of the Agreement was one of a series of activities at that university in order to boost new actions of cooperation.

“This is an important Agreement, since it is the formalization of joint work that is ongoing since more than five years, with permanent exchange of academic staff, research, projects and publications, and also at the postgraduate level. Now, new international cooperation possibilities open up with a university of prestige and tradition and which is one of the best and most ancient ones in Spain”, the dean Rodolfo Pihán stated.

The UFRO director of International Affairs, Dr. Pamela Leal, appreciates this Agreement that contributes to “the internationalization of our University by strengthening joint collaboration and opens new opportunities for teacher and student mobility. It also creates the possibility to increase the productivity in publications and in the access to international funds for research. Apart from that, it also strengthens our networks with Spain, through the AUIP (Iberoamerican University Association for Postgraduate Studies), which both institutions are part of.”


On the basis of this Agreement, the expectation is to promote new joint actions oriented towards joint research, the professional training, teacher and student mobility, and others.

The link with the UAH has been made mainly through the Faculty of Agricultural and Forestry Science of the UFRO, and the academic relation with one of the most renowned professors in Spain, Dr. José María Rey Banayas, who also is one of the creators of the International Foundation for Ecosystem Restoration (FIRE).

“One of the driving forces of this alliance is Dr. Rey Benayas with whom we were working on a MEC Project of the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT), in which we materialized a series of teaching, research and outreach and community engagement activities. Apart from that, we have a student of the Master in Natural Resource Management who went to Spain for his studies. This Agreement opens doors in the collaboration with other fields of the UFRO that can join us, especially through academic exchange and cotutelle doctorates, which they are very interested in”, Dr. Adison Altamirano, who is one of the promoters of this Agreement, specified.


Written by: Jassna Sepúlveda Beltrán
Communications Division

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Doctor Ivo Fustos

Within a work alliance between the Chilean Universidad de Concepción (UDEC) and the UFRO, with the help of Dr. Rodrigo Abarca del Rio, the UFRO collaborates on this mission and provides the training of advanced human capital capable of analyzing the data provided by SWOT, information that will allow to assess the existing water resources in Chile at the basins level.

The SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) mission is a space mission led by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the French CNES (National Center for Space Studies). Its objective is the better understanding of the world's oceans and its terrestrial surface waters. The mission will be launched in 2021.

The Universidad de La Frontera will collaborate on this important mission through the participation of Dr. Ivo Fustos who works at the UFRO Department of Civil Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering and Science, based on a work alliance with the UDEC, which will collaborate through the participation of Dr. Rodrigo Abarca del Rio. This way, the UFRO will be part of this important mission, providing the training of advanced human capital.

The idea is that the work team will be capable of analyzing the data provided by SWOT, since this information will allow to assess Chile´s water resources at the basins level and to contribute to the decision-making related to the management of water resources available.


“At present, there are space missions that allow to assess basins of the size of the Amazon, which are hundreds of times bigger than the ones we have in Chile, for example in the Bio-Bio or Araukanía Region”, Dr. Ivo Fustos said. Therefore, SWOT will provide concrete information for the scientific UFRO community respect the amount of water that exists in these basins.

The UFRO academic staff member added that “at present, in Latin America we do not have such capacities to explore this information, and in this context, the French government and NASA established this collaboration with the UFRO and UDEC.” From here to 2021, it will be necessary to have professionals capable of handling the SWOT protocols.

Therefore, both universities have done valuable efforts in order to train students capable of analyzing and transferring the data of this mission to the community.

As part of the training, two UFRO students in Civil Engineering at the Universidad de La Frontera, Nataly Manque and Ardy Gatica, recently participated in the conference “Water from Space”, in Santiago, Chile. They went with Dr. Ivo Fustos to this event, in which different experts of NASA´s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the French CNES came together and presented the current status of South America´s surface water and explained how the SWOT mission will improve the understanding of it.

For Nataly Manque, the participation in the International South American Water from Space Conference was important for getting to know the current status of Chile´s and Latin America´s surface water, which is crucial information for taking social responsibility and forming criteria in engineering.

“To share with speakers from all over the world allowed me to analyze different visions and to find a big variety of similarities among the obstacles in the advance in this subject. I was able to assimilate the impact of the lack of data to analyze – and its validity – and the constant constraints in funding at the moment of implementing improvements.

However, the techniques and the scope of the remote sensing project and the SWOT launch will improve the analysis”, she pointed out.

Another aspect both students pointed out was the possibility of getting to know and interact with professionals of NASA and CNES, a professionally and personally enriching experience.

They also had the possibility to learn to use the Orfeo ToolBox software, which is developed by CNES, in a workshop led by one of the developers.

“All of these experiences, among others during this meeting, permitted that our students could see that engineering is a universal language and that what we are developing on a micro level in Chile can be extrapolated to any other part of the world”, Dr. Ivo Fustos concluded.


escrito porWritten by: Daphne Bormann
Faculty of Engineering

Profesor Serbio Universidad de La Frontera

Profesor Serbio Universidad de La Frontera

The professor of philosophy, ethics and logic at the University of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic visited the UFRO School of Education and met with students of the programs Spanish and Communication Teaching and Mathematics Teaching in order to share his experience in civic education in Europe and the role of the professor in education.

Within the framework of the Civic Education class, which is part of the new curriculum of the study programs in education of the Universidad de La Frontera, more than a hundred students of these programs participated in this activity.

The professor Nenad Milicic was in charge of this activity which was called “Mission, vision and position of civic education in the scholar system in a democratic state, experience in Europe”.

During the activity, the Serbian professor referred to the context of the topics related to the relevance of the training of citizens in Europe and explained the associated conceptualizations. He also talked about the experience Europe made during the introduction of these subjects into the educational system.

Nenad Milicic pointed out that he is working on different projects that require international cooperation. This is why he is interested in consolidating his work with the Universidad de La Frontera, since it is very similar to the University of South Bohemia (Czech Republic), which he works for.

This way, the professor´s visit led to an interaction between students and teachers and created a dialogue about the similarities and differences between the educational systems, in Europe as well as in America, and Chile in particular. It was an important contribution to the civic education of the students who participate in this class during this semester and an enriching debate that strengthens the topics that are contemplated in the annual planning.

Written by: María Carolina Oyarzún
UFRO School of Education

Doctorado UFRO congreso Londres

Dr. Jorge Farías and the students Stefania Short and Bryan Effer presented their research advances related to an international project for the production of a leukemia drug and the characterization of antifreeze activity in apoplastic extract of Deschampsia Antarctica.

The motivation for the participation of the Doctoral Program in Science with specialization in Applied Cellular and Molecular Biology of the Universidad de La Frontera in this international event in London with presentations by Dr. Jorge Farías and the students Stefania Short and Bryan Effer was to share their scientific advances and create international links.

The UFRO representatives participated in the 20th Global Congress on Biotechnology and the 3rd International Conference on Enzymology and Molecular Biology. “This is a high-level international event that is characterized by the exchange of scientific advances and the participation of well-known universities and companies in the field of biotechnology”, Dr. Farías said. He also specified that studies have been presented that are linked to international projects and to a Fondecyt (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development) project led by himself (No. 1151315) and another one led by Dr. Leon Bravo (No. 1151173).

For the student Stefania Short, this was an important opportunity to show the advances of her doctoral research work, which is related to the characterization of an antifreeze protein of Deschampsia Antarctica and its potential use in salmon cryopreservation.

“I presented part of the work I did during an internship in Canada, mainly the characterization of the anti-freeze protein in the plant, and also what I have done here in the laboratory, the evaluation of its cryoprotectant capacity in the freezing process of spermatozoids of Atlantic salmon”, she explained.

Bryan Effer also presented his degree research advances he did within the framework of an international project with the participation of the UFRO and the FAPESP (Sao Paulo Research Foundation in Brazil), in which he wants to produce the first humanized drug for leukemia.

“L-Asparaginase is an enzyme used in drugs for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the work we present is the recombinant production of this enzyme, but in a different version as you can find it on the market nowadays, which basically consists of an enzyme modified with humanized sugars. The objective is to decrease secondary effects, which is the main problem of this drug at the moment”, Effer explained. He will also go to the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, which holds nine Nobel Prices at present, in order to spend three months there and to learn about genomics technologies.

Dr. Jorge Farías commented that the presented work gained the interest of the participants in the international event because of the high level they are at, and not only the interest of the scientists, but also of the ones who are linked with the entrepreneurial sector, since it is a congress to promote knowledge transfer to the company.

At the same time, the director of the Department of Chemical Engineering values these events, since they permit to show, beyond the borders, the passionate work they do in the UFRO laboratories and the quality and level of the Doctoral Program and, at the same time, to strengthen their international networks.

It is also worth to mention that the resume of the presented studies have been published in the Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials. The studies are called:

-“Design, construction and extracellular expression of L-asparaginase from Dickeya chrysanthemi in yeast”
- “Study of the potential use of antifreeze proteins of Deschampsia antarctica in the cryopreservation of Salmo salar spermatozoa”
- “Characterization of antifreeze activity in apoplastic extract of Deschampsia antarctica”


escrito porWritten by: Dirección de Comunicaciones
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