My name is Maximiliano Vergara Jara. I was born in the city of Concepción (central Chile), and since I was 1-year old, I have lived in Osorno, southern Chile. So, I always say that I'm 'Osornino' because I'm from Osorno. Osorno is my city.

Being the son of a marine biologist who worked with local fishermen communities in North Patagonia, I fell in love with the ocean while working with my father in Pucatrihue when I was a teenager.
After high school, I studied marine biology and did my undergraduate thesis in kelp ecology (large brown seaweeds) in North Patagonia. Then I worked a few years as a research assistant, and in 2014, I joined a Ph.D. program in science with a focus on Aquaculture. While doing the Ph.D., I did my thesis in oceanography and joined several expeditions in all of Patagonia and even Antarctica.

Right now, I'm 33 years old. I'm married to Leslie (she is a nurse) and have two sons that I love with all my life, Camilo Antonio (10 years old) and Javier Ignacio (6 years old). We all live together in Osorno.

My motivation is always working in the field and trying to understand how our fragile and beautiful ecosystem works. While doing fieldwork, I really feel alive and fortunate to have the chance to work in the Patagonian fjords and channel of the Australmost part of the South American continent.

I never taught about collaborating in an Art/Science-based project where the human aspects of the people that are part of the project were something to care about, or where its funding came not from a governmental institution. I met Akosua right before the first part of the project, and then I learned directly from her what the Behold the Ocean project could become and immediately fell in love with the purpose.

As a native from Southern Chile who has always been in contact with the ocean, and the father of two little humans who will grow up in this changing world, the project is significant to be part of. Most of the science done, even by the most respected scientist and institutions, lack public interest, is not being well presented to not scientists, and doesn't transmit the feelings and motivations of the people behind a determined project. Behold The Ocean is bigger than us as individuals.