A study of the population dynamics of Calanus chilensis was carried out in the coastal area of the Mejillones Peninsula (23°S), which is an upwelling site in the Eastern Boundary Humboldt Current. Information was derived from time-series sampling (15 day interval) at three stations, and from two broad-scale cruises: under active upwelling, and under 1997/1998 El Niño conditions. Calanus chilensis showed continuous reproduction throughout the year. In the study area, upwelling takes place intermittently year-round, suggesting that Calanus production is not limited by food. Advection played an important role in structuring the spatial distribution of Calanus, both during upwelling and under El Niño conditions. Population losses from upwelling and offshore transport may be compensated by rapid turnover rates of cohorts, growing at temperature-dependent rates and hence allowing population recovery, even in abnormally warm waters during El Niño conditions.