I am a Colombian biologist with special interest in conservation related studies. Although during my undergrad at the National University of Colombia I focused mainly on terrestrial ecosystems, I was always curious about the marine life ecology and especially
about coral reefs. Therefore, during my master studies at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium I worked on the connectivity assessment of different populations of a reef-building coral species (Seriatopora hystrix) along the East Coast of Africa.
That was the perfect opportunity to explore into genetics as a powerful tool to study population dynamics and evolutionary processes on corals, which otherwise will be nearly impossible to accomplish.
I am currently enrolled in a PhD program of Marine Science at KAUST and more specifically I work in the research group of the Red Sea Reef Genomics directed by Prof. Dr. Christian Voolstra.
The increasing rate of deterioration of coral reef ecosystems, which are the most biodiverse marine ecosystem worldwide, has raised my interest to understand the dynamics and processes involved in the resilience of reef building coral populations. Although I have used the population genetics approach to address this conservation problem, I am now more interested in functional genomics to explore the adaptations of different coral species to particular environmental characteristics that can challenge coral reefs persistence in the face of the imminent climate change.