Research Associate, Entomology
My research is focused on the processes that create biodiversity, especially in conditions of isolation. I am interested in the historic biogeography of the organisms that live in the Pacific Rim and its islands. Particularly, looking at the terrestrial invertebrates from remote volcanic archipelagos and islands from Patagonia.
As Postdoctorate researcher I started a collaborative project between the California Academy of Sciences (Dr. Charles Griswold and Dr. Brian Simison) and the Paleogenomics lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz (Dr. Beth Shapiro and Dr. Ed Green). Here, we study the diversification patterns and biogeography of Tetragnatha spiders on different archipelagos from the Pacific Ocean. In order to do this, I am generating a phylogenetic reconstruction including field collected (Hawai’i, Society Islands, Rapa Nui, Chile, Costa Rica and Panamá) and museum specimens. For the later ones, I am improving DNA extraction methods for historical material. Moreover, I am working in the genome assembly of a Hawaiian spider combining different library preparation and sequencing techniques. The interest of this project is to examine parallel processes of diversification and generate laboratory methods to enhance the value of museum collections.
Previously on my PhD at the University of California, Berkeley (Dr. Rosemary Gillespie and Dr. David Lindberg), I studied the temporal dynamic of the adaptive radiation of the Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders. I did comparative population genetics combining the Exon Capture approach with regular Sanger sequencing of mitochondrial genes. Also, I did phylogenetic studies on endemic spiders from the Juan Fernández archipelago, as well as in the Tetragnatha genus. During my master degree at Universidad de Chile, I worked on Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Dr. Miguel Allende and Dr. Verónica Cambiazo).