I am originally from Barcelona, Spain, but grew up in Costa Rica, a small country that accounts for only 0.03 percent of the earth’s surface but contains nearly 6 percent of the world’s biodiversity! Early contact with the rainforest and coral reefs pushed me to pursue a BS in Tropical Biology. During my undergraduate studies, I worked in a fisheries research lab where I looked at the distribution, reproduction and feeding ecology of elasmobranchs and other fish species associated to trawling fisheries of my country. After graduating I was lucky to participate in a field course in Singapore and Malaysia, two research fellowships in the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. These experiences reinforced my passion for research and so I decided to apply for a Masters degree at KAUST and joined the Reef Ecology Lab under the supervision of Prof. Michael Berumen, who I worked with in a reef fish population genetics and larval dispersal project.
Over the course of the project, I realized how much I liked being in the lab, and started collaborations in other projects that involved genetics. This new interest lead me to join the Aranda Lab for a PhD, where we study the molecular mechanisms and interactions of coral reefs.
I'm interested in investigating whether somatic mutations can be a potential evolutionary mechanism for corals to adapt to changes in the environment. By doing Restriction-Associated-DNA sequencing I'm looking at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Stylophora pistillata, a coral from the Red Sea that has been used in long-term acidification experiments.
Research Interests Keywords
Ecological and Environmental Genomics