About me

I’m a data scientist at Phylagen, a startup in San Francisco committed to harnessing the unseen world of microbes to improve our daily lives. Every day I get to work with large sequencing datasets, combining my love for bioinformatics, big data, and biodiversity.

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, where I grew up. Beginning my major in biology at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, with a specialization in botany, I discovered the amazing world of molecular biology and learned about the phylogenetic tools available. I joined the Systematic Botany Lab where I focused my undergraduate honors thesis on the phylogeny of the Colombian species of Bartsia and Castilleja with Dr. Santiago Madriñán as my advisor and Dr. Sarah Mathews from the Harvard University Herbarium as my co-advisor. I took part in a yearlong exchange at the Johannes Gutenberg Univesität in Mainz, Germany, where I worked at the Institut für Spezielle Botanik with Prof. Dr. Joachim Kadereit on the phylogeny and reciprocal hybridization of Senecio flavus and S. glaucus.

During the summer of 2008, I interned at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) with Dr. Amy Litt working on the phylogeny of Vochysiaceae. In August 2009, I started my Ph.D. at the University of Idaho where I worked with Dr. David Tank on the evolution of Neobartsia and the development of novel high-throughput sequencing methods to generate large amounts of genomic data quickly and cost effectively. I spent two years as a postdoctoral research fellow working on phylogenomics of the genus Burmeistera (Campanulaceae) with Dr. Nathan Muchhala at the University of Missouri – St. Louis and as a research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Finally, I was a postdoctoral fellow working on genomics and bioinformatics with Dr. Stephen Smith at the University of Michigan. Specifically, I was improving large scale phylogenetic methods and analyses with a special emphasis on angiosperms.

Curriculum Vitae