My latest and first paper as a postdoc!

My latest paper on Burmeistera was just published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution! In this paper, we investigated the best approach to combine complete plastome data generated with high-throughout sequencing and traditional Sanger sequences. This is really important because there are many publicly available Sanger data that people tend to forget about, and it would be a waste not to use them. We also produced the largest Burmeistera phylogeny to date, laying a foundation for a future taxonomic revision of the group.

You can find the article in the “Publications” tab on my website or here:

Department Seminar at OSU!

simon-at-osu I was invited to give my first Department Seminar at Oklahoma State University! I presented (September 14th, 2016) work from my dissertation on Neobartsia as well as current and future work on speciation and the accumulation of species properties. I spent two days in Stillwater and everything went really well. My host, Mark Fishbein, and his students were great and I had many good and stimulating conversations with them and other people in the department.

What a fantastic experience! 🙂


New paper on Neobartsia

Bartsia_Mosaique_SmallMy latest paper on Neobartsia was published today in Systematic Botany! 🙂

This paper is the culmination of five years of hard work during my Ph.D., summarizing results from many analyses and types of data. The main result of this publication is the creation of Neobartsia, a new genus containing every Andean species (47) of the former genus Bartsia. I couldn’t be more excited and proud of this paper, besides, it’s really cool to name a genus! 😉

You can read the publication here:

New Paper on Genomics and Phylogenomics!

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Our paper on target enrichment and high-throughput sequencing was publish today! 🙂

We developed a method to amplify multiple loci using microfluidic PCR from both the chloroplast and nuclear genome. The enriched loci can then be sequenced using a high-throughput sequencing platform, in our case Illumina. The paper also includes a pipeline to process the raw reads, recover alleles, and asses ploidy levels of the samples—exciting!

Check it out here:

New publication on Biogeography and Diversification!


Great news, my latest Ph.D. paper with Dave Tank was recently published in the American Journal of Botany!

The paper is focused on the biogeographic history and diversification patterns of the high Andean plant genus Bartsia (Orobanchaceae). We hypothesized that the movement into a new geographic region, namely the páramos, triggered an increase in the rate of net diversification in Bartsia. This pattern of “Dispersification” (dispersion and diversification) has been identified in other groups of plants and it might be more common than we previously thought.

To know more about it, you can download the paper here: doi:10.3732/ ajb.1500229

My first talk as a postdoc

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I gave my first talk as a postdoc today 🙂

It was at BioLunch, a weekly department wide seminar at the University of Missouri-St.Louis Biology Department. I presented my work on Bartsia and people really liked it.

I was honored by the presence of eminent scientists like Bob RicklefsPeter Stevens, Bob Marquis, and of course my current postdoctoral advisor Nathan MuchhalaIvan Jimenez, Eric Knox, all my lab mates, and students from across the department!

It was a great experience and a great way to start this new stage in my life.

First day at UMSL

Today is my first day as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri-St. Louis! I’m very excited to start working with Nathan on a super cool project involving genomics, phylogenomics, pollination experiments, and speciation in Burmeistera (Campanulaceae)!

My office is not too shabby either 😉

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New Position!


I’m very excited to have accepted a postdoctoral position with Dr. Nathan Muchhala at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. I’ll start on October 1st 2015, working on the phylogenomics of the plant genus Burmeistera (Campanulaceae). We’ll then use those results to investigate pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation in the group. Pretty cool!