Research Team

Senior Researcher

Juliana A. Vianna, MSc, PhD

Department of Ecosystems and Environment

jvianna@uc.cl

Juliana is a Biologist from the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Minas Gerais, Brazil, with a Master in Ecology, Conservation and Wildlife Management from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. She received a PhD in Biological Sciences with a mention in Ecology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

From 2005 to 2010 she worked at the Faculty of Ecology and Natural Resources of the University Andrés Bello in Santiago,Chile, and from 2010 to present at the Department of Ecosystems and Environment, Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Additionally, she currently is in charge of the Master of Natural Resources at the Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering.

Lab Manager, Researcher

Daly Noll Vergara

danoll@uc.cl

Daly is a Marine Biologist and Master in Marine Biology from the Andres Bello University. She completed her master thesis on phylogeography and genetic population structure of the marine fish cabrilla (Sebastes oculatus). Currently she is a PhD student of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program at the Universidad de Chile. In her doctoral thesis she studies the adaptive divergence of the gentoo penguin lineages across the Southern Ocean, through the detection of selection signals in their genomes.

She is aldo researcher of the Laboratorio de Biodiversidad Molecular, where she collaborates in phylogeographic and population genetic studies of vertebrates. In addtion, Daly is responsible for administrative and managerial duties of the laboratory.

Fabiola Leon Miranda

lafabileon@gmail.com

Fabiola is a Biologist from the Universidad de Los Andes de Venezuela. She completed her Bachelor thesis in phylogeography and genetic variability of the Andean bear. She is currently a PhD student in Zoology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and she is doing her doctoral thesis on phylogenomics of penguins of the genus Spheniscus.

In addition, she performs support task for undergraduate students and laboratory management.

Constanza S. Weinberger Illanes

conysw@gmail.com

Constanza is a Biologist from the Simón Bolívar University of Venezuela, and has a PhD in Biological Sciences with a mention in Ecology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. In his doctoral thesis she studied the population structure, phylogeography and demographic history of the common sea lion, Otaria flavescens, in Chile. She has worked as a biostatistician and researcher in various research projects. Currently, she also performs administrative and research tasks in the Molecular Biodiversity Laboratory, as part of the team of the Millennium Base Institute.

Camila Cisterna Menares

c.cisternamenares@gmail.com

Camila is a of Marine Biologist from the Andrés Bello University, and an undergraduate student of Veterinary Medicine from the same college. To obtain the title of Marine Biologist, Camila studied selection on penguin mitogenomes of the genus Eudyptes, at the Molecular Biodiversity Laboratory. She currently develops administration and research activities in the laboratory, associated with the LiLi millennium nucleus.

Postdoc

Carola Cañón Valenzuela

carolacanonv@gmail.com

Carola is a Biologist and Master of Science focused on zoology the Universidad de Concepción and a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina.
Her research is focused on small mammals’ evolution, especially on rodents of the Sigmodontinae subfamily with emphasis on its systematics, phylogeography, taxonomy, and biogeography. Her Master’s thesis evaluated the phylogenetic relationships of the Abrotrichini tribe using molecular markers. In her doctoral research, she assessed the systematics of the Akodontini tribe, the only generic group of the subfamily without a comprehensive evaluation. To carry out this research, she integrated morphological and molecular evidence, and also evaluated its fossil record, possible host-parasite codivergence events and its use as taxonomic flags, and historical biogeographic aspects.

PhD. Students

Nicolás A. Lois

nlois@ege.fcen.uba.ar

Nicolás graduated in Biology and is a PhD student at Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Throughout his career, he has used genetic tools to answer ecological and evolutionary questions in birds. His PhD project is focused on measuring the connectivity in rockhopper penguins populations and the factors which regulate gene flow between their colonies, within the current climate change scenario.

Rodrigo Lira Hurtado

rilira@uc.cl

Rodrigo is an agronomist engineer specialized in animal sciences at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). He has worked on research related to production systems, livestock production quality, and wildlife and environment. Also, he is nature photographer.
Currently, he is enrolled in the PhD program at PUC and his research topic is the genome diversity of wild South American camelids, Lama guanicoe y Vicugna vicugna. His research aims to understand wild South American camelids adaptation to extreme environments and evolution processes.

Gabriela Narváez Guíñez

gabriela.narvaez.guinez@gmail.com

Gabriela is a Plant Biotechnology Engineer from the University of Concepción, and is currently on the verge of defending her master’s thesis of the Master’s Program in Sciences, Genetics mention at the Austral University of Chile, where she reconstructed the evolutionary-demographic history of the species relicta Gomortega keule, an endemic and threatened tree in the country.
In the Molecular Biodiversity Laboratory, Gabriela is part of the LiLi Millennium Nucleus, where within her doctoral thesis, from the Doctorate in Sciences program, Ecology and Evolution mention at the Universidad Austral de Chile, she will study the adaptive potential of the Nothofagus species present in the treeline, and the probabilities of survival in the diverse and changing environments that are projected with climate change, carrying out studies both in the latitudinal gradient and in the altitudinal gradient, throughout the entire distribution range.

Paulo Zepeda Godoy

pszepeda@uc.cl

Paulo is a Biological Science graduate from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in the Biological Science program Ecology mention at
the same university. Throughout his career, he has focused on searching for patterns
of genetic variability and structure in small vertebrates of Chile.
He is currently working on the genomic diversity and structure of the invasive rodent
Rattus rattus at a South-American level, particularly in Chile, searching for adaptation
genomic signals to different Chilean ecosystems.

Msc. Students

Claudia Ulloa Contreras

caulloa4@uc.cl

Claudia is veterinarian and has worked in wildlife management, specially with terrestrial mammals. Currently, she is a master student in the Natural Resources Master program at PUC and is working with foxes genomics.d throughout Chile (30ºS – 56ºS).

Eduardo Pizarro González

eduardo.pizarrogonzalez@gmail.com

Eduardo is an undergraduate student of Environmental Biology from the Universidad de Chile. He has to lead his studies to the field of Biodiversity Conservation with a main interest in birds and mammals.

He is currently working on his undergraduate thesis, in which the divergence of the three species of foxes that inhabit Chile, the Culpeo fox (Lycalopex culpaeus), the Chilla fox (Lycalopex griseus) and Darwin’s fox (Lycalopex fulvipes) are assessed through phylogenomic analyses

Undergraduate Students

Josefina Jorquera Faúndez

mojorquera@uc.cl

Josefina is an undergraduate Biochemistry student at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She is currently working at the Laboratory of Molecular Biodiversity on her undergraduate thesis project, which is focusing on population genomics studies of southern hemisphere skúas: Brown skua (Catharacta antarctica), South Polar skua (Catharacta maccormicki) and Chilean skua (Catharacta chilensis). Also, Josefina is a member of the 𝐀𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐨𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 (AYC), a youth network that promotes citizen participation in Antarctic matters.

Elisa González Ugalde

ejgonzalez3@uc.cl

Elisa is a Forestry Engineering student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Her main interests are focused in the conservation area, particularly on terrestrial mammals.

Carolina Peñaloza

caropv@uc.cl

Carolina is a biology student at the Catholic University. Her area of interest is vertebrate fauna, especially birds and mammals.
She is currently studying the genome of the Pygoscelis genus at the Molecular Biodiversity Laboratory.

Paula Marín Avendaño

paula.marin@uc.cl

Paula is a biology student at the Catholic University. Her area of interest is applied genetics in biodiversity of chilean fauna.
She is currently studying the genome of the Pygoscelis genus at the Molecular Biodiversity Laboratory.

Lab Alumni

Elfego Cuevas

elfcuevas@gmail.com

Elfego is a Veterinarian and Master in Management of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems from the University of Veracruz, Mexico. He has worked in epidemiology of vector-borne diseases in wildbirds.

He is a PhD in the Conservation Medicine Program at the Universidad Andrés Bello. In his thesis, he evaluates the inter-annual patterns of prevalence of avian malaria, chronic effects of the disease over telomere length and MHC gene diversity in the Thorn-tailed rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda) populations throughout a latitudinal gradient.

Maria Jose Frugone Wielandt

mjfrugone@u.uchile.cl

María José has a degree in Biological Science from the Universidad Austral de Chile and a Master degree in Science from the Universidad de Chile. In both programs she studied animal behavior in an ecological and evolutionary context.
Currently, María José is a PhD in Biological Science with mention in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the Universidad de Chile. She developed her thesis at the Laboratorio de Biodiversidad Molecular studying the phylogeography and genomic adaptation of Eudyptes penguins.

Rocío Alvarez Varas

ralvarez03@gmail.com

Rocio is a Veterinarian from the Universidad Mayor and Master in Natural Resources from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Currently she is developing her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the Faculty of Sciences of the Universidad de Chile.

Her Master’s thesis was developed at the Laboratory of Molecular Biodiversity where she focused on the morphological variation and phylogeographic patterns of six bird species of the genus Phrygilus. Her doctoral was focused on the morphological and genetic variation of C. mydas (green turtle) in the Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific.

Rocio is a professor in Biological Conservation and Ecotoxicology and she was director of an NGO dedicated to Research and Conservation of Sea Turtles in Chile during 5 years.

Bernardita Julio Kalajžić

bjulio@uc.cl

Bernardita is a Veterinarian from the Universidad de Chile. Currently she is a Master student of the Natural Resources Program at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, with intest in vertebrate management and conservation.

Bernardita is finishing her Master thesis at the Laboratorio de Biodiversidad Molecular, where she has studied phylogeography and population genetics of Lycalopex culpaeus y Lycalopex griseus.

Daniela Doussang

danieladoussang@gmail.cl

Daniela is a Veterinarian from the Universidad de Concepción. Her studies have been focused on hematology and blood biochemical of wild birds.

Currently, Daniela is finishing her PhD in Veterinary Sciences at the Universidad de Concepción, where she has investigated on the distribution, prevalence and phylogeography of avian hemoparasites in South American birds.

Valentina Muñoz Farías

pvmunoz1@uc.cl

Valentina is a Bachelor in Marine Biology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Currently she is a Master student of the Natural Resources Program, Conservation and Wildlife Management mention at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Her master thesis is focused on phylogeography of the Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) using Next Generation Sequencing techniques.

Isidora Mura Jornet

imura@uc.cl

Isidora is a Biologist and Master in Natural Resources from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She investigated chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) population genetic structure, as well as the morphological variation and sex identification in Antarctic penguins, using molecular tools and morphological traits.

Camila Barría

ctbarria@uc.cl

Camila is an Agronomist with a mention in Environmental Management and Master in Natural Resources from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Camila has conducted research in the Barcode of Chilean reptiles and she completed her Master thesis on family relationship and extra-pair copulation in papua penguins (Pygoscelis papua).

Ignacio Acosta Bravo

Ignacio.acosta.b@gmail.com

Ignacio is an Environmental Biologist from the Universidad de Chile and Master in Natural Resources from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

In his Master thesis, Ignacio studied the demography and genetic structure of the green-backed firecrown (Sephanoides sephaniodes) populations, the most important vertebrate pollinator of the native forest of the southern cone.

Nicole Sallaberry Pincheira

nicolesallaberryp@gmail.com

Nicole Sallaberry Pincheira graduated as a Veterinarian at the University Andres Bello in 2011. She completed her Master of Natural Resources in the Laboratorio de Biodiversidad Molecular at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry with Dr. Juliana A. Vianna, with whom she worked with since 2006 to present. Her work is focused on conservation genetics of Chilean population herpetofauna and population health related with epidemiology and molecular immunology of Humboldt and Magallanes penguins.

At present she teaches classes related to zoological medicine and rehabilitation of wildlife and is responsible for the Rehabilitation Wildlife Unit at Andres Bello University. She is also part of the Board of the Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AMEVEFAS) from 2013-2016 and is an active member of the Society of Biology of Chile, Evolution Society of Chile and Herpetology Network Chile.

Mónica Mora

mopaumoca@gmail.com

Mónica is a Veterinarian at the Universidad de Chile and Master in Natural Resources from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

She has conducted research on transmission of infectious diseases of Leopardus guigna populations and also on genetics field of Neovison vison and Lontra provocax populations. At present she is working on outreach projects and scientific assessment.

Marcelo Fuentes Hurtado

fuentes.hurtado@gmail.com

Marcelo is a Veterinarian from the Universidad Andrés Bello. He received a Master´s degree in Natural Resources, Area Conservation and Wildlife Management at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Marcelo has worked with Dr. Vianna since 2006 investigating phylogeography and conservation of Pudú (Pudu puda). His master thesis was focused on the effects of the last glacial maximum on the demographics of carnivorous species threatened with moist temperate forests using niche modeling.

Marcelo Fuentes Hurtado

fuentes.hurtado@gmail.com

Marcelo is a Veterinarian from the Universidad Andrés Bello. He received a Master´s degree in Natural Resources, Area Conservation and Wildlife Management at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Marcelo has worked with Dr. Vianna since 2006 investigating phylogeography and conservation of Pudú (Pudu puda). His master thesis was focused on the effects of the last glacial maximum on the demographics of carnivorous species threatened with moist temperate forests using niche modeling.

| Laboratorio de Biodiversidad Molecular - Departamento de Ecosistemas y Medio Ambiente, Campus San Joaquín - Facultad de Agronomía e Ingeniería Forestal |
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - Santiago, Chile - Oficina (56-2) 23547210 - Laboratorio (56-2) 23547210 | info@biodivmol-lab.com