I’m a Chilean native and joined the BryoLab in 2015. I started to make connections with plants when I studied horticulture as an undergraduate student at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile . I was later awarded a Chilean scholarship (Becas Chile, CONICYT) to attend a master’s degree program at UC Davis. As a master’s student, I worked on the phylogeny and biogeography of the genus Acaena (Rosaceae), a plant commonly known as “cadillo” or “bidibid” in Chile and New Zealand, respectively. I also became familiar and fascinated with bryophytes and eager to understand more about their biology and ecology. As a PhD student at UC Berkeley, I will focus on integrating phylogenetics and ecology using bryophytes distributed along elevational gradient as a study system.
During my free time I enjoy farming, drawing, playing soccer and having a good time with my family and friends. I’m proud of having started an independent life with my family in a new country.
My primary interests lie in the field of plant evolution and community ecology, in which I aim to explore patterns of moss community assembly in a phylogenetic framework. By unifying history, traits and ecological processes that shape the structure of moss communities, I intend to gain a better understanding of patterns of their biodiversity and why certain lineages coexist and others don’t.
My main research questions are: What patterns of phylo-community structure are observed at different taxonomic scales along an elevation gradient? What biotic/abiotic factors may influence the phenotypic pattern in the community? Does desiccation tolerance act as an environmental filtering in the community? What is the history of the individual traits? What is the phylo-alpha-beta diversity along the elevational gradient?
These questions will provide a basic understanding of the evolutionary history of traits involved in ecological processes, but also how diversity at the community level persists in moss communities.
- Dissertation: Phylogenetic diversity and moss community along elevational gradient in the Andes Central Chile.
- Collaborative work: Desiccation and Diversity in Dryland Mosses. In this large collaborative project under the supervision of Brent Mishler and Lloyd Stark, I’ll contribute by generating a worldwide phylogeny of Syntrichia with representatives from all major terminal clades. My goals are: a) to create a list of widely recognized species; b) to identify the major clades in Syntrichia and their distributions; c) to determine the backbone phylogeny of Syntrichia for further studies in trait evolution, biogeography and eco-physiology.
- Education and Research Fellow at UC Gill Tract Community Farm: I focus on engaging UCB faculty, staff and students to do research in the community farm. The goal is to link faculty research interests with the priorities of the farm.
- Phylogeny and biogeography of Acaena (Rosaceae): Evidence of a long-distance dispersal event in the Southern Hemisphere: This work involves preparation of the manuscript and publication of my master thesis.
- Bryophyte diversity of Mount Diablo State Park: The goal of this project is to generate a survey of bryophytes in the park.