Welcome to CienciaPR, an expert and resource network for all who are interested in science and Puerto Rico.
My undergraduate training in biology at the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamón spanned a wide range of topics in the life sciences, from genes to ecosystems. I have been involved in research projects since 2006 thanks first to Dr. Concepción Rodriguez (UPR-B) and Dr. Alex Sloan (UPR-B) and to the support of SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability) program of the Ecological Society of America.
My research experiences in and out of Puerto Rico, mostly looked at species-habitat relationships. Under such broad topic, I have studied native bee nest-site selection, elephant utilization of important riparian tree species, intertidal pool community structure, land-use legacies influencing contemporary ant communities, among others. I value the importance of incorporating molecular techniques into traditional ecological studies to better understandorganisms, their relationships, and their evolution.
My professional goal is to serve as an educator in Puerto Rico with the objective of providing undergraduate students the tools to be exceptional scientists and instill in them the values of scientific research which carry major implications for our society.
For my PhD dissertation I aim to use both direct field observation and molecular data to demonstrate how landscape and environmental patterns can shape the genetic structure of an invasive species in dynamic terrestrial ecosystems like those of the Caribbean islands. This relationship might be a crucial factor explaining invasive species population success and persistence in the islands of the Caribbean. My organism of study is the small Indian mongoose, introduced early in the 20th century to Pacific and Caribbean Islands. Additionally, I aim to infer the role of mongooses in the food web of a newly invaded system.
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