My research focuses mainly on the conservation genetics of economically important plants and the phylogeography of their insect pests. After a BSc in biology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México working on vanilla population genetics, I obtained a Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Columbia University, with work on the landscape genetics of understory palms of the genus Chamaedorea in Mexico and Central America. My postdoc at the New York Botanical Garden's Genomics Lab focused on the conservation and management of a recently endangered group of cycads in Micronesia using genomic tools (Expressed Sequence Tags). As a joint AMNH-NYBG Cullman post-doctoral fellow, I am studying the population genetics of agricultural pests such as cycad scales and avocado and cactus weevils, to understand the processes that govern their adaptation to their plant host. I am also a member of the New York Plant Genomics Consortium investigating the genome evolution of seed plants using phylogenomic tools. Training is a fundamental part of my work, I have trained one high school and six undergraduate students in our lab on using genetic tools for conservation. I have also been involved in environmental policy, working at the Bioversity International institute in Rome and biodiversity education (taught Evolutionary Genetics at the AMNH, NSF High School Science Program, undergraduate courses at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, and graduate courses at Columbia University). I am also a member of the IUCN Cycad and Palm specialist groups.