Postdoctoral Fellow, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
PhD Evolutionary Biology (2014), The University of Queensland, Australia
BS Biology (2006), Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia
During my career I have studied the genetic and physiological foundations of environmental adaptation in plants. I am especially interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie complex eco-evolutionary processes, like the role of biotic interactions in creating plant diversity. This functional perspective has become increasingly feasible with technical advances that allow the analysis of variation in genetic networks across individuals, populations and species. In my research I have integrated high-throughput genotyping techniques with manipulative experimental approaches to test the role of adaptation in genomic divergence and determine the repeatability of evolution at different levels of biological organization.
My interest for plant physiology and biotic interactions started during my undergrad where I investigated gene-expression patterns associated to stress resistance in Brachiaria, a grass that is extensively cultivated in the neotropics. Later, in my PhD, I studied the genomic basis of ecological speciation, the origin of new species via divergent natural selection. For this I used population genomics and genetic mapping to investigate the repeated adaptation of an Australian plant, Senecio lautus, to adjacent environments along the coast. By these means I showed that the parallel evolution of similar adaptations involved different genes but generated predictable patterns of genomic divergence. Presently I am starting a postdoc at Dr Robin Hopkins lab where I will search for the molecular basis for the evolution of reinforcement and self-incompatibility in Texas wildflowers of the Phlox genus.
- Roda F, Ambrose L, Walter GM, et al. (2013) Genomic evidence for the parallel evolution of coastal forms in the Senecio lautus complex. Molecular Ecology 22, 2941-2952.
- Roda F, Liu H, Wilkinson MJ, et al. (2013) Convergence and divergence during the adaptation to similar environments by an Australian groundsel. Evolution 67, 2515-2529.