Current positions: Since 2022, I have been a Full Professor and Researcher at the Center for Research and Innovation for Climate Change (CiiCC), School of Sciences, Santo Tomas University, Chile. I teach at the PhD in Conservation and Biodiversity Management.
I am located at the Centro de Innovación Colaborativa, Ruta T-25 Km 1, Mafil (Los Ríos), Chile.
Past positions: In 2021 I was a Postdoc at the Department of Mycorrhizal Symbioses, Institute of Botany, at the Czech Academy of Sciences. I was a Researcher at the Center of Applied Ecology and Sustainability of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (2018-2021), and a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences of the University of O’Higgins (Chile) and at the Department of Ecosystems and Environment, of the School of Agronomy and Forestry Engineering, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (2018-2020). I was a Professor of “Soil, Ecosystems, and Global Change” at the Open University of Recoleta (Chile, 2019).
Education: I am an Environmental Biologist (2013) from the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Colombia, a Doctor in Sciences mention Ecology and Evolution (2018), from the Austral University of Chile, and I have a Diplomat in Philosophy of Biology at the Institute of Philosophy and Complexity Sciences (Chile, 2020).
Stays & Teaching: I have done six research stays at the Institute of Soil Science at the University of Hannover, Germany, at the Plant Ecology Laboratory of the University of Tartu, Estonia, and at the Biodiversity Division, Lund University, Sweden. I have taught or assisted in teaching several courses in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina.
Society work: I am the founder and Lead of the South American Mycorrhizal Research Network, on the Board of Directors of the International Mycorrhiza Society, one of the initial members/Network laboratory of the Soil Biodiversity Observation Network (SoilBON), and a Science Associate of the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN).
Editorial work: I am Editor-in-Chief of the International Mycorrhiza Society Newsletter, on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, and of the Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology section (Frontiers in: Microbiology, Genetics, and Ecology and Evolution),
I am the Scientific Adviser of FungiFest, and collaborator on Skype a Scientist.
Awards: I was awarded as Afrocolombian of the Year 2019, category Academy, by El Espectador newspaper and Color de Colombia Foundation. Here is my acceptance speech. In 2021 I received the Dr. Humberto Maturana Youth Symposium award, by the Chilean Biology Society. And in 2022, I received the “We are Mycelium 2022” award, by FungiFest – Valdivia Mushroom Festival.
Research: My main research interest is Soil Ecology, studying the (i) plant-soil-ecosystems continuum, specifically how soil microorganisms affect and are affected by different biogeochemical cycles, specifically focusing on (ii) soil fungal ecology, using community ecology, metagenomics and bioinformatics tools. Although I started my research on (iii) crops/weeds dynamics, some of my passions include the study of (iv) multilevel selection, and also a bit of (v) science sociology, history, philosophy, and outreach, and recently (vi) conservation and plant propagation. Check here a seminar on some parts of my mycorrhizal research.