Department: Genética, Fisiología y Microbiología

Faculty: Ciencias Biológicas

Area: Genetics

Research group: Genómica agroalimentaria y ambiental


Doctor by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid with the thesis Genética de la tolerancia al aluminio en centeno ("Secale cereale" L.) 1997. Supervised by Dr. César Benito Jiménez.

Plant genetics and a newborn genomics captivated me when I was an undergraduate student of Biology. Thus, I have dedicated my scientific career to study complex traits in plants using molecular genetic and genomic tools. About ten years ago I began to be interested in climate change scenario, and its effect on plants. I am convinced that a phenomenon as complex as this requires a multidisciplinary approach in which genomic tools have much to contribute. From that moment I began to participate in several collaborative projects with geographers, ecologists and physiologists. In this time, we have been able to analyze the genetic mechanisms of adaptation to drought stress in species of different genera such as Pinus, Cedrus or Abies, and in which genomic resources are currently very scarce. We are studying the phenomenon, with two global approaches. In one hand, structural genomics (Genotyping By Sequencing, GBS) has allowed us to characterize variability in natural populations threatened by warming, and to identify selection traces associated with drought mortality. On the other hand, via RNA-seq, we have characterized global gene response in this context. Besides, we have been able to detect significant differences in the gene expression profiles between drought-tolerant and -sensitive individuals. Some promising gene candidates have been identified. With all that, my research has evolved to consider plant (tree) stress response in increasingly complex frameworks, which additionally is taking into account the role of epigenetics in the observed phenotypic plasticity. My teaching activity in the Biology Degree has focused mainly on the subjects of Genetics, Fundaments of Genetic Engineering and Genomics, and Analysis and Quality Control. In postgraduate, I have participated in subjects related to the development and application of genomic tools to the molecular dissection of characters of interest, such as human diseases. My undergraduate and master's students benefit from my research and experience by using my own data to develop and solve case studies in class. On the other hand, they can join my research team to carry out TFG, TFM or even doctoral theses.