Principal Investigator


  • 2009. Ph.D. Plant Biology and Pathology. Rutgers University

  • 2002. B.Sc. Biology with orientation in Microbiology and Parasitology. University of Panama

Previous Appointments:

  • 2010-2014. Tupper Postdoctoral Fellow. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

  • 2009-2010. Postdoctoral Scholar. The Pennsylvania State University.

My scientific research have focused primarily on the ecology, genetics, and systematics of plant associated microfungi, particularly on endophytes and pathogens, and why some fungi are beneficial while their close relatives are pathogens.

My approaches includes the use of basic microbiology techniques and cultural methods, genomics (metagenomics, transcriptomics, whole genome sequencing) to gain a comprehensive understanding of, what species compose microbiomes of tropical organisms and ecosystems?, what the functional role of these microbial communities or individual species are?, and how can we use the knowledge generated to manage diseases that affects society?



Project Research Assistant

Microbiology and DNA Sequencing

Project Research Assistant

Systematics, Taxonomy, and Conservation of Fungi




 Ph.D. Candidate (Co-advised with Dr. Marcelino Gutiérrez)

Acahrya Nagarjuna University and INDICASAT AIP

Genomic-driven discovery of natural products from strains of Pseudoalteromonas


Undergraduate Student

Universidad de Panama

Anthracnose Disease of Anacardium excelsum

Undergraduate Student

Universidad de Panama

Anthracnose Disease of Anacardium excelsum

M. Sc. Student

Universidad de Panama

Bacterial communities in mangrove soils


B. Sc. Student

Universidad de Panama

American Leaf Spot of Coffee

M. Sc. Student

Universidad de Panama

Brown Leaf Spot of Coffee

 Visiting Graduate Student 

McGill University

Biodiversity and Function of Bacteria Associated to the Cacao Pod

Previous Lab. Members and Visitors: 

Dr. Luis A. Ramirez

Postdoc 2015-2017

Currently a Postdoc at Purdue University.

Dr. Esteban Ceriani Nakamurakare

Visiting Scientist May-Aug 2018

Currently a CONICET Fellow at Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Ileana Quintero

Completed B.Sc. thesis from University of Panama in 2018

Currently a research assistant at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Lindsay Winkenbach

CREOi Intern Jul.-Dec. 2016.

Currently a Ph.D. Candidate at Colorado State University.

Nathalia Rincón

Completed B.Sc. thesis from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in 2015.

Currently a graduate student at Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Gloribel Vergara

Project Research Assistant 2014-2015.

Currently a Laboratory Supervisor at Cordón de Vida S.A., Panama.

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