My name is Sergio Nigenda-Morales, I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratories of Andrés Moreno-Estrada and Cei Abreu-Goodger at the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO) in Guanajuato, Mexico. Previously, I did my Ph.D. research in Bob Wayne’s Lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Natural environments present several biotic and abiotic challenges that require both short-term and long-term evolutionary responses. Demographic and environmental changes can have positive or negative impacts on different populations, allowing them to colonize new habitats or reducing their numbers, both scenarios can have long term evolutionary consequences. Some of the evolutionary effects can be that expanding populations colonizing new environments show advantageous phenotypes in different habitats, or that populations that were reduced show low genomic variation and increase mutation load due to inbreeding, which would lead to decrease in fitness and higher risk of extinction. Therefore, correlating demographic and environmental factors with genetic variation is important in understanding how the interaction between different evolutionary processes shape populations’ genomic diversity and adaptation .
In general, I am interested in understanding the demographic and evolutionary history of different vertebrate species. I aim to achieve this goal by reconstructing the demographic history of populations and identifying the changes in their genomes that have lead to phenotypic variation and adaption to different environments, or to reduced in fitness and poor adaptive potential.
“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” – Charles Darwin