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Martha Serrano


My research interests have started with the study of genetic diversity patterns in domesticated plant species. The investigation of wild gene pools, number and location of domesticated beans in the Americas have brought me into the understanding of evolutionary patterns in Neotropical plant diversity

Currently, the goal of my PhD research is examine morphological, ecological and molecular evolution during speciation of Neotropical plant lineages. In particular, substantial differences on species richness across clades in Gesneriaceae family may suggest that several factors have potentially increased or decreased diversification probabilities during their evolution. I integrate phylogenetic, ecological and comparative methods to develop my thesis. In addition, I investigate the genetic variation and gene expression differences of multiple pollination shifts in species of the Gesneriaceae family. The examination of next generation sequencing data will allow to test whether multiple shifted species did experience genetic changes in a coordinated fashion. Altogether these findings will contribute to the understanding of factors playing a role on diversification processes in the Neotropical biodiversity hotspots. This project is developed in collaboration with the Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève.

Funding: Fellowship of Faculty of Biology and Medicine, 2011

PhD student in Phylogenetics lab, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Master degree with Distinction in Sciences - Biology, emphasis on Systematics, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.

Bachelor degree in Biology, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, colombia

Personal interest

Travelling, dancing and reading.

2016 |  2015 |  2012 |  2010 | 

Pellissier L., Moreira X., Danner H., Serrano M., Salamin N., van Dam N.M., Rasmann S., 2016. The simultaneous inducibility of phytochemicals related to plant direct and indirect defences against herbivores is stronger at low elevation. Journal of Ecology 104(4) pp. 1116-1125. [DOI] [Web of Science]
Serrano-Serrano M.L., Perret M., Guignard M., Chautems A., Silvestro D., Salamin N., 2015. Decoupled evolution of floral traits and climatic preferences in a clade of Neotropical Gesneriaceae. BMC Evolutionary Biology 15 p. 247. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Andueza-Noh RH., Serrano-Serrano ML., Chacon MI., Sánchez I., Camacho-Perez L., Coello-Coello J., Mijangos J., Debouck DG., Martinez-Castillo J., 2012. Multiple domestications of the Mesoamerican gene pool of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.): Evidence from chloroplast DNA sequences. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution .
Chacon MI., Motta JR., Serrano-Serrano ML., Debouck DG., 2012. Domestication of Lima beans: a new look at an old problem. pp. 330-343 in Biodiversity In Agriculture: Domestication, Evolution and Sustainability. Paul Gepts, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press..
Serrano-Serrano ML., Andueza-Noh RH., Martinez -Castillo J., Debouck DG., Chacón MI., 2012. Evolution and domestication of Lima bean in Mexico: Evidence from ribosomal DNA. Crop Science 52 pp. 1698-1712.
Motta-Aldana JR., Serrano-Serrano ML., Hernández-Torres J., Castillo-Villamizar G., Debouck DG., Chacón. MI., 2010. Multiple Origins of Lima Bean Landraces in the Americas: Evidence from Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Polymorphisms. Crop Science 50 pp. 1773-1787. [DOI]
Serrano-Serrano ML, Hernández-Torres J, Castillo-Villamizar G, Debouck DG, Sánchez MI., 2010. Gene pools in wild Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) from the Americas: evidences for an Andean origin and past migrations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54(1) pp. 76-87. [DOI]


Office room: 4301.1
Phone: +4121 692 4269
Fax: +4121 692 4165

Member of Salamin group

Biophore - CH-1015 Lausanne  - Switzerland  -  Tel. +41 21 692 41 60  -  Fax +41 21 692 41 65
Swiss University