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Niccole Porras Alvarez

Doctoral student

Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (0) 341 3550 341
e-mail: niccole_porras_alvarez@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interest
Research Experience
Published collaborations
Science outreach

Research Interest

I am interested in people's genetic and cultural diversity. Through my PhD research, under the supervision of Anne Kandler, Laurel Fogarty and Adam Powell, I aim to understand how demographic, cultural, and evolutionary processes have shaped past and present patterns of diversity within and between populations. I am currently focused on exploring the effects of migration on cultural and genetic diversity. Based on population genetics and cultural evolution theory expectations, I am building a model that aims to understand the population dynamics that lead to matches and mismatches in diversity patterns between cultural and genetic systems. I am a member of the TICE Lab. 


International Max Planck Research School "Leipzig School of Human Origins" 
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture
Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology 
University of Groningen 
University of Uppsala
Undergraduate Program in Genomic Sciences - Honorific Mention  
National Autonomous University of Mexico

Research Experience

Spring 2021Master thesis A: ‘A neural network model for cultural evolution’
Supervisor: Prof. Franz J. Weissing
Institute: University of Groningen
Summer 2021Master thesis B: ‘Model for a forward in time simulation of polygenic selection’  Supervisor: Prof. Fernando Racimo
Institute: University of Copenhagen with supervision from University of Uppsala 
Spring 2020Project: ‘Accumulation of transposable elements on the sex chromosomes of the African pygmy mouse’.
Supervisors: Prof. Pierre Boursot & Dr. Paul Saunders
Institute: Institute of Evolutionary Sciences of Montpellier - University of Montpellier
Summer 2019Undergraduate thesis project ‘Insights into the demographic history of Portuguese middle and late neolithic populations through ancient DNA analysis’.
Summer 2018 Summer Internship: Analysis of evolutionary processes driving differential sex-biased gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster. Supervisor: Prof. Beatriz Vicoso
Institute: Institute of Science and Technology of Austria
Spring 2018  Teaching  assistant in the human genomics course at my undergraduate program (UNAM)
2016-2018Evolution of sexual systems: expression and decay of genes in the Y chromosome, on age-based differential gene expression in M.mulatta and M.musculus ; phylogenetic evolution simulations.
Supervisor: Dr. Diego Cortez 
Institute: Systems Biology laboratory of the Center for Genomic Sciences, UNAM 
Summer 2017Analysis of alternative splicing across gene families in mammals from transcriptomic data of 45 different species
Supervisor: Dr. Araxi Urrutia
Institute: Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath
Winter 2016 Single cell analyses and testing for different clustering methods for a set of expression data to  identify distinct cell populations of differentiated cells and intermediate states
Supervisor: Prof. Robert Kelsh
Institute: Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath

Published collaborations

  • Acosta, A., Martínez-Pacheco, M. L., Díaz-Barba, K., Porras, N., Gutiérrez-Mariscal, M., & Cortez, D. (2019). Deciphering ancestral sex chromosome turnovers based on analysis of male mutation bias. Genome biology and evolution, 11(11), 3054-3067.

Science outreach

Participant at: 

  • Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet Darwin's Day in Stockholm, 2019 
  • SciFest - Science Festival, Uppsala 2019


  • EMJMD scholarship for master studies (2019-2021). 
  • OeAD Sonderstipendien, IST AUSTRIA (2018). 
  • Scholarship for training in research methods SEP-UNAM-FUNAM (2016-2017).