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Demographic history and fine-scale population structure in Northwestern Amazonia

I am an evolutionary biologist interested in understanding human population history and the impact of sociocultural practices on patterns of genetic diversity among extant and extinct human populations. My current research uses cutting-edge DNA sequencing technology to analyze the genetic diversity present among indigenous populations from Northwestern Amazonia (NWA). This area is well known for its enormous biological, linguistic and cultural diversity. Recent anthropological and archaeological research indicates that this region was populated since at least 10,000 years ago and that complex societies –chiefdoms and multiethnic confederations- originated there before the arrival of Europeans.

Our previous research (see list of publications) showed that NWA harbors significant diversity and revealed the existence of extensive interactions among ethnolinguistic groups, this interaction has been facilitated by the presence of an abundant network of rivers, which facilitates the movement of people, primarily women. During my current postdoctoral position, I am analyzing genome-wide SNP data from ~300 individuals from NWA aiming to refine our understanding of the human population history of this fascinating area.