Skip to content

Contact

Address:
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02130

Biography

I am interested in how woody perennial species withstand freezing temperatures, specifically during their dormant period. Buds of woody species ​​are comprise​d of meristematic tissues, commonly containing the primordia of flowers and leaves, having a vital role in the following growing season. To ensure survival of winter temperatures, ​these buds have developed sophisticated strategies to​ either tolerate or avoid the potentially damaging ​​forces of ice formation. I am particularly curious about improving our understanding regarding the anatomical adaptations and mechanisms ​that are a part of these strategies.

During my Ph.D. I worked under the guidance of Dr. Amaya Atucha at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research focused on determining how terminal buds of Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait. survived freezing temperatures ​and on identifying the structural modifications involved in the development of cold hardiness. I also identified relative cold hardiness levels among bud structures and the correlation to later growth. I developed a low-cost prototype to control ​​the freez​ing of plant specimens during the acqui​sition of magnetic resonance images.

My work as a Putnam fellow focus on studying the tradeoffs in woody species between the different bud survival strategies to freezing temperatures and reproductive success in the spring. The comparison among congener species across several woody angiosperm families will give us a survey of the biological costs implied ​in winter survival. This new knowledge will help to improve​ the assessment of climate change impact on temperate woody species.

Education

PhD, Horticulture
University of Wisconsin-Madison
BS, Agronomic Engineer
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile

Recent Publications