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Dr. Viktoria Bogantes

Dr. Viktoria Bogantes

Biography:

The biological classification of organisms provides a reference system to study the ecology, distribution, and evolution of any given organism. Crucially, conservation biology and the detection of invasive species depend on the accurate identification and classification of organisms. With the advances in sequencing technologies, the identification of species using molecular data (i.e., DNA barcode approach) has become an accessible tool, facilitating the identification of organisms to non-experts. However, organisms need to be accurately identified first so that reference databases used for the identification of organisms are reliable. My main research interests are based on studying the diversity, systematics, and phylogenetics of marine invertebrates using integrative approaches that include morphological, molecular, and bioinformatic tools. For my research, I have used a variety of methods including Sanger sequencing, transcriptomics, whole genome sequencing, whole mitochondrial genomes, environmental DNA (eDNA), light microscopy, and confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Degrees & Institutions:

  • Ph.D. Biology Auburn University
  • Licenciate in Zoology University of Costa Rica
  • Bachelor in Biology University of Costa Rica

Research:

Currently, we are exploring methods to extract DNA from difficult templates (e.g. material fixed in formalin) that would allow us to conduct molecular studies using museum specimens.

Current Courses:

  • Principles of Evolution
  • Biology II
  • Introduction to Oceanography
  • Introduction to Marine Biology

Classes Taught:

  • Introduction to Oceanography
  • Introduction to Marine Biology
  • Biology II

Special Interests:

I am particularly interested in annelid worms as they are one of the most abundant groups of marine invertebrates in benthic environments. Most of my research has been conducted in this group of worms.