Hernán Vázquez Miranda, PhD
My name is Hernán (pronounced Air-nan) and I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Florida International University with Dr. Heather Bracken-Grissom at Florida International University. My research involves evolutionary ecology questions in marine and terrestrial environments. In particular, I am interested in understanding how and when biological diversification events happen employing modern bioinformatics. Decapod crustaceans (your typical lobsters, shrimp, and crabs) are very old and diverse arthropods that pose fascinating research questions. Within the DEEPEND Consortium I am exploring patterns of diversification in the Gulf of Mexico in deep-sea shrimp using Next-Generation DNA sequencing technologies that allow us to collect genome-wide information for rare and poorly studied critters of the deep. In addition, I am analyzing millions of DNA sequences to look at gene expression in: 1) crabs exposed to oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico to disentangle genes affected by oceanic pollution, and 2) bioluminescent deep-sea shrimp to find the genes related to seeing in the dark.
I received my PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2014 where I studied conservation genetics of birds in Baja California (I know right? Big zoological jump). For my masters and undergraduate degrees from UNAM in Mexico I studied tropical avian diversity. I really enjoy merging analytical and bioinformatics tools that help us understand the natural world regardless of the biological system. My broader academic interests beyond research include scientific teaching, mentoring, and diversity in STEM disciplines. .