Dr. Daniela Vergara

By March 7, 2017

Dr. Daniela Vergara is an evolutionary biologist who received her doctorate in 2013 from Indiana University’s Ecology, Evolution and Behavior program. Her doctoral thesis dealt with one of the most fundamental questions in evolutionary biology: why do organisms reproduce sexually instead of asexually, and how disease is linked to sexual reproduction. For her current postdoctoral research, she is advised by Professor Nolan Kane from CU Boulder’s biology department. Drs. Kane and Vergara started the Cannabis Genomic Research Initiative (CGRI; CannabisGenomics.org), group that aims in understanding the Cannabis genome. CGRI plans to associate important phenotypic properties from the plant such as the production of cannabinoids, terpenoids and sex determination to specific regions of the genome. Specifically, Dr. Vergara has been exploring the maternally inherited genomes such as the chloroplast and the mitochondria, and the genes involved in the cannabinoid synthesis pathway. Dr. Vergara founded and is the director of a non-profit organization The Agricultural Genomics Foundation that holds a 501(C)(3) status (AGF; AgriculturalGenomics.org) and aims in becoming a genomic repository (“library of genomes”) helping CGRI perform their research. AGF also educates the public about science, Cannabis, evolutionary biology, and genomics, through public talks. Currently AGF is looking for funding for their Cannabis research, and donations are tax-exempt.