I graduated from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia with a BSc in Biology. Since my sophomore year, I spent my summers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panamá, where I learned basic molecular biology skills and got exposed to a variety of organisms, ranging from seagrasses to marine bivalves and their associated bacterial endosymbionts. After obtaining my BSc, I spent two more years at STRI working with Chris Jiggins and Biff Bermingham in the molecular systematics and phylogenetics of neotropical butterflies. In 2005, I moved to Cambridge, MA to pursue a Ph.D. at Harvard University with Arkhat Abzhanov. In my dissertation, I investigated the developmental mechanisms responsible for generating the vast range of beak sizes and shapes seen in Darwin’s finches and their close relatives. This research revealed that different avian species have evolved a unique set of patterning instructions that are combined in different ways and proportions to induce multidimensional shifts in beak morphology. After completing my Ph.D., I joined Hopi Hoekstra's lab at Harvard, where I am currently a postdoctoral fellow working on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate pigment type (color) and distribution (color pattern).