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Juan Diego Palacio-Mejía

  • PhD Candidate, MsC
  • Blogger
  • Biogenic
  • 3h-indexImpact measure calculated using publication and citation counts. Updated daily.
  • 51CitationsNumber of citations received by Juan Diego's publications. Updated daily.

Research interests

Plant biologyNext generation sequenceBiosafetyAgrobiodiversityConservation geneticsQTLPopulation geneticsCrop domestication


I was born in the beautiful city of Medellín, Colombia during the second half of the last century. Interested in the nature and countryside life style, I went to the University to do my undergraduates studies in Agronomy in the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, located in Medellín. During this time I developed special interest in “orphan” crops such as some tropical fruits, vegetables and tubers and in biotechnology tools. As a result I did my thesis in cryoconservation of cassava in the International Center of Tropical Agriculture. After I graduated, I got a job in the same place, working for the Humboldt Institute, the Colombian National Biodiverisity Institute. The goal of this job was to start and use a tissue collection and a molecular lab. This period was very productive and after ten years of work, the collection got more than 10000 samples of different components of Colombian biodiversity and more than 60 research projects were developed there. This experience was useful to go deeper into the Colombian biodiversity context. During that time continued my academic formation in the same University, but this time in the city of Palmira. I got a Master’s Degree in Crops Genetics Resources working with Colombian oaks species and population genetics. At this point, I met with my “life-trip partner”, my wonderful wife and with her we started a series of interesting personal and professional experiences. After a wonderful experience in Humboldt Institute I made an interesting change in my life and I moved to the agriculture as a biosafety researcher in the National Agriculture and Livestock Institute. That experience was short because I moved to The United States looking for my “american academic dream” and I’m doing my PhD right now. Again in the school! During my leisure time I enjoy listening music, watching movies and outdoor activities. I can summarize my research experience and interest in the biological study objects, science fields and techniques approaches. Study goals: • Agrobiodiversity: molecular and morphological characterizations, conservation, distribution, and biosafety. • Colombian oaks: populations genetics and landscape genetics of Quercus humboldtii and Colombobalanus excelsa Techniques experience: • Tissue culture, crioconservation. • Molecular markers: conventional PCR, real time PCR, AFLP, microsatellites, RAPD, RAD and DNA and RNA-sequence by Sanger and next-gen (SOLiD and Illumina platform).

Co-authors (25)

Recent publications

  • The population genomics and climate adaptation of a C4 perennial grass, Panicum hallii (Poaceae)

    • Gould B
    • Palacio-Mejia J
    • Jenkins J
    • et al.
  • Cold tolerance responses in Panicum hallii

    • Palacio-Mejía J
    • Campitelli B
    • Schwartz S
    • et al.
    Get full text

Professional experience



July 2011 - Present

PhD candidate

The University of Texas at Austin

June 2011 - Present


School of Biological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin

October 2010 - May 2011(7 months)

Specialized professional in biosafety and Head Director GMO Detection Molecular Biology Lab

Colombian Agriculture and Livestock Institute (ICA)

July 2008 - August 2009(a year)

Invited lecturer

Universidad de Cordoba

June 2008 - June 2009(a year)


Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Palmira

February 2005 - June 2008(3 years)

Senior researcher, senior head founder and director of Molecular Biology Lab and Tissue Collection

Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, IAvH

June 1998 - June 2008(10 years)

Student doing professional practice

International Center of Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

January 1998 - April 1998(3 months)


Graduate student

The University of Texas at Austin

April 2011 - Present

ESL student

The University of Texas at Austin

August 2009 - August 2011(2 years)

Graduate title in Biosafety

United Nations for the Industrial development (ONUDI) and Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion.

October 2006 - May 2008(2 years)

MsC in Plant genetic resources

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

January 2002 - June 2005(3 years)

B.S. Agronomic engineering

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

January 1991 - April 1998(7 years)