Dr. Mélida Inés Nuñez Castillo

Current status: Dissertation completed

PhD Thesis:
Ancient genetic landscape of archaeological human remains from Panama, South America and Oceania described through STR genotype frequencies and mitochondrial DNA sequences

Research interests
My research interests are focussed on evolutionary genetics studies about genetic history of humans and population dynamics. Whereby, to understand how the evolutionary forces have affected the genetic structure of populations over the time, I usually use molecular methods based on ancient and modern DNA.

Areas of interest
Anthropological genetics, Human population genetics, Genetic epidemiology, Forensic genetics, Quantitative genetic and Molecular pathology.

Current Research
At present, I am working with archaeological human remains from Oceania, Panama and South America. The aim of this project is to infer the ancient genetic landscape and the possible phylogenetic relationships of these populations, through STR profiles, and mtDNA analysis.

DNA fingerprinting and Genetic history of Pacific islands peoples. Nuñez, M and Hummel, S. 2018. Poster_21th EAA.
Allele frequency distributions of nine loci STRS in Panamanian mestizos. Nuñez, M. I., Arias, T., Rigg, C., Ramos, C., & Miller, M. J. (2009). Ciencia forense: (9), 107-116.

Congress and Workshops
2019. 1st Workshop on Ancient Rare Diseases. Berlin, Germany
2018. 21th Congress of European Anthropological Association. Odense, Denmark.
2010. Seminar Workshop on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Earth University, Costa Rica.

Teaching activities
Summer Semester 2018. Introduction to population genetics.

Professional Experience
2014-2015. Barcoding technician. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Molecular Biology and Evolution section.
2006-2007. Research assistant and Intern in the project Barcoding of Birds and amphibians. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Molecular Biology and Evolution section.
2002-2004. Research Assistant. Institute of DNA and the Human Genome. University of Panama.

Short Academic Biography
2012. Master degree in Biology with emphasis on Genetic and Molecular Biology. Universidad de Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica.
2006. Diplomate of Human Genetic. Medicine Faculty of Universidad de Panama.
2005. Bachelor in Biology oriented in Microbiology and Parasitology. Universidad de Panama.

2015-present. German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship. PhD studies.
2008-2011. German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship. Master degree studies.