Alberto Romero

Now a scientist at Mars, Inc. 

Alberto Romero, Ph.D., was a graduate student in Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University.

My research interests include population genetics and evolution of complex traits in landraces of maize.

Why I became a scientist:

I have always been curious about how things work. In particular, I was always fascinated by the complexity of life, from organisms to ecosystems, and how they are all the result of evolution. Being a scientist has made it possible for me to satisfy my curiosity and answer questions no one knew the answer for. I have done research in conservation of species, working with a orchid endemic to my home town (Bletia urbana) and worked with a flower that smelled like chocolate (Cosmos atrosanguineus); I also worked in immunology, where we were improving a vaccine against a flatworm parasite called Tenia solium; I researched plant-microbe interactions, and we found that bacteria live around and inside the plants; I did some work in ancient DNA mainly from maize remains (yes, we can get DNA from fossils, how cool is that! I even got to drill mammoth bones to get DNA); and now I am studying which genes determine the way native varieties of maize look like. My current research will have an impact because it will allow the development of new varieties that will be more resistant to drought, diseases, pests, and that could have better nutritional value and probably make even better tortillas .




B. Sc. Genomic Sciences – Center for Genomic Scienes, National Autonomus University of Mexico – Morelos, Mexico.



2011 Application and comparison of large-scale solution-based DNA capture-enrichment methods on ancient DNA. Avila-Arcos, Maria C. and And Capellini, Enrico and Romero-Navarro J. Alberto and Wales, Nathan, and Moreno-Mayar, J. Victor and Rasmussen, Morten and Fordyce, Sarah and Montiel, Rafael and Vielle-Calzada, Jean Philippe and Willeslev, Eske and Gilbert, M. Thomas P. Scientific Reports 1, article number 74.

Panzea was funded by the National Science Foundation, Plant Genome Research Project, award #1238014: “The Biology of Rare Alleles in Maize and Its Wild Relatives”; the research groups on this project were also supported by the USDA-ARS, their home institutions, and/or various other sources of funding.