After teaching the Adaptation Genomics course, which was part of the academic offer of the Colombian Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, BIOS, Lorena Torres Martínez, PhD from Purdue University, gave us an interview in which she tells us about the importance of genes to understand how species adapt to their environments.
What did the Adaptation Genomics course consist of?
It is a very important topic to understand how different species will respond to climate change, specifically understanding which are the genes that will provide that adaptive response.
Why is this topic important in Colombia?
It is especially important because of the climate change we are experiencing in the country, both on the coasts and in the páramos, with the effect of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena. I think it is vital that biologists begin to evaluate how our tropical populations are going to respond, especially because in theory they will have a very small range of adaptation with respect to species that are, for example, from the United States. I think it is vital to start these studies and make an exhaustive comparison of what is
the adaptive potential they will have.
How is Colombia's technological and research capacity to respond to this?
I think we have all the capacity, we have good scientific personnel and obviously the necessary
computational capacity. I think BIOS can provide a very important help in this sense.
What would you say to young people who are starting their careers in science?
I would tell them to take up the challenge, which is something that is going to be very beneficial in the long term. Both for Colombia and for biodiversity in general, because it is a current concern that we have, not only in the tropics, but in other systems as well. Let them do it with everything!