• Research Assistant Professor
  • Evolutionary Genomics
  • Ph.D. Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela 2000
  • Department of Biology
  • Temple University

Maria A. Pacheco


I received my PhD in Biology from Simon Bolivar University (Venezuela) in 2000. My PhD work focused on avian ecophysiology. As a researcher, I joined the Biophysics and Biochemistry Center of the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research in 2002. In 2005, I worked at Arizona State University as a research faculty until 2014 when I moved to Temple as part of iGEM. My research interests include molecular ecology, timing, phylogeography, and genomics of malaria parasites and their hosts. Particularly, I am applying phylogenetic and molecular clock methods to understand: (1) the origin and evolution of malarial parasites and their relationship to the evolution of their hosts; (2) the evolution of gene encoding proteins that are considered as potential vaccine targets; (3) host switches and the radiation of major parasite groups in their vertebrate hosts, focusing on primates and bird/reptile parasites; and (4) the rate and mode of evolution of the mitochondrial genome, especially in Apicomplexa parasites and their vertebrate hosts. In the context of human malarias, my goal is to incorporate molecular ecology and population genetics concepts to solve epidemiological problems.