I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in UNAM's Facultad de Ciencias. To earn my Bachelor’s degree I worked on the floral biology of five Asteraceae species from Central Mexico (Dr. Zenón Cano-Santana, Advisor). During my Master’s I worked on the effect that floral herbivores have on the reproductive success of Dahlia coccinea (the Mexican Flower) (Dr. Zenón Cano-Santana, Advisor).
My current research is focused on plant mating system evolution. I am interested in the variability of mating systems among populations and how ecological interactions may be shaping plant mating system (outcrossing vs. selfing). Particularly, I am interested in plant-plant interactions (facilitacion vs. competition) that may be occurring between my study species (Nicotiana plumbaginifolia and Nicotiana longiflora= wild tobacco) when occurring in sympatry.
I am exploring the interactions between these species at two different levels. First, I am exploring the indirect interaction that may occur between the species as a consequence of having the same floral visitors (potential pollinators) and how it may affect plant mating system; therefore, I am estimating outcrossing rates for six different populations.
The second level addresses the direct interaction that may occur between pollen tubes when growing in the style. I am interested in the interactions between self– and outcross-pollen as well as in triple-donor interactions (self-, outcross-pollen and interspecies pollen) which illustrates a more realistic scenario for the sympatric populations of these Nicotiana species.
My doctoral studies are partially sponsored by the Mexican people through the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT-Mexico), in form of a scholarship.
1. Figueroa-Castro, D.M., Z. Cano-Santana y E. Camacho-Castillo. 1998. Producción de estructuras reproductivas de cinco especies de compuestas en una comunidad xerófita. Boletín de la Sociedad Botánica de México 63: 67-74.
2. Figueroa-Castro, D.M. y Z. Cano-Santana. 2004. Floral visitor guilds of five allochronic flowering Asteraceous species in a xeric community in Central Mexico. Environmental Entomology 33 (2): 297-309.