LYDIA I. RIVERA VARGAS, PH.D.
PI of USDA- NIFA ECaFSS Project
Dr. Lydia I. Rivera-Vargas has a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from The Ohio State University and a M.S. in Biology (Mycology) from UPRM. She is the PI of a USDA NIFA HIS sponsored project entitled: Encouraging careers in food security and safety (ECaFSS) since 2016. She has taught Plant Pathology and related courses at the College of Agricultural Sciences of the UPR-Mayaguez Campus for over 20 years.
Dept. of Agro-Environmental Sciences
University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
Mayaguez, P.R. 00681
(787) 832-4040 ext. 2351, 2313
MARIAN ESPOLA SEPÚLVEDA, M.S.
Professor Marian Espola Sepúlveda is ECaFSS Project Coordinator and serves as a liaison between the project’s four collaborating institutions. She assists the Project Director in the coordination and management of program activities for both students and faculty, placing students in summer internships and data collection. She obtained a Master of Science in Biology (Mycology) in 2005 and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Microbiology (2001) from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus.
DR. MARTHA C. GIRALDO ZAPATA, Ph.D.
Dr. Giraldo graduated with a degree in Biology with an emphasis in Genetics from the Universidad del Valle, in 1996. She worked as a Research Assistant at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and has experience in the application of molecular tools to characterize the genetic diversity of genebank collections of food crops and to study plant-microbe interactions.
DR. PATRICIA ORTIZ-BERMÚDEZ, Ph.D.
Dr. Ortiz-Bermúdez obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree (2005) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM) and a Bachelor of Science degree (1999) from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM). She also completed postdoctoral training in Biomolecular Chemistry (2007) at the UWM.
DR. MERARI FELICIANO RIVERA, Ph.D.
Dr. Merari Feliciano Rivera, obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Pathology (2011) from the University of Kentucky, Master in Crop Protection (2007) and Bachelor in Agricultural Education (2004) from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. Dr. Feliciano-Rivera is Associate Professor in the Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico since 2011.
DR. CONSUELO ESTÉVEZ DE JENSEN, Ph.D.
Dr. Consuelo Estévez de Jensen, Doctor of Philosophy (2001) in Plant Pathology and Master in Soil Science (1991) degrees from the University of Minnesota. As a Postdoctoral Associate led the common bean root rot research to establish management practices to control the disease in Minnesota (2001-2003). At the present, Dr. Estevez de Jensen holds a professor position at the University of Puerto Rico and is the Director of the Plant Diagnostic Clinic at the Substation of Fortuna.
DRA. LEYDA PONCE DE LEON, Ph.D.
LORENA SIMBAÑA-CARRERA, MS.C
Ing. Lorena Simbaña-Carrera obtained a Master in Sciences degree (2016) from de University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez Campus (UPRM), and a bachelor of Agronomic Engineering (2012) from the Universidad Central in Ecuador. She is an Assistant Researcher in the Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences in the Crop Protection program. She specializes in the Molecular identification of Phytoplasmas, Fungi, and Bacterias in order to identify unreported microorganisms that affect harvests, crops, and other greenery in Puerto Rico.
Yanira Miranda is a graduate student in the Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences with a major in Crop Protection at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. She received a bachelor degree in 2016 in Agronomy from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. She joined the ECaFSS Project in 2017 as a scholarship graduate student and mentored by Dr. Feliciano-Rivera.
Franco Acevedo is an undergraduate student in the Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences with a major in Horticulture at the University of Puerto Rico. He is actively involved in students associations and undergraduate research. He joined the ECaFSS Project in 2017 as an undergraduate scholar to work with Dr. Feliciano-Rivera.
Isabel Escalera is an undergraduate student in the Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences with a major in Agronomy at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. She has been actively involved in undergraduate research in areas of Entomology, Agronomy and Plant Pathology.