Department of Anthropology

Lina Maria Valencia

PhD Physical Anthropology,

Graduate Dean's Prestigious Supplement Fellow (2016-2017)
Lina Maria Valencia



Conservation genetics, Landscape genetics, Molecular Ecology, computational modeling and Neotropical Primates,


Advisor: Anthony Di Fiore



BS Biology Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

MA Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin


Research Interests:

My research focus in how genetic tools can contribute to the conservation of primates, specifically addressing how animals respond to environmental change and habitat fragmentation. I am particularly interested in interested in investigating how heterogeneous landscapes influence the population structure of primate species, and the environmental factors that affect the connectivity between populations in order to generate conservation plans for endangered species in Colombia. For my PhD  I will evaluate how the Silvery-brown tamarin (Saguinus leucopus), an endemic/endangered primate from Colombia, moves through a heterogeneous landscape that has been modified anthropogenically and how its dispersal and gene flow is being impacted using next generation sequencing. With my research I aim to identify environmental factors that favor and restric dispersal in order to contribute to the development and implementation of habitat corridors for dispersal.  I complement my field and molecular genetic studies with agent based modeling approaches in order to evaluate the interplay between landscape features and social systems on the genetic structure of callitrichines.

Finally, parallel to my PhD research I am developing a research and conservation project to promote silvery-brown tamarin population recovery and survival in degraded habitats in the Municipality of Norcasia, Colombia through habitat conservation and community  involvement. This project will assess different views about the tamarins, to increase community awareness and  raise understanding of alternative cattle ranching strategies.



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