Dr. Daniela Vergara is an evolutionary biologist researching Cannabis genomics at the University of Colorado Boulder. In addition to her multiple publications in Cannabis, she founded and directs a non-profit organization, the Agricultural Genomics Foundation (AGF; agriculturalgenomics.org). AGF’s aim is to make Cannabis science available to a broad public.
Dr. Vergara’s latest scientific publications include the comparison of the federal Cannabis to that produced by the private market, showing that the government’s Cannabis lacked potency and variation. These results were featured in news platforms such as The Atlantic, Science and FiveThirtyEight. Some of her other scientific publications are a compilation on the existing genomic toolsavailable for Cannabis research, and the maternally inherited genomes (chloroplast and mitochondria). Vergara has authored these publications advised by Dr. Nolan Kane whose group at CU Boulder she joined in 2013. These publications are a product of collaborations between graduate and undergraduate students, and scientists from the Cannabis Industry.
Through AGF, Vergara educates the public about science, Cannabis, evolutionary biology, and genomics. AGF also supports the Cannabis Genomic Research Initiative (CGRI; CannabisGenomics.org), group that Drs. Vergara and Kane founded to explore the Cannabis genome.
Currently, Dr. Vergara is exploring the genes related to the production of CBD and THC, and is associating this important physical trait to the genome.
Most of Vergara’s research has been funded by private individuals who believe in her cause with donations to AGF that holds a 501(C)3 status.
Dr. Vergara will participate in Cannaciencia with the lecture titled: “5 facts about Cannabis Genomics” addressing the results from her research conducted in the Kane lab at the Ebio department in the University of Colorado in Boulder. Particularly, she will discuss five facts that her research has established: the genomic and phenotypic variation inCannabis varieties, the misnaming of these cultivars by the industry, the genes involved in cannabinoid production, and the phenotypic variation from the federally produced Cannabis. These projects are the first step to relate the plants’ genotype to their phenotype, which is crucial for breeding purposes, to understand the origins of this controversial plant, and to unravel the relationship between the cultivars