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Vanessa Guerra Canedo, M.S.

Graduate Student Researcher
B.S. Humboldt State University, M.S. San Francisco State University, Ph.D. Simon Fraser University, expected 2021

Vanessa Guerra is a visiting doctoral student in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Species Survival, which uses advances in fields such as reproductive biology, cryobiology and genomics to give endangered species a better chance of recovery. Vanessa studies genes that regulate reproductive success and isolation at the gametic level.

She is currently using comparative genomic analysis to investigate these genes in species such cheetahs, black-footed ferrets, and the coral-killing crown-of-thorns sea stars, which are responsible for approximately 40% of coral loss in the Great Barrier Reef.
Vanessa earned her bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis in marine biology and a minor in scientific diving at Humboldt State University. She then went on to get a master’s degree in biology with a concentration in ecology, evolution and conservation biology from San Francisco State University. She is currently working on her doctorate in biology at Simon Fraser University.
Recent Publications: 

Guerra V, Haynes G, Byrne M, Yasuda N, Adachi S, Nakamura M, Nakachi S, Hart MW. Nonspecific expression of fertilization genes in the crown‐of‐thorns Acanthaster cf. solaris: Unexpected evidence of hermaphroditism in a coral reef predator. Molecular Ecology. 2020 Jan;29(2):363-79.