Natalia Bayona Vasquez

Assistant Professor of Biology

I was born in a small town in Colombia, the tip of South America, one of the megadiverse countries in the world. When I was a little kid, my parents introduced me to the love of nature and outdoors. I grew up fascinated with organisms, mostly marine, their forms and interactions. I knew at a very early age I wanted to study natural sciences and be a biologist.

I went to college to study Biology at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. During my junior year, I got interested in genetics, evolution, and molecular ecology. I did my research thesis on population genetics of Plagioscion magdalenae, an endemic freshwater fish in Colombia. Then, I moved to Mexico to pursue master's and doctoral studies at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. There, I got interested in widely distributed and commercially important marine fish. But importantly, during my academic formation, I  have witnessed the tremendous advances in genomic technologies and bioinformatics resources in the last two decades. Which motivates me to explore new methods and tools for analyses and ask how can I apply them to my research questions.

​My research interests are broadly in molecular ecology and genomics in organisms that are relevant in conservation and environmental sciences. The ecological levels of the questions I am interested go from kinship relationships all the way to characterize communities. These topics cover disciplines such as popgen, phylogeography, and phylogenetics, metagenomics, etc. I have been lucky to study a wide variety of organisms from bacteria and fungi to arthropods and big vertebrates, all with genomic data!





PhD| Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México| 2015

MSc| Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México| 2011

BSc| Universidad Nacional de Colombia| 2007

Courses Taught

BIOL_OX-141, BIOL_OX-141L, BIOL_OX-120, BIOL_OX-142WE, DSC_101 on "The Biology of Pets".


27.  2023          PALACIOS-BARRETO P, MAR-SILVA AF, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, ADAMS DH, & DÍAZ-JAIMES P. Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genome of the Brazilian cownose ray Rhinoptera brasiliensis (Myliobatiformes: Rhinopteridae) in the western Atlantic and its phylogenetic implications. Molecular Biology Reports

2023          RIBEIRO JMC, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, BUDACHETRI K, KUMAR D, FREDERICK JC, TAHIR F, FAIRCLOTH BC, GLENN TC, & KARIM S. A draft of the genome of the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases. 14(2): 102090.


25. 2022          HALSEY MK, STUHLER JD, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, PLATT II RN, GOETZE JR, MARTIN RE, MATOCHA KG, BRADLEY RD, STEVENS RD, & RAY DA. Comparison of genetic variation between rare and common congeners of Dipodomys with estimates of contemporary and historical effective population size. PLoS One. 17(9): e0274554.  


24.  2021          BEAUDRY MS, THOMAS JC, BAPTISTA RP, SULLIVAN AH, NORFOLK W, DEVAULT A, ENK J, KIERAN TJ, RHODES OE, PERRY-DOW A, ROSE LJ, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, OLADEINDE A, LIPP EK, SANCHEZ S & GLENN TC. Escaping the fate of Sisyphus: assessing resistome hybridization baits for antimicrobial resistance gene capture. Environmental Microbiology.


23.  2021          THOMAS IV JC, KIERAN TJ, FINGER JW, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, OLADEINDE A, BEASLEY J, SEAMAN JC, MCARTHUR JV, RHODES Jr OE & GLENN TC. Unveiling the gut microbiota and resistome of wild cotton-mice, Peromyscus gossypinus, from heavy metal and radionuclide-contaminated sites in the Southeastern US. Microbiology Spectrum. Vol. (1), e00097-21.


22.  2021          BEAUDRY MS, WANG J, KIERAN TJ, THOMAS J, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, GAO B, DEVAULT A, BRUNELLE B, LU K, WANG JS, RHODES OE & GLENN TC. Improved microbial community characterization of 16S rRNA via metagenome capture enrichment. Frontiers in Microbiology. Vol. 12, pp 833.  


21.  2020          DÍAZ-JAIMES P, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, ESCATEL-LUNA E, URIBE-ALCOCER M, PECORARO C, ADAMS DH, FRAZIER BS, GLENN TC & BABUCCI M. Limited dispersal promotes genetic divergence of Bonnethead Sphyrna tiburo in the Western North Atlantic. Aquatic Conservation, Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Vol 31, pp 83-98.


20. 2020           KIERAN T, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, VARIAN CP, SALDAÑA A SAMUDIO F, CALZADA JE, GOTTDENKER NL, & GLENN TC. Population genetics of two chromatic morphs of the Chagas disease vector Rhodnius pallescens Barber, 1932 in Panamá. Infection, Genetics and Evolution. Vol 84.


19. 2020           THOMAS IV JC, OLADEINDE A, KIERAN TJ, FINGER JW, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, CARTEE JC, BEASLEY J, SEAMAN JC, MCARTHUR JV, RHODES Jr OE & GLENN TC. Co-occurrence of antibiotic, biocide, and heavy metal resistance genes in bacteria from metal and radionuclide contaminated soils at the Savannah River Site. Microbial Biotechnology. Vol 13(4), pp 1179-1200.


18. 2020           HERNÁNDEZ-ÁLVAREZ C*, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ*, DOMÍNGUEZ-DOMÍNGUEZ O, URIBE-ALCOCER M & DÍAZ-JAIMES P. Phylogeography of the Pacific Red Snapper (Lutjanus peru) and the Spotted Rose Snapper (Lutjanus guttatus) in the inshore Tropical Eastern Pacific. Copeia. Vol 108(1), pp 61-71.


17. 2020           DELGADO-MACHUCA N, MEZA-LÁZARO RN, ROMERO-NAPOLES J, SARMIENTO-MONROY CE, AMARILLO A, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ & ZALDÍVAR-RIVERÓN A. Genetic structure, species limits and evolution of the parasitoid wasp genus Stenocorse (Braconidae:Doryctinae) based on nuclear 3RAD and mitochondrial data. Systematic Entomology. Vol 45(1), pp 33-47.


16. 2019          GHOSH A, JOHNSON MG, OSMANSKI AB, GLENN TC, LOUHA S, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, GONGORA J, GREEN RE, ISBERG S, STEVENS RD & RAY DA. A high-quality reference genome assembly of the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, reveals patterns of selection in Crocodylidae. Genome Biology and Evolution evz269.


15. 2019           BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ*, GLENN TC*, KIERAN TJ, PIERSON TW, HOFFBERG SL, SCOTT PA, BENTLEY KE, FINGER JR. JW, LOUHA S, TROENDLE N, DÍAZ-JAIMES P, MAURICIO R & FAIRCLOTH BC. Adapterama III: Quadruple-indexed, double/triple-enzyme RADseq libraries (2RAD/3RAD). PeerJ 7:e7724.




13. 2019           GLENN TC, NILSEN RA, KIERAN TJ, SANDERS JG, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, FINGER JR. JW, PIERSON TW, BENTLEY KE,  HOFFBERG SL, LOUHA S,  GARCÍA-DE LEÓN FJ,  DEL RÍO-PORTILLA MA,  REED KD,  ANDERSON JL, MEECE JK, AGGREY SE,  REKAYA R,  ALABADY M, BÉLANGER M, WINKER K & FAIRCLOTH BC. Adapterama I: Universal stubs and primers for 384 unique dual-indexed or 147,456 combinatorially-indexed Illumina libraries. PeerJ 7:e7755.


12. 2018           MEZA-LÁZARO RN, POTEAUX C, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, BRANSTETTER MG & ZALDIVAR-RIVERÓN A. Extensive mitochondrial heteroplasmy in the neotropical ants of the Ectatomma ruidum complex (Formicidae: Ectatomminae). Mitochondrial DNA Part A. Vol 29(8), pp 1203-1214.


11. 2018           DÍAZ-JAIMES P, BONFIL R, PALACIOS-BARRETO P, BOLAÑO-MARTÍNEZ N & BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ. Mitochondrial genome of the critically endangered smalltooth sawfish Pristis pectinata from Veracruz, Mexico. Conservation Genetics Resources. Vol 10(4), pp  663-666.


10. 2018           BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, GLENN TC, URIBE-ALCOCER M, PECORARO C & DÍAZ-JAIMES P. Complete mitochondrial genome of the yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) and the blackfin tuna (Thunnus atlanticus): notes on mtDNA introgression and paraphyly on tunas. Conservation Genetics Resources. Vol 10(4), pp 697-699.


09. 2018           BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, GLENN TC, DOMÍNGUEZ-DOMÍNGUEZ O, URIBE-ALCOCER M & DÍAZ-JAIMES P. Mitochondrial genomes of the Pacific sierra mackerel Scomberomorus sierra and the Monterey Spanish mackerel Scomberomorus concolor (Perciformes, Scombridae). Conservation Genetics Resources. Vol 10(3), pp 471-474.


08. 2017           BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, HERNÁNDEZ-ÁLVAREZ CA, GLENN T, DOMÍNGUEZ-DOMÍNGUEZ O, URIBE-ALCOCER M & DÍAZ-JAIIMES P. Complete mitogenome sequences of the pacific red snapper (Lutjanus peru) and the spotted rose snapper (Lutjanus gutattus). Mitochondrial DNA Part A. Vol 28(2), pp 223-224.


07. 2016           DÍAZ-JAIMES P, URIBE-ALCOCER M, ADAMS DH, RANGEL-MORALES JM & BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ. Complete mitochondrial genome of the porbeagle shark, Lamna nasus (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae). Mitochondrial DNA Part B. Vol 1(1), pp 730-731.


06. 2016           DÍAZ-JAIMES P, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, ADAMS DH & URIBE-ALCOCER M. Complete mitochondrial DNA genome of bonnethead shark, Sphyrna tiburo, and phylogenetic relationships among main superorders of modern elasmobranchs. Meta Gene. Vol 7, pp 48-55.


05. 2016           BOLAÑO-MARTÍNEZ N, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ N, URIBE-ALCOCER M & DÍAZ-JAIMES P. The mitochondrial genome of the hammerhead Sphyrna zygaena. Mitochondrial DNA Part A. Vol 27(3), pp 2098-2099.


04. 2015           DÍAZ-JAIMES P, BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, HINOJOSA S & URIBE-ALCOCER M. The complete mitogenome of the common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus). Mitochondrial DNA. Vol 26(6), pp 959-960.


03. 2015           BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ NJ, DÍAZ-JAIMES P & URIBE-ALCOCER M. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in the common dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus (Percifromes: Coryphaenidae) from next generation sequencing and cross amplification in pompano dolphinfish Coryphaena equiselis. Conservation Genetics Resources. Vol 7(2), pp 373-375.


02. 2007          BAYONA-VÁSQUEZ, NJ & BURBANO MC. New primers for microsatellite loci in Plagioscion magdalenae (Pisces: Sciaenidae). Acta Biológica Colombiana. 12S:123.


01. 2007           RODRIGUEZ-P E, BAYONA-V N & JIMENEZ-A O. Relationship between the shift on tide levels over the abundance on planktonic bioluminescent organisms. Actualidades Biológicas. 2007:124.

Research Interests

Molecular ecology and genomics at various levels in organisms that are relevant in conservation and environmental sciences.