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Marcos Vinicius Caiafa Sepulveda

Graduate Student





  • About

    I am originally from central-northern Chile. I obtained a Bachelor in Environmental Science with a major in Biology in 2013 at the Universidad de Chile. During my bachelor, I studied competitive interactions of saprotrophic fungi using microcosm experiments.

    Later, I moved to Xalapa, Mexico to pursue a Master of Science at the Instituto de Ecología A.C. where I graduated in 2016. In my master thesis, I assessed patterns of macrofungal diversity using functional trait-derived metrics along an elevation gradient in a seasonally dry tropical forest in southern Mexico.

    Currently, I am in the second year of my Ph.D. in the Plant Pathology department at UF.

  • Education
    • Ph.D. Plant Pathology, University of Florida, 2021
    • M.Sc., Instituto de Ecología A.C., 2016
    • Bachelor in Environmental Science, Universidad de Chile, 2013
  • Research

    My research interests are fungal ecology, evolution and systematics and community ecology. I use a combination of molecular, morphological and culture-based methods.

    Currently, I am working on two projects as part of my Ph.D. The first one is focused on the diversity and ecology of hypogeous fungi (truffles) associated with Nothofagaceae trees (southern beech) in southern South America. In this project, I am also exploring the role of two native birds in the truffle dispersal.

    The second project is focused on the ecology and systematic of early divergent boletes. Particularly, I am interested on the parasitic ability of the genus Buchwaldoboletus, which is able to parasitize a wide range of wood-decay fungi.

  • Publications

    Crous, P. W., J. J. Luangsa-ard, M. J. Wingfield, A. J Carnegie, M. Hernández-Restrepo, L. Lombard, ... M.V. Caiafa, ... & J.Z. Groenewald 2018. Fungal Planet description sheets: 785–867. Persoonia-Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi 41: 238 – 417.

    Caiafa, M.V., Gómez-Hernández, M., Williams-Linera, G. and Ramírez-Cruz, V. 2017. Functional diversity of macromycete communities along an environmental gradient in a Mexican seasonally dry tropical forest. Fungal Ecology 28: 66 – 75. (