Danielle Rivera


Danielle grew up in New York, where she received her B.S. (2013) and M.Sc. (2015) from the City College of New York (CUNY) in Dr. Ana Carnaval’s Lab where she focused on phylogeography and phylogenetics of Mabuya lizards in southeastern Brazil. She started working in nature at the Trailside Museums and Zoo in Bear Mountain State Park in New York, and enjoys traveling across the U.S. and well as doing fieldwork in the Atlantic Forests in Brazil.

Office: ERB 450
Lab: ERB 475
email: danielle.rivera(at)uta.edu
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=JgpokJUAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao
website: daniellerivera.org

University of Texas at Arlington
501 S. Nedderman Dr.
Life Science Suite 337
Arlington, TX 76019

Research Interests
Danielle’s main interests revolve around finding and describing geographic and environmental patterns and drivers of evolution. More specifically, she aims to uncover what drives diversification in widespread species which occur across heterogeneous landscapes and environments in the South American Tropics. To do this, she is sequencing genomic DNA and using population and landscape genomics techniques to test for levels of gene flow and genetic divergence across geographic and environmental gradients.

Contrasting local environments are known to influence selection within species through local adaptation. Danielle is working on using genomic data from Tropical reptiles and amphibians to uncover how different landscapes influence intra-specific adaptive responses within the genomes of co-distributed taxa across contrasting environments.

South America is home to a wide array of landscapes and biodiversity. From the complex Andes mountains and the tropical  Amazon and Atlantic forests, to the drier open savannas (Cerrado) and xeric habitats (Caatinga), the highly-contrasting landscapes in this region both promote and harbor extensive amounts of biodiversity.  These regions are also home to some amazing scientists (and really great friends!) that are amazing resources of international collaboration and expertise. All of this renders South America an ideal place for studying patterns and mechanisms which drive biodiversity!

Prates I, Rivera D, Rodrigues MT, Carnaval AC. 2016. A mid-Pleistocene rainforest corridor enabled synchronous invasions of the Atlantic Forest by Amazonian anole lizards. Molecular Ecology 25(20): 5174–5186. doi:10.1111/mec.13821.

Carnaval AC, Waltari E, Rodrigues MT, Rosauer D, VanDerWal J, Damasceno R, Prates I, Strangas M, Spanos Z, Rivera D, Pie MR., Firkowski CR, Bornschein MR, Ribeiro LF, and Moritz C. 2014. Prediction of phylogeographic endemism in an environmentally complex biome. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281: 20141461.