Episode 102: Cannabis Genetics and Terpene Expression with Dr. Daniela Vergara
My guest this week is Dr. Daniela Vergara. She is an evolutionary biologist, data analyst, educator, scientific writer, and public speaker. In addition to her multiple publications, she founded and directs a non-profit organization, the Agricultural Genomics Foundation (AGF; AgriculturalGenomics.org). AGF aims to make hemp and cannabinoid science available to a broad public. Dr. Vergara recently joined the Harvest New York Extension Team from Cornell University as an ‘Emerging Crop Specialist’ to help hemp farmers with their crop. Dr. Vergara’s scientific publications include the comparison of the cannabinoids by the federally produced Cannabis to that produced by the private market. These results were featured in news platforms such as The Atlantic, Science, and FiveThirtyEight. Recently, she published a comparison between the genome of these federally produced varieties to the genome of the varieties found in the private markets.
Some of her other scientific publications are a compilation of the existing genomic tools available for Cannabis research that was featured in Science, and the maternally inherited genomes (chloroplast and mitochondria). Vergara has authored these publications along with collaborators from the private sector in the Cannabis industry as well as academics from several institutions worldwide. Through AGF, Vergara educates the public about science, data analysis, statistics, evolutionary biology, and genomics.
Now on to the show!