Jorsua Herrera is a biologist from Spain with experience in organic geochemistry, lipidomics, genomics and paleoenvironmental research. He obtained a BSc degree in the field of Biology at the University of La Laguna (Spain), and a MSc in Science with a program in Geobiology, Geology and Geochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). After completing his B.Sc., he worked as a research assistant in the Summons Lab at MIT, conducting Mars analogue experiments on meteoritic material using Py-GCMS for NASA Astrobiology. The subject of his Master thesis was the study the molecular characterization and effect of diagenesis and maturation of melanin in the fossil record. His MSc thesis represents a valuable contribution in the study of melanin and other biopolymers in the past, and a useful tool to better understand aspects such as colour patterns of ancient organisms, past environments, ecology, behaviour, evolution and ecological interaction. During his time at MIT, he has also became familiar with the use of different mass spectrometric techniques, such as GC-MSD and GC-C-IRMS, and with the maintenance of some these instruments.
With the idea of moving forward in his career, he worked as a Research Assistant in the Centre for Evolutionary HoloGenomics directed by Prof. Gilbert at the Globe Institute, UCPH. As a member of the research group of Assoc. Prof. Alberdi, he was involved in multiple tasks including DNA/RNA extraction, PCR amplifications as well as the building of DNA sequencing libraries with the goal of generating paired animal genomic and microbial metagenomic data of wild organisms worldwide for the Earth Hologenome Initiative. He has now joined the Collins’ group as a Research Assistant where he will study aDNA from ancient beeswax using metabarcoding techniques in the frame of the ArcHives project.