Current position: Ph D. student, L.H. Bailey Hortorium, Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University
516 Mann Library/ 408 Mann Library
Phone: (607) 255-2131
(607) 255-5407


I am a Biologist from Colombia with special interests in tropical plant science, with emphasis in paleobotany, systematics and evolution. Specifically I am working in the tropical angiosperm fossil record, its relation with molecular phylogenies, biogeographic reconstructions, climate change and diversification process in the Neotropics.

Tropical America is home to approximately thirty percent of the known flowering plant genera and species on Earth. Much of the high levels of plant diversity in this region are due to dramatic variation in elevation and rainfall, combined with millions of years of geologic change. Living in Colombia has granted me the opportunity to be amazed by this incredible diversity, realizing how important is to study its main evolutionary causes, and inspiring me to pursue a carrier in understanding such species richness.

I majored in Biology and graduated from the Universidad de los Andes, where I also did my Masters in the Botany and Systematics Laboratory directed by Dr. Santiago Madriñán. During my bachelor’s degree, and in collaboration with Dr. Carlos Jaramillo from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, I started working with paleobiology by using palynological data and systematics to understand the biogeographic history and diversification process of Hedyosmum, an old angiosperm lineage. For my MS thesis I began to work more intensively with macrofossils, specifically with a new record of Piper from the Late Cretaceous of Colombia.

During my involvement in the doctoral program, I would like to deepen my research and knowledge on evolution of angiosperms. In particular, I am interested in the study of tropical plant evolution and climate change in the light of plant fossil record.


2004–2009- B.Sc. Biology. Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
2009–2011- M.Sc. Biological Sciences. Laboratory of Botany and Systematics. Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
Aug. 2013-Present - Ph D. student, Cornell University


Geological Society of America


Fellow award Colciencias-Fulbright for doctoral programs 2013–2018.
Fellow for young researcher of Colciencias from March 2012 – March 2013.
Faculty of Sciences Award from Universidad de los Andes. Graduated thesis recognition of 2011-2.
The Cuatrecasas Fellowship Award from the Smithsonian Institute. 2010. Washington DC. USA.
Partial financial support for the project: Piper fossil from a Neotropical forest of the Late Cretaceous of Colombia: inferred ages of       origin and patterns of diversification of the genus. Proyecto Semilla. Universidad de los Andes. Bogotá. Colombia. 2010.
Partial fellowship to assist to the Tropical Plant Systematics Course. Organization for Tropical Studies. June–July. Costa Rica.
Senacyt Fellowship. Program to Stimulate Activities of Science and Technology. Panama. 2009.


Martínez, C., Madriñán, S., Zavada, M. and Jaramillo, C.A. 2013. Tracing the fossil pollen record of Hedyosmum (Chloranthaceae), an old lineage with recent Neotropical diversification. Grana. Volume 52 (1).

Martínez, C., Gandolfo, A., Cúneo, R. 2012. Angiosperm fossil leaves with preserved cuticles from the Lefipán Formation, Late Cretaceous, Patagonia, Argentina. Abstracts Botany 2012, Columbus, Ohio (oral presentation).

Martínez, C., Jaramillo, C., Madrinan, S. 2012. Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous) Piper fossil from Colombia and the inferred patterns of diversification of the genus. Abstracts Botany 2012, Columbus, Ohio.

Martínez, C. 2011. Piper fossil from a neotropical forest of the Late Cretaceous of Colombia: inferred ages of origin and patterns of diversification of the genus. Master thesis. Department of Biological Sciences. Universidad de los Andes. Bogotá, Colombia.

Martínez, C. 2009. Tracing back the pollen fossil record of Hedyosmum (Chloranthaceae), a basal angiosperm. Undergraduate thesis. Biology. Department of Biological Sciences. Universidad de los Andes. Bogotá, Colombia.