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Department of Zoology



I am a PhD student and Gates Cambridge Scholar in the Vertebrate Paleontology Group at the Department of Zoology. I completed my B.S. in biology (2018) at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia; where I also studied civil engineering (2017). 

From 2019 to 2022, I worked as a research assistant at Universidad del Rosario, Colombia; where I developed various research and field work activities at different fossiliferous localities rangind from the Jurassic to Pleistocene. At the same institution, I completed my MSc. in Natural Sciences.


My doctoral project aims to understand the tempo and mode of diversification of neotropical snakes, especially colubroids. To accomplish this, I will combine new fossil and molecular data with ecological and life history information to reconstruct the origin of modern snake diversity in the neotropics following a phylogenetic and stratigraphic context.


Key publications: 

Alfonso-Rojas A., Vanegas R. D., Mariño-Morejón E. & Cadena E.-A. (2023). Newly discovered fossils provide novel insights on the biology of the South American Miocene snake Colombophis Hoffstetter & Rage, 1977, in Carrillo J. D. (ed.), Neotropical palaeontology: the Miocene La Venta biome. Geodiversitas 45 (13): 377-399.

Alfonso-Rojas, A., & Cadena, E. A. (2022). The first benthic insects (Ephemeroptera and Coleoptera) from the Upper Cretaceous of Colombia. Cretaceous Research, 105116.
Alfonso‐Rojas, A., Herrera‐Gutierrez, L. M., Suárez, C., Ciancio, M. R., Pelegrin, J. S., & Cadena, E. A. (2021). Late Pleistocene biota from Pubenza, Colombia; turtles, mammals, birds, invertebrates and plant remains. Journal of Quaternary Science, 36(3), 450-466.
Alfonso-Rojas, A., & Cadena, E. A. (2020). Exceptionally preserved ‘skin’ in an Early Cretaceous fish from Colombia. PeerJ, 8, e9479.