Selene is a genomic scientist & bioinformatician interested in understanding the role non-coding RNAs play in the evolution of gene regulatory landscapes within and across eukaryotes.
She is a Senior Lecturer RNA New Research Talent Program (Level C) funded by the UNSW RNA Institute. Her laboratory focuses on studying the evolution of long non-coding RNAs in various plants and animals to predict their functions better using bioinformatic tools and genomic approaches. She is particularly interested in how these could be leveraged to impact food production and disease in crops and humans.
Dr. Fernandez holds a BSc in Genomic Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (2007). She completed her doctorate at the University of Queensland (UQ), studying new classes of small RNAs with Prof. John Mattick in 2013. As a postdoc, she used comparative genomics to identify regulatory changes that facilitated the evolution of multicellular organisms and morphological diversity in the animal kingdom in the laboratory of Prof. Bernie Degnan, UQ (2012-2015). She then returned to her native Mexico as a Principal Investigator at the Advanced Genomics Unit of Cinvestav (2016-2023) before joining UNSW as a Senior Lecturer in mid-2023.
Dr. Fernandez was awarded the Mexico national scholarship L’Oreal-UNESCO-AMC-CONACYT for Women in Science in 2016, the International Rising Talents Fellowship of L’Oreal-UNESCO in 2018 and the Gender Equality Award by the International Union of Immunological Societies in 2019. She is a founding member of Mas Ciencia por Mexico (More Science for Mexico), the Mexican Network of Bioinformatics (Red Mexicana de Bioinformática), and a volunteer instructor of Software Carpentry and previously Clubes de Ciencia Mexico.
She has served as a volunteer mentor at foundations such as Ekpapalek and the “Mujeres en STEM: Futuras Líderes” program of the US-Mexico Foundation. Forbes Mexico magazine selected her as one of the 100 most powerful women in Mexico in 2018. She was recently elected in the competitive female climate leadership program 'Homeward Bound' and is part of #TeamHB8.
My Research Supervision