Marcela is the Genebank Operations Manager at Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT, formerly a biology researcher in plant molecular biology and biotechnology, in Colombia (undergraduate and masters at Universidad del Valle) and Germany (doctoral Universität zu Köln, scholarship from the Max Planck Institute of Plant Breeding Research). Since 2008, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher and administrative support for the Crocusbank project (Crocus sativus and allies). She developed a special interest and trained skills in Project Management and Operations.
Marcela has also trained as a lecturer and enjoyed giving lectures on plant biotechnology and conservation of local genetic resources at ICESI University in Cali, Colombia.
She returned to the Americas Hub in Palmira in 2017, where she had started professionally identifying plant molecular markers and genes related to biotic stress resistance, but now supervises day-to-day operations in the Genebank and promotes the use of these plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.