Dr. Valdez Barillas is an Associate Professor of Biology at A&M-SA and started as Assistant Professor in Fall of 2011. Prior to becoming an Assistant Professor Dr. Valdez Barillas worked as adjunct faculty at A&M-SA, San Antonio College and North West Vista College teaching Evolutionary theory and Introductory Biology. Dr. Valdez Barillas earned his B.S. in the year 2000 at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala, where he also obtained a Licenciatura in Biology degree and conducted research on Urban Ecology of Aquatic Invertebrates. He then continued his Masters and Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology at Colorado State University (CSU), CO. At CSU he studied the ecological interactions between legumes and microbes and its relation to the production of the toxic alkaloid Swainsonine in both U.S. and Inner Mongolia China. Between 2008 and 2010 he did postdoctoral work at the CSU Biology department working on Ecological interactions between microbes, invertebrates, and plants, and studied how these interactions affect the uptake and accumulation of toxic levels of Selenium in plants. Dr. Valdez Barillas has recently established a Field Ecology Laboratory that supports undergraduate research. His current research interests include: Effects of microbes in native vs invasive plant interactions, effect of plants on attention and human cognitive wellbeing, plant-microbe-water quality relations, and aquatic invertebrate community studies in the San Antonio River. He also is involved in pollinator friendly innitatives using native plants at A&M-SA and recently established with the support of the A&M-SA Biology Program a vegetable garden and a greenhouse for teaching and research activities.