Hernán studied veterinary medicine and biology (1996-200l6) at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. He moved afterwards to the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, where he worked on ancient genomics of humans and archaic hominins under the supervision of Svante Pääbo and Michael Lachmann. Hernán obtained a PhD in evolutionary genetics from the University of Leipzig in 2012. Hernán then relocated as a postdoctoral researcher (2012-2014) at the MPI for Developmental Biology in Tuebingen, Germany, under the supervision of Detlef Weigel. There, he integrated plant evolutionary genomics and ancient DNA. From 2014 to 2019, Hernán led the Research Group for Ancient Genomics and Evolution at the MPI for Developmental Biology, before joining the UCL Centre for Life ́s Origins and Evolution in 2019. In 2019, Hernán was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship, a scheme jointly funded by the Royal Society and the Wolfson Fundation that enables the recruitment of outstanding research leaders to the UK from overseas. In 2020, Hernán was honored with a Philip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding contributions to Biological Sciences.