What do you do?
I study taxonomy, ecology, and conservation freshwater decapods (crabs and shrimps). That means I research how crabs and shrimps are described, what is their role in the environments, their importance in economics, health and culture, and where and how they are threatened. Additionally, I work with benthic macroinvertebrates.
Why did you choose this field?
As a biologist, I would say I´ve always had a particular fascination for nature, especially for water-related topics. However, as a carcinologist, I have to admit it was love at first sight. At one of my undergrad classes, I just got interested in crabs, they were really appealing to me, so I asked the Professor if I can learn more about them. She agreed to teach me more about crustaceans, I began drawing crabs and ended doing a research project in the Colombian forest, looking for crabs and shrimps. Now, after almost a decade of love, at first sight, I still working with these fascinating creatures.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I´m part of the Freshwater Crustacean Specialist Group at the Species Survival Commission of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love it allows me to be myself in every aspect of my life, it has allowed me to know uncommon places and different cultures, and maybe the most important it gave me a different vision of the world, making me feel a better person at each step I go further in my career.
Best advice for next generation?
As in nature diversity is the key to survival, different does not mean negative, cherish your talent, and do not forget your history. Which makes you different and unique is which in the future will make you one of the best in your career.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
"Your best and wisest refuge from all troubles is in your science.” - Ada Lovelace