What do you do?
My job consists in helping other astronomers to perform successful observations using the instrumentation available at the Keck telescopes. In addition, as a Staff Astronomer, I carry out my own research on the field of Low-mass stars, Brown Dwarfs and Giant Exoplanets.
Why did you choose this field?
I discovered astronomy when I was around 8 years old. We had a science class about astronomy, and the topic fascinated me from the beginning. In particular, I was enchanted with the idea of the existence of other suns, and other worlds outside the Earth. In addition, in the small town were I grew up we have a very good sky, which encouraged me to observe it a lot. Then, my uncle gave me my first telescope as a Christmas present, that felt to me like the most precious thing in the Universe (I still have it, indeed). After that, I was convinced I wanted to become an astronomer, although my family didn't understand what that really meant, or if I would be able to economically support myself with that job. Now they know :)
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
Being fluent in 3 languages (Spanish, English and German), and becoming an expert on my field, and an expert on instrumentation. I always thought that I would not enjoy doing instrumentation!
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love to think that any little discovery we do, even if it's not completely novel, it's completely new to humanity. I find that fascinating. In addition, I hope to be a role model for young girls and minorities, because science belongs to everyone!
Best advice for next generation?
Just keep going! Stereotypes are only in our minds.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
"If you really want something, and you really work hard, and take advantage of opportunities, and never give up, you will find a way". Jane Goodall.