What do you do?
I am a researcher in a group whose mission is to enable plant growth in space. I specifically look into different engineering and physical environment aspects of plant growth in space, such as ventilation in reduced gravity and its interaction with photosynthesis, crew time required for plant care, influence of plants on crew morale in isolation.
Why did you choose this field?
I have always wanted to work in the space sector, although as a child, it was all very vague. Looking at the night sky through a telescope at astronomy camps was one of my favorite activities.
An internship at the European Space Agency on the MELiSSA project made me realize that working on life-support systems to enable humans to live outside of Earth in a sustainable way was a topic very dear to me.
My interest for research came later on, when I discovered applied research thanks to Dr. Gioia Massa and Dr. Cary Mitchell, at Purdu University.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
Participating in a four-month analog mission, performing parabolic flights for research, obtaining a PhD.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love solving problems and answering the many questions I have about many things, this is what drives me.
Best advice for next generation?
Don't give up. Sometimes things are tough, the learning process is long, there are obstacles that you had not foressen, but don't let them ruin your hopes and dreams of working in STEM, if this is what you want to do. Instead, learn from them, keep working hard and, most importantly, ask for help!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
"Toutes les grandes personnes ont d'abord été des enfants, mais peu d'entre elles s'en souviennent.” - Le Petit Prince, Antoine de St Exupéry, which translates into "All grown-ups were once children, but few of them remember it.”