Q1. What kind of scientist are you? (What do you do/study/communicate about/teach? There isn’t just one way to be a scientist!): I am currently pursuing my PhD in Genetics and Genomics at Iowa State. My research focuses on the process of temperature-dependent sex determination of turtles. Basically I try to comprehend how environmental factors, such as temperature and contaminants, affect the genetic network of sexual development. This study is important mostly for conservation purposes, as climate crisis and pollution are deeply impacting natural populations of turtles. Due to my research scope, I try to educate my community on the consequences of the climate crisis and pollution, and how we can contribute to improve the perspectives. I also teach biology to undergraduate students during the semester and I love being in touch with my students. It is very rewarding to see they learn new things every week!
Q2. What made you want to become a scientist?: When I was a kid, I had in my mind that I wanted to do something that would last forever. At that time, I wasn't so sure of which professions would allow me to do that, but this desire always stayed with me. When it came time for me to choose my career, I had that in mind. Becoming a scientist was the perfect solution for me. I love learning new things, and by being a scientist, I could help in answering some of nature's questions. The knowledge I am "creating" is gonna last forever. Being a scientist is allowing me to accomplish my life dream.
Q3. What makes you a #UniqueScientist? (this can be anything you feel comfortable talking about – be it being a woman or another underrepresented gender, an ethnic minority, LGBT+, disabled or just not looking like a scientist “should”): I believe what makes me a #UniqueScientist is that I am a proud asian latina. Being born and raised in Brazil, with the strong latino culture we have there, mixed with the cultural background from my family makes me see my surroundings in a different perspective. I am the first in my family to pursue a science career, which challenged me, as I didn't have many role models in science that are like I am.
Q4. What’s something cool you do outside of work? (show off your funky personality!): I love traveling and getting to know new places and cultures. I never pass an opportunity to travel (of course, when my money allows me to!). I've been to 5 different countries and 28 American states (my plan is to visit all 50!). Also, I love listening to podcasts of all types and to watch documentaries. Besides that, I like baking and to hug dogs. And I LOVE Disney. And cartoons. And boybands.
Q5. If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?: I definitely want to work on changing the academia culture of "science first, life second". I strongly believe that our work as scientists is just one aspect of our lives. Being a scientists define just one side of me. I feel very uncomfortable when the expectations are of me talking about science all the time, that I just consume content that are related to science, that I can only relate to people who are scientists. Creating the image that yes, I work with science, but yes, I can also talk about The Office like anybody else.
Q6. Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now? (#UniqueScientists is hoping to motivate and inspire others, so we hope you’ll take this opportunity to reflect back on the people who have marked your lives and influenced you in getting where you are today): My biggest inspirations were always teachers. I had incredible teachers during high school that inspired me to pursue Biology. During my undergrad,
Q7. Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of? (Can be in science or not! We should all be proud of our achievements): I went to a water park in a bikini and felt GORGEOUS