Where did you grow up?
I was born in Austin, Texas, but my family moved to Brazil 2 years later. I grew up in the mountain region (Região Serrana) of Rio de Janeiro State.
Where did you go to school and in what subject did you get your degree(s)?
I studied from elementary through high school in Brazil before attending college in the United States. I graduated from Grossmont College in California with an Associates Degree in General Studies. Then I attended Florida International University, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Chemistry. I also completed a 2-year mentoring program in Environmental Biology of the Caribbean biogeographical region. My Master’s Degree is in Environmental Studies at Green Mountain College in Vermont with a focus on Caribbean Biogeography.
How did you come to work at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center?
I worked as a Marine Biology Technician for the National Park Service for 11 years in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida. Prior to that, I worked for one year as a contract biological technician for the United States Geological Survey. I also worked for a year as the Laboratory and Field Operations Manager for the Florida International University Seagrass Ecosystems Research Laboratory. I then accepted an assignment with the center's Pelagic Observer Program as a Fisheries Biologist to come and work beside many of the people with whom I collaborated over the years.
What do you do at the science center?
I am the Pelagic Observer Program’s Safety Coordinator. I also serve as the primary liaison with the highly migratory species pelagic longline fishing industry and am in charge of procurement.
What do you like most about your position?
The position is in a new field relative to my prior primarily science-based experience. This allows me to bring wider knowledge and experience to the team while providing opportunities to learn with my peers and thrive in a new, more management-oriented environment.
What does National Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
In my understanding, the term “Hispanic” applies to cultures with a Spanish background, which is encompassed in the broader “Latino” community that includes cultures of Portuguese descent. In that sense, Brazilians and Hispanics are brethren of distinct Latin backgrounds. Hispanic Heritage Month is to me a celebration of these vibrant and diverse cultures.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I am an outdoors person who enjoys camping, snorkeling and hiking whenever the opportunity arises. I enjoy confraternization with friends and family, preferably around a campfire with good Rioja wine.