What do you enjoy most/what do you find most interesting about your research topic?
I really like my research area because I can work in all stages, from the collection of biological material (going through wonderful places with different ecosystems) to the analysis of life through DNA (in the laboratory) – it is surprising how only four letters can generate so much diversity of life. I wonder to know that everything at the molecular level is so ordered and complex. I love seeing the species and then seeing the DNA and how much difference it has with other specimens and even more so with other species.
How does citizen science support your research?
Citizen scientists are very interested in knowing a lot about what they see or what they eat. For example, in North America a group of boys identified fish species through genetic analyses for a school science project. Another example is the fishermen who help voluntarily to collect biological material that often only they are lucky enough to find.
What is one of your favorite moments in the field?
My favorite moment is when my feet touch the sand and the sea touches me at the same time. I love the sea and the breeze. I marvel at the marine world because it is a world that has much left to discover. A few days ago, I saw for the first time a whale shark, an amazing species swimming next door. It was a feeling of amazement, fear and joy. I had never seen such a large animal in its natural state.