My first STEMprov Story Spine

Once upon a time, I thought it would be really cool to be a marine biologist.

Every month in 2008, I would go SCUBA diving to collect ‘microhongos en el sedimento’ or ‘microscopic fungus that live in sediment’. Who knew that microorganisms live in the sand underwater? I didn’t at the time, but that was an awesome year of science.

But, one day I had to return from that ‘gap year’ adventure in Costa Rica and get a real job.

Because of that, I found a job in where all my coworkers and I collectively study all of biology. Like all things related to biology. Plants, bugs, ecology, populations, cells, brains, molecules, environments, you name it. They develop tools, they travel the world, they tell great stories.

Because of that, I get to go to work ever day, and do research, and collaborate, and share ideas and expertise. My research span a lot of disciplines because I get my ideas and information from diverse people with diverse expertise and background.

Because of that, I’ve notices that data integration across levels is a real challenge. I spent five years tackling data integration across neuroscience, molecular biology, and physiology. Even more, I had to best figure out how to present my data, results, and interpretations to different audiences. This was a challenge.

Finally, during final stretch of my PhD, I feel like I finally have it all figured out. I know a little bit about all of biology. I know who to advance science. I feel like I finally know how to appropriately collect, process, interprets, visualize, archive, share, and build upon data that I have co-collected with collaborations in pursuit of scientific knowledge.

And, ever since then, I’ve been wondering what kind of scientists am I? General biologists? Special ethology-hippocampus-transcriptomics expert? Data scientist? I’m not sure. I think I’ll continue to go with whatever particular science words that pop into my head.

My brain on improve for science and tech nerds. Image credit: