I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Growing up on the coast on a small island, and being in the ocean almost every day, sparked many of the questions that drove me to study the ocean environment. I’m fascinated by the ocean and the microscopic world we cannot see with our eyes, yet drives most of the processes which define life as we know it. In the array of tiny microorganisms, phytoplankton produce 50% of the world’s primary production, which is then passed within days to different bacterial groups and higher organisms. Currently, I’m studying microbial interactions between phytoplankton and bacteria. I’m trying to understand processes involved in carbon flux by using bacteria as “biosensors” that can tell us what compounds are released into the environment by phytoplankton.