Student Spotlight: Mónica Rodríguez Pabón

Studying the science of bioluminescence & communication for SEAS

Hello! I am Mónica Rodríguez Pabón from Patillas, Puerto Rico, and I am part of the SEAS Islands Alliance Puerto Rico hub. I am 20 years old and currently a second-year undergraduate student at the Ana G. Méndez University, Cupey campus and I am a member of the Centro TORTUGA in the hub. I am working toward a bachelor’s degree in biology, and I am very interested in laboratory research, medicine, and science communications. I am a very active person and like to go on hikes, cook, and work out as much as I love spending time with my family and enjoy going out with my friends.

I have been a member of the TORTUGA family since January 2021 and we are part of the SEAS Islands Alliance project where we focus our research on the bioluminescent bay Laguna Grande of Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Our main goals are to study the water quality of the lagoon and its fluctuations of dinoflagellate populations of Pyrodinium bahamense and Ceratium furca, that are responsible for the famous glow that attracts many tourists to travel to the island and visit the bay! I find this study extremely important because it allows me to know more about the environment where I grew up and was raised.

I am also a digital communications intern for SEAS, working with the communications team at Maryland Sea Grant. As part of the internship, I am learning to communicate science through different digital platforms, which will help my career in social sciences and communications because it allows me to explore many ways that I can promote interaction between the people of the community and the science that they should know about. These interactions can be through podcasts, blogs, vlogs, and social media posts.

My goals are to learn as much as possible from the projects and platforms we work on so that I build the communications skills that can help further my career in any path I choose to take in STEM fields. I am grateful for the networking opportunities I have encountered, and I will keep working toward completing my bachelor’s degree and making our environment a safer, place that everyone feels the need to preserve and protect.  

Headshot of Monica Rodríguez, with her facing the cameraMónica Rodríguez Pabón
SEAS Islands Alliance
Puerto Rico Hub

One comment

  1. Thanks for this interesting blog and letting us know the work that is being done by the Puerto Rico TORTUGA hub students. I like the combination of your science background with science communication. Great job! Pictures are beautiful and nice to see the family. Good luck on your work.

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This project has been funded through a grant by the National Science Foundation.