Assistant professor Sarahi Gracia.

What did you work with before you started here?

I did research in my undergrad in Mexico in bioremediation and later on, my masters in the US on how to get energy from vegetable waste.  This is when I came across microbial communities and interactions and found them fascinating. So I applied for several PhD positions in Germany that had microbial interactions as a focus. I got accepted to a position that looked for those interactions in lakes. After my PhD I continued working on microbial interactions on fresh water.

Why did you come to Sweden?

I heard that the Nordic countries are great at supporting women in pursuing their professional goals, so I applied for a job at Uppsala University in Sweden. I was happy to get the first postdoc position I applied to! In Mexico I lived in a town where we said “Drink the water from here, and stay here forever”. Now, I love Swedish water!

What is your research project going to be about?

I want to further investigate microbial interactions. I want to understand how the microbes that live in aquatic environments have co-evolved with the other microbes that live around them, since they for example use each other’s waste and take advantage of each other’s services. We are still only in the beginning to understand how these mechanisms work. I am excited that DEEP has a history of working in the Baltic Sea so I want to get started with salty water as well. I am looking forward to collaborate with the Marine Ecology Lab.

Interviewer: Amanda Gonzalez-Bengtsson, science communicator at Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.