After finishing high school in Brazil in 2007, I applied for a bachelor's major in Education with a specialization in Biological Sciences at the nonprofit University Center of East Minas Gerais (UnilesteMG) in my hometown. UnilesteMG was founded in 1969 with the mission to promote human development through higher education. Today, it is the best higher education institution in my county and one of my state's best university centers. While at UnilesteMG, one of my professors offered me an undergraduate research opportunity which I gladly accepted. I conducted three research projects under the supervision of my mentor, Dr. Isabela Crespo, with help also from Dr. Denilson Peralta from the Botanical Institute of Sao Paulo. After the conclusion of the following projects, I presented the findings in poster showcases at UnilesteMG: (1) Morphology of Selaginellaceae species spores occurring in forest fragments of Minas Gerais, Brazil, (2) Morphology of Polypodiaceae spores occurring in the Rio Doce State Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil, (3) Diversity of mosses (Bryophyta) from the private natural heritage reserve (RPPN) Fazenda Macedonia, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
After finishing my bachelor's in 2011, I began work as a substitute teacher for middle and high school classes in local public schools; this fulfilled the experience I was looking for in the Education field. After this experience, I felt an urge to forward my education. In pursuit of this, I targeted a university (Federal University of Espirito Santo - UFES) and program (Postgraduate Program in Plant Biology - PPGBV) that allied with my expectations and desires. UFES was founded in 1954, with a mission to generate scientific, technological, educational, cultural, and social advances through teaching and research. The PPGBV program was founded in 2002 with the primary goal to promote genetic improvements in crops susceptible to pests and abiotic factors, especially drought.
While in the PPGBV, my mentor (Dr. Viviana Corte) proposed a project about the effects of water regime and leaf fertilization with silicon in cape gooseberry plants (Physalis peruviana, Solanaceae). While researching and writing a literature review, I found a lack of knowledge of the physiological behavior of this species under different edaphoclimatic and fertilization conditions; this gap aimed the research in evaluating the physiological and morphological responses of P. peruviana plants subjected to multiple doses of foliar fertilization with silicon (SiO2) and two water regimes. As a result, the foliar fertilization with silicon was beneficial, providing higher water content in the leaves, higher leaf content of carotenoids, higher net assimilation rate, and higher dry mass accumulation in different parts of the plants. On the other hand, the foliar fertilization doses above 1.21 g/L of SiO2 in P. peruviana plants cultivated in severe water deficit (35% field capacity) reduced leaf water content, intensifying the deleterious effects of water restriction. Furthermore, the plants showed better growth using a higher dose of silicon dioxide than the recommended dose (1.0 g/L) for the culture of tomatoes.
The Plant Biology lab that I was part of has an interdisciplinary approach, and because of this, I also have had the opportunity to watch and help my colleagues with their plant anatomy, ecophysiology, allelopathy, mutagenesis, and toxicology studies. While in the PPGBV, I presented three previous works in a poster showcase, now in the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth National Botanical Congresses produced by the Botanical Society of Brazil: (1) Briophytic richness of anthropized and preserved areas in the East of Minas Gerais, (2) Use of didactic kits for teaching botany, and (3) Diversity, ecology, and floristic aspects of mosses (Bryophyta) occurring in the Macedônia farm RPPN, Minas Gerais. After finishing my master's in 2015, I moved back to my hometown. I worked once more as a biology teacher in local public schools. By that time, I was still living in Brazil, but in March of 2017, I had an opportunity to move to the United States. In October of 2018, I was hired by Valencia College as an adjunct professor of biological sciences for their West Campus. In 2021, Valencia College offered me a year contract as a full-time visiting professor, which at the end of the contract, I will continuously be an adjunct faculty member. I am still working for Valencia at the time of this writing. Thus far, I have taught Biological Sciences (BSC 1005); Botany (BOT 2010C), Plant Pathology (PLP 2001C), Plant Physiology (BOT 2501C), and I am in the course of restructuring an Ethnobotany course (BOT 2800) for Fall 2022. In addition, I have earned two teaching certifications through Valencia College: the Associate Professor Certificate and the Digital Professor Certificate. I am currently working toward other certifications at this time, with the Active Learning Certificate being my next goal. I am also in contemplation in forwarding my Education and I am learning about the possibilities to enroll in a doctorate post-graduate program.
The beach and the springs are my favorite places to visit. Aside from plant sciences, I'm interested in interior design, gardening, fashion, spirituality, and magic. I also read tarot cards for guidance and self-knowledge.
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