Hi! My name is Brenda Esteban, I am from Mexico City and I just joined the Department of Biological Sciences as a PhD research fellow.
I studied Biology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México where I started to be focused on marine invertebrates. My bachelor thesis was about the taxonomy of shallow and deep-sea sea stars from Veracruz, Mexico. After that I took the Erasmus Mundus journey to do a master in marine environment and resources, studying at the University of Southampton, University of the Basque Country and University of Liège. Then I did my master thesis about the integrative taxonomy of the sea star Astropecten irregularis in the North Sea at the German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research Senckenberg am Meer Wilhelmshaven.
Now I am part of the Deep Sea Biology research group (https://www.uib.no/en/deepseabiology) and my supervisors are Ida Helene Steen, Mari Heggernes and Pedro Ribeiro. For my PhD project, I will work on the distribution and population connectivity of the gastropod Pseudosetia cf. griegi from vent and cold seep ecosystems in the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge. The genetic connectivity patterns will be compared with a bio-physical model to look at the potential barriers for larval dispersal. I will also characterize the microbiome associated with this gastropod to get insights into its adaptations to these ecosystems. So I am excited about working with researchers from different fields and what my PhD years at BIO will bring!