Born and raised in Zaragoza, Spain, I was since my early childhood fascinated by sciences, with the biggest interest in biological sciences. I obtained a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry at the University of Zaragoza, what I completed with a Master Degree in Organic Chemistry and another in Biochemistry.
To continue my academic formation and acquire the international experience that was avid, I was awarded with a European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus Mundus) Scholarship that brought me to Geneva, Switzerland. There, I join the group of Dr. Francois Barja, at the department of Plant Biology at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), to work with Dr. Marta Cotado (PhD student at that time) in a project related with the study of cytoskeletal proteins in the fungus Neurospora crassa. Already experiencing an increasing interest in microbiology, I decided to accept an offer of Dr. Barja and start a PhD on a relatively new research line of the group, acetic acid bacteria (AAB), studying the characterization of bacterial strains involved in acetic acid fermentation, their identification and taxonomy, and the resistance of these strains to high percentages of acetic acid. I applied molecular biology techniques and basic comparative genomics and had the pleasure to attend international conferences in Switzerland and Japan (Best Poster Award at the The 2nd International Conference on Acetic Acid Bacteria in 2008), and successfully defended my PhD thesis in September 2012.
After a short period as Postdoc in Dr. Barja group, I moved to Tokyo, Japan, thanks to a Postdoctoral fellowship awarded by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), to join the group of Prof. Akiko Okamoto-Kainuma, at the Tokyo University of Agriculture (NODAI). There, I continued my research on AAB working on a project that was mainly focused on the use of transcriptomics (RNA-Seq) to study the metabolism modifications of AAB during in vitro acetic acid fermentation mimicking the industrial production of vinegar.
At this stage, I had a renewed interest in extremophile microorganisms, and I was also keen to move forward to new fields, so I decided to accept an offer of Dr. Maged M. Saad, a previous colleague at the University in Geneva, to re-direct my research towards the study of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB). In 2015 I joined the group of Prof. Heribert Hirt, at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), to work on a research project (Darwin21, http://www.darwin21.net) that aims to isolate and thoroughly characterize PGPB from desert endogenous plants, with the final goal to apply PGPB as alternative biofertilizer to improve agriculture in desert and arid regions.