Dr Carmen M. Escudero-Martinez
Part of Women in STEM
Introduce yourself - who are you and what is your job?
I am scientist at the University of Dundee where I am studying plant roots and soil organisms. I ask questions about the type of organisms that live in the roots. To find answers to these questions, I do experiments in the glasshouse where plants grow and in the laboratory. To find answers, I need also to analyse the data from the experiments in the computer. Finally, I need to give presentations and write my results to share the answers to those questions with the rest of the world.
What do you research, why and how does this help people?
I am fascinated about how plants control all the marvellous organisms that associate with their roots in the soil. These plant root partnerships are very important because they allow plants to grow better and healthier. Soils also are healthier thanks to these partnerships. Many of these plants are crops that feed us. Keeping soils healthier contributes to reduce climate change as they store lots of carbon.
Tell us about your career journey so far
During my journey I have studied in different countries and diverse topics. This is common when you are a scientist and shows that you can work in different places with different people, it is very exciting! I studied my bachelor degree in Environmental Sciences at university in Spain, but I had the opportunity to do part of these studies in Italy. Later, I obtained a grant to wort as a technical assistant in France with soil nematodes. This experience was so inspirational that I decided to continue my studies doing a Master in Biological Sciences between Belgium and The Netherlands. As my passion for science continues, I completed my PhD at the University of Dundee at the James Hutton Institute (UK), where currently I am working as scientist.
What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?
Study a bachelor’s (undergraduate degree) in Biology or related Sciences. Also gain some work experience in labs through opportunities such as summer schools.
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