February 11 was declared by the United Nations as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to achieve full and equal access in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality as well as female empowerment. The main goal of this international day is to increase the visibility of women’s roles in science. At present, according to UNESCO data, only around 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education.

The CSIC Postgraduate and Specialization Department has conducted a social media campaign by interviewing Ph.D. students from several research institutes who have explained their experiences in research and science in short videos.

Marta López, Olivia Lozano, and Olaya Dorado are among the Ph.D. students interviewed in the campaign. In these videos, they have explained their personal experiences in the Earth Sciences research.

“Give them the knowledge, explain to them all the possible ways to avoid their confusion when they have to make a choice”

Marta López has been working since November 2020 in Geosciences Barcelona on an FPU predoctoral contract. Her research, supervised by Joan Martí and Dario Pedrazzi, is focused on the hazard assessment in volcanic islands.

As she explains in the video, she always wanted to become a researcher and to write a Ph.D. Thesis. “Research is the goal, there is no more than that”, points out López.

She thinks it is essential for students to be better informed what it means to work in the research field and to help them to choose their right path. “Nobody explained to me what research truly means”, says the Ph.D. student, stressing how important is to explain to the future researchers every existing possibility.

“Earth is the planet where we live; research is the best way to understand their processes”

Olivia Lozano arrived at GEO3BCN-CSIC in September 2020 to work on the TAITRANS project. Joaquina Álvarez Marrón supervises her thesis, which is focused on studying the geometry of inherited structures in southern Taiwan by the analysis of the potential fields.

Unlike López, Olivia Lozano had never thought of becoming a researcher when she was younger: “I studied geology because I like the natural landscapes”. Lozano explains in the video that she realized that she wanted to work as a researcher in Geosciences during an internship at the Spanish National Geographic Institute (IGN). “I cannot imagine doing another job”, she says.

“There are very interesting technics to study what is inside the Earth through data”, explains Lozano. “The research is a exciting field, if they feel curious about it, they should get well informed”, she advises to those who want to become researchers.

“Being interested in Earth is wonderful and it can tell us more than we take for granted”

Olaya Dorado joined Geociencias Barcelona in October 2019 on a FPU predoctoral contract. Her research, supervised by Joan Martí, is focused on studying the petrology and geochemistry of the Teide-Pico Viejo volcanic field, in Tenerife, Canary Islands.

“Geology allows us reading the history of our planet through what we can observe, from rocks to landscapes”, says Dorado in the video, encouraging the future researchers to follow up asking probing questions about the surrounding world.

Fieldwork campaigns are Dorado’s favorite part of the research process, although, as she states, it is also the hardest: “While I’m in the field I don’t regret anything”. Dorado also highlights that she enjoys spending time at the laboratory using the microscope, although she says that what she likes the most is pasing on her geosciences' knowledge. That's why she owns an Instagram account (@Ohmagmamia) where she shares geological information for the general public.

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