Spotlight on Students in Ecotox: Linda R. Lara-Jacobo

This blog series showcases student research and experiences in the field of ecotoxicology around the world. Today, meet Linda R. Lara-Jacobo from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique in Canada, specializing in endocrine disruptors and ecotoxicogenomics.

Photo provided by Linda R. Lara-Jacobo

What research questions is your thesis addressing?

Is weathered oil more toxic compared to unweathered oil?

Why did you choose to join the field of ecotoxicology?

Since I was a little girl I learned to respect and love “Mother Nature” (Pachamama) and I feel a deep connection with her. I joined the ecotoxicology field in order to protect her.

Do you have any personal heroes or mentors for your graduate studies?

Yes, Dr. Lilia America Albert. She is my hero in toxicology and the reason why I decided to leave my home country of Mexico and move to Canada to study for my PhD on endocrine disruptors and ecotoxicogenomics.

What is one accomplishment that you are proud of?

I am proud of being an ambassador of My World Mexico, helping to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals.

What was a difficult moment during your graduate studies?

During my PhD, I moved from Ontario to Quebec and had to start learning French. It was a huge challenge, because French is my third language. Learning a new language while doing my experiments was complicated, but I loved it. I really enjoyed learning!

What was your best weird science moment?

Every moment in science is the “best weird” moment for me. Every time that I scoop eggs or observe the development of eggs to form a beautiful fish – it is magical. I grew up observing onion cells under a kid’s microscope. Both of my parents are scientists so I got my first microscope at the age of 5 years. I have seen my first volcano explosion at 4 years old. All my life was surrounded by science and experiments. At the table we do not call the vinegar with the name “vinegar”, but instead we call it acetic acid (I know, weird family!).

Photo provided by Linda R. Lara-Jacobo

What was your most memorable conference experience and why?

The 42nd AMOP Technical Seminar on Environmental Contamination and Response. I loved to learn how to respond to the risk of a toxic substance. I learned about other research groups in oil and toxicology. And it was in Halifax, Nova Scotia – being close to the ocean was amazing!

What are your goals for the next years?

Professional: Finish the PhD 😊. Personally: Travel, help, and never stop learning!

What would be your dream job and why?

Working for the United Nations in health, environment, and climate change.

How can people get in touch with you?

Please follow me! I make informative short videos on toxicology: “The toxic of …” in English, Spanish, and coming soon: French! I have “the toxic of…” sunscreen, mascara, botox, etc. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Spotlight on Students: Our new blog series will showcase students in Ecotoxicology