Ileana Freytes-Ortiz

St. Petersburg, FL, US
Field of Work 
Marine Science/Oceanography
 
Education
Company 
College of Marine Science
Job Title or "Student" 
Doctoral Student
Education 
University of South Florida
Degree 
Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography
Education Level 
PhD
Profile Biography 
I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida's College of Marine Science. What does that mean? That means I go to class AND do research. I study how climate change alters the way prey and predators interact in the marine world. I look at the effects of both changes in temperature and changes in water chemistry due to too much carbon dioxide in the water (also known as Ocean Acidification). It's fascinating to me that a change in water chemistry can affect the way an oyster responds to a crab in the water! After finishing my Ph.D. I hope to become a marine science professor, or work for an educational non-profit organization.

Outside of work I am also an animal lover. I live with my puppy, Angie, who I rescued from the SPCA. She is absolutely wonderful. I have worked with animal shelters for many years now and think it's important to support the great work that they do. So, I spend a lot of time volunteering with animal welfare organizations.

Coming from Puerto Rico, a different place with a different culture, hispanic women role models were extremely important to me. If it weren't for the continuous support of some of my teachers and my mother's belief in me, I wouldn't be where I am today. Their words of wisdom made a difference in my life and in my career, and I hope to do the same for young students and junior scientists out there. I hope I can make a difference for you!
Interests 
Pets, Dance, Travel
Race & Ethnicity 
Hispanic or Latino
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, In-school visit, Online role model, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I am a new Role Model.
Availability 
No Preference
Resources 
Career exploration activities, Fun demonstrations or materials, Hands-on activities for students
Program Affiliation 
None

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