Sara Castillo Vila

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Marine Sciences, I have always been interested in science since I think it is the way society will reach a sustainable development. Precisely because of such interest I started working at the Plant Pathology Laboratory at the University of Alicante studying the interaction between an endopathogenic fungus, Pochonia chlamydosporia, and the roots of tomato plants. During this time I had the opportunity of learning about confocal microscopy both from a theoretical and practical perspective.

Afterwards, I went into an Erasmus+ at the University of Plymouth where I carried out my final Degree thesis titled “Effects of drift-seaweeds and Pochonia chlamydosporia encapsulated in chitosan on the growth of tomato plants”. Also, I worked as a Research Assistant in a project called “Multi-scale imaging of pathogen-chloroplast interaction during rice blast disease progression”, in which I learnt about electron microscopy procedures (TEM and SEM). Then, I realised that I would like to keep learning about microscopy techniques and single cell approaches and I applied for the SINGEK ESR 12 project.

As an Early Stage Researcher of SINGEK I will be working under the supervision of Dr. Pagliara using microfluidic devices in order to evaluate the single-cell behaviour and potential community linkages of the smallest free-living eukaryotic cell, Ostreococcus tauri. This will give us an insight about population dynamics, providing us with the necessary understanding for its proper protection and conservation and applications in biotechnology.