Ana Sofia Lorda
Master student at Oxford University
I was born in Torreón, Coahuila, a small desertic city in the North of México and then moved to Monterrey, the “city of mountains” where I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. Although my regular contact with nature involved hiking and long walks in the park, I was lucky enough to go every summer to Mazatlán, a coastal city in the Mexican Pacific, since the age of 5. Thanks to this, the sea has a very special place in my heart.
However, my interest in corals was not evident until 2015, when I decided to work with Dr. Pedro Medina Rosas from Universidad de Guadalajara to evaluate the effects of climate change in the early life stages of corals. The same year I went to Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo to complete a Sexual Coral Reproduction Workshop hosted by Universidad Autónoma de Mexico in collaboration with SECORE and other institutions. In 2016, once I completed my undergraduate studies, I volunteered for a Mexican organisation in Akumal, Quintana Roo, where I did daily coral reef monitoring and benthos surveys.
After witnessing the rapid degradation of coral reefs in the Mexican Caribbean, I decided to take the next step in my career and pursue a Master’s degree in conservation. In September 2018 I started my graduate studies in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at the University of Oxford. Now, I am working with Dr. James Guest and Dr. Adriana Humanes from Newcastle University looking at the relationship between coral bleaching and mortality to see the potential of developing a user-friendly methodology to predict mortality risk from thermal stress.