Edna Correia, a researcher at CESAM (Center for Environment and Sea Studies), at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, awarded with the L'Oréal Medal of Honor for Women in Science, tells us about her journey and challenges, and also gives good advice for young women who want to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
During the month of March, the FCCN Unit joins GÉANT 's #WomenInSTEM campaign, giving the opinions of several female guests in the STEM fields.

EC: My name is Edna Correia (EC) and I am a researcher at CESAM (Center for Environment and Sea Studies), at the Faculty of Science, University of Lisbon.

- When and why did you become interested in STEM? Was this your dream as a child/teenager?

EC: I think it was as a child that this desire to pursue biology came to me, because I spent a lot of time in nature and realized that I wanted to understand it better.

- How does your work contribute to science, innovation and knowledge creation? How does your work impact the world?

EC: I am a biologist and I study bird ecology and over the last few years I have been doing some of my work in the coastal areas of the Bijagós archipelago, in Guinea-Bissau. This work has contributed to better understand the functioning of this ecosystem, more specifically, how the different species behave and interact with each other and their surroundings. It is essential for us to determine strategies for nature conservation and the sustainable use of resources.

- What inspiring message or advice would you give to young girls interested in a career in STEM?

EC: To all young women who want to pursue a career in science I would say that there should be no reason why they should not do it. It is true that it is not an easy path, it has many challenges and is quite competitive, it is usually precarious and lacks resources, and so it takes a lot of willpower, discipline and commitment. Still, it can be a very rewarding job and it includes doing amazing things, that's why I enjoy doing it and would like to continue for many years to come.

The L'Oréal Medals of Honor are a joint initiative between L'Oréal Portugal, the National UNESCO Commission - Portugal and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

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