Marcela was born in the concrete jungle of Barcelona, Spain, but moved to Costa Rica where she grew up. She soon fell in love with the rainforest and coral reefs and completed her undergraduate studies in biology in 2012 at the University of Costa Rica. After participating in a tropical ecology field course in Singapore and Malaysia, she went to Panama where she did two internships at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. These experiences reinforced her passion for research and conservation, so she decided to join the Reef Ecology Lab in 2013 for her Master’s degree, which she completed in December 2014. Her Master's project involved using population genetics to study larval connectivity in two reef fishes in Papua New Guinea.
Marcela's research interests include reef fish ecology, connectivity, and larval dispersal. Besides science, she also enjoys photography, travel, and dancing!