Role: Marie-Curie Fellow, Department of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London

Subject area: Genetics and evolution of bees

Nationality: Brazilian

Hi there! I am a scientist, and I am investigating how the nuclear and the mitochondrial genomes work together, using bees as an example. This means I look at the genetic material inside bees, and compare it between different species. When I am not working, I enjoy travelling, walking in parks and visiting museums with my family.



GCSE and A-levels (or equivalent): My entire education was completed in Brazil

• BSc and Licentiate in Biological Sciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil
• PhD in Biological Sciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Detail about Elaine


My research

I'm looking at how an organism’s nuclear genome (the information in cells on how to grow and work) and it's mitochondrial genome (the energy that helps it do things like move and think) work together. Sometimes these genomes help an organism to survive in different places, but sometimes they might cause diseases.

My inspiration

My inspiration

In college, I figured out I wanted to study genetics and evolution during practical sessions. But I felt a bit unsure about how to get into it. I spoke with one of my professors whose work I admired, and she gave me advice. Chatting with someone experienced and awesome like her was a big help.

My STEM hero

Who is your STEM hero?

My father is my STEM hero. Although he never had a formal education, he could spend hours and hours designing projects and inventing machines: wind power generators to chimneys aimed at reducing pollution from large industries, even creating nice toys for me. He loved challenges and could tackle anything!

Caged birds on a branch

Most significant discovery/invention?

In my field, genetics and evolution, I can say that the theory of the origin of species by Charles Darwin, which shows that the diversity of life arose from a common ancestor and that natural selection is the process by which this evolution occurs, was truly revolutionary.

A lecturer and a student discuss equations written on a blackboard

Career options after study

  • Researcher at a university, institute, or industry 
  • Professor at a university
  • Curator at a museum 
  • Editor of a scientific journal
girl hiking with backpack on a forest road bright sunny day

My hobbies

I have a daughter, and I love spending time at her primary school organizing events or simply playing with the pupils. I'm also a scout leader, and planning activities for the scouts brings me great joy. In addition, I enjoy cooking, reading, and watching drama and mystery movies. I'm a big fan of pets, particularly cats.