In our quarterly series, we ask different scientists the same 5 questions. Join us as we see the world from a scientist’s eyes!
Dr. Rosannette Quesada Hidalgo
Our 5 questions for Rosa:
- What do you do right now for work?
I work at School for Field Studies (SFS) Panama, a study abroad program where I teach through experiences about the importance of tropical ecosystems.
- What motivated you to become a scientist?
Since I was a child, I had an interest in the natural world, particularly insects and arthropods in general. I also liked to be outside a lot and to take other people outside. When I entered college, I took the list of offered careers and crossed each of the ones I didn’t want to take. I ended up with Biology and along the path of my career I discovered daddy long legs. I noticed there was very little research done in Central America on these animals and I decided to study them.
- What is one thing about your area of expertise you want everyone to know?
Forests, and particularly tropical forests are crucial to restore the balance we humans have disrupt on our planet. Not only they are important as a carbon sink, but they are the most biodiverse ecosystem on earth. However, we still know very few about them. One could spend a lifetime studying them!
- What is your favorite animal and why?
Daddy long legs. They are elegant but cute and harmless to humans. Also, they have the most incredible behaviors: maternal and paternal care, fights between males and females, nest building behaviors and many others yet to be discovered.
- What’s been discovered in forests that is mimicked by humans?
Tricky question and I actually don’t quite know the answer. I don’t think humans mimic a lot of things from the forest and we should. Forests and all
ecosystems if kept natural, have a natural equilibrium with important cycles where everything is used with almost no waste. We should learn more how to naturally manage our waste and and live in equilibrium as forests do.
Rosannette Quesada was born in a small city in Costa Rica. She studied biology and did her master’s at the University of Costa Rica. Rosa then decided to study daddy long legs and traveled to Brazil to do her Ph.D. She’s always loved being outside showing people nature, and now she works teaching students about the importance of tropical ecosystems in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Rosa have a deep interest in animal behavior, especially sexual selection and paternal care, and in science communication.