Jaramillo, who is from Panama, is able to fund some of her important Ph.D. research as a result of being awarded a prestigious fellowship with the UNESCO-L'Oréal Fellowships for Young Women in Life Sciences for 2011.
Every country can nominate as many as four top young women scientists for these awards, according to the organizers. The selection process includes over 1,000 women each year.
Each Fellow must be based at a host institution outside her native country. There have been 165 fellowships awarded since 2000. The winners receive $40,000 over two years. They are required to attend a six-day awards ceremony in Paris, which Jaramillo attended last spring.
“It was a great honor to receive this award,” said Jaramillo. “I was very excited and proud to be the first Panamanian scientist to receive it. I was also very excited because it allowed me to fund some of my Ph.D. research.”
Armand Kuris, professor of zoology, and ecology, evolution and marine biology at UCSB, said: “Alejandra has developed a deeply intellectual thesis project, melding immunology and ecology to study the impact of parasites on the behavior and survival of fishes. This has implications for human parasites, some of which also modify our behaviors. She is also an outstanding teacher and is as adept in the field as she is in the lab. Also, she already is among the authors of a high profile paper on the ecology of parasites. In other words, she is a very well-rounded young scientist who is a rapidly rising star.”