Maritza Castro Contreras is an undergraduate student of Marine Biology at the Faculty of Marine Sciences of the Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile (FCM-UCN) and thesis student at the Center for Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands (ESMOI) and Sala de Colecciones Biologicas (SCBUCN). Her research focuses on the ecology and conservation of sea pens from the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, with her work titled “First ecological characterization of sea pens assemblages (Octocorallia: Pennatuloidea) in the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, Southeastern Pacific ” and she hopes to expand the range of study of sea pens present on oceanic islands and seamounts in Chile.

Maritza carried out her professional practice in a sea turtle rehabilitation center called “Karumbe” located in Uruguay, carrying out field work and treatments on the sea turtles that entered the center. This will be her first expedition and she is very happy and excited to collaborate on it.