My name is Magalí Vilariño, I am a 23-year-old Argentinean, senior student of environmental engineering at University of Nacional San Martín (UNSAM), in Buenos Aires.
On January 2020 I had the pleasure to spend 6 weeks as a visiting student at the Environmental and Sustainability Institute laboratory as part of my Supervised Professional Practice. I worked on a research project, under the tutoring of Dr. Laura Newsome and her research group from Camborne School of Mines.
The project aimed to develop a new and more environmentally friendly way of recovering lithium from brines by studying the potential of certain microorganisms for a biological recovery. Lithium is an essential component of sustainable technologies that support the decarbonization of modern economies. More and more lithium is required for batteries to store renewable energy and power electric cars.
There is no doubt that the experience I was able to carry out and all the knowledge I gained would have been impossible without the support of Dr Laura Newsome. Her daily focus on science and hard work was an inspiration for me and it is an experience that I will never forget, as well as all the beautiful moments shared both inside and outside the lab with her and the whole team. Thank you for letting me participate and giving my contribution by applying what I had learned at UNSAM to this research, thank you for transmitting me your passion, but above all, thank you for making me feel that I belonged to the laboratory since the very first day.