Symbiosis: n.  (sym·bi·o·sis \ˌsim-bē-ˈō-səs, -ˌbī-\ ) The living together in more or less intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms 

To this day, I remember one particular biology concept I learned in school: symbiosis.

Symbiosis is the relationship between any two species in an ecosystem. In general, this relationship can take three forms: commensalism, parasitism or mutualism. Commensalism results in one species benefitting while the other stays the same. Parasitism is the predation of one over the other. Mutualism is the mutual benefit from interaction with one another. So, I ask myself which of these three interactions has man entailed with his environment? More importantly, which of the three do we want to prevail?

My name is Candelaria. I was born in the surroundings of Córdoba, in Argentina. Although one of the largest cities in the country, Córdoba is still small and surrounded by nature. I learned about nature by being in direct contact with it, to the extent that my greatest ‘hobby’[1] was climbing trees. As a child, I wanted to be an environmental lawyer, which seemed the only way to transform man’s parasitical interaction into a mutualistic relationship. However, as I grew older I decided to approach my passion for the environment from a different perspective. I studied both International Relations and Political Science at Universidad Católica Argentina; as a great professor once told me, “at the end of the day all begins with a political decision’.

Merging my studies with my childhood passion I decided to pursue a Master’s in Environmental Sciences. My aim is to devote myself to environmental policy, since policy is a key element in the protection of our environment. My aim is to help create the social and political frameworks needed to turn a parasitical symbiosis into a mutualistic one.

[1] If 1. Climbing trees can even be considered a hobby and if 2. Kids even have hobbies. (I’ve always considered hobbies something adults invent to feel like a child again).