I completed my basic training in biology, with a focus on mammals, in Colombia, but I never forgot about plants. My interest in the world of living organisms mostly stems from the fact that my native country is home to 10% of the planet’s biodiversity. Seeing so many wonders made me want to showcase them, and that’s how photography became both a passion and work tool.
Becoming an author and publisher of popular science books has opened doors for me. I got stung by the travel bug and discovered that war wasn’t part of everyday life in other parts of the world. The desire to move away pushed me to the point of starting the process to leave Columbia and settle in Canada with my family.
My wife, young daughter and I came to Quebec in 2010 after learning French and taking all the steps to emigrate. It wasn’t easy to break the ice (in every sense of the word), but we did. I decided to return to university and to—almost—turn into a lab rat! Biotechnology was an avenue worth exploring and seemed to be a promising field.
I had heard about Medicago and its platform before I even finished my studies. Being part of this adventure was the only thing I had in mind. It took me four years and multiple interviews to break through. Today, I’m surrounded by a team that gives itself and me the opportunity to better understand processes. Every question and suggestion matters, and it’s nice to be part of this ecosystem. Integrity and adaptability are an intrinsic part of me, and I found Medicago shares these values. You have to be honest in science, because you must find and accept the truth at all costs. There’s no shortcut. As for adaptability, it’s part of Mother Nature, which rules everything.
I still do photography when I’m not working at Medicago. I keep using the traditional technique from when I worked with film and there was little room for error. Every picture counts and I treat it like a painting. I derive great enjoyment from each image’s lighting, colours and balance. Techniques have evolved with digital technology. It has its advantages, but I still believe every picture should be worth taking.
Whether I have a device in hand or not, I soak it all in. It’s like my brain takes pictures of everything. I know how to appreciate every smile, every bird that takes flight, or how a ladybug delicately lands on a leaf.