Student Vignettes

Juan Millan-Otoya

Juan Millan-Otoya is pursuing a doctorate in marine biology with a concentration in chemical oceanography. He grew up in Colombia, where he studied marine biology as an undergraduate. He loves living in St Pete because it’s still a small city by American standards. There is plenty of green space to walk around in, as well as museums and playgrounds for his two children.

He wants to use science to bridge the disconnect between scientists and the general public through communication. He believes the public mistrust scientists, even though their findings are based on methodical procedures and data. He hopes to work to mend the divide so that more people can understand and learn about science. He’s passionate about climate change and plans to continue studying it during his time at USF, focusing on pH and Ocean Acidification.

Juan loves USF for several reasons. “The faculty that we have here are experts in their field, they really know what they’re doing. The location of the school is great. There are so many institutes locally that open a lot of opportunities for collaboration for you. USF is continuously moving forward from a high point of excellence and keeps trying to reach that. The community here is very nice and very close. It’s like a big family.”

What fish would Juan be and why? “I’d be a white shark. Then I could eat whatever I wanted.”

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