ViridiViridiana Avila-Magañaana grew up in Mexico. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Biology, where she studied the conservation of RNA thermometers across bacterial taxa. She also earned a master’s degree in Biochemistry and Bioinformatics studying Internal Ribosome Entry Sites in mammal genomes. She became fascinated by understanding the molecular communication among animal and microbes establishing symbiosis in a complex and dynamic environment, such as marine environments. She pursued a Ph.D. at PennState University where she studied the comparative genomics of Caribbean coral reefs species, the upside-down jellyfish, their photosynthetic algal symbiont, and associated microbes under the current threat of climate change. Viridiana joined the Li lab, a welcoming and diverse lab, as a postdoctoral scholar in 2020. Her current work focuses on studying the evolution of the metabolic crosstalk and regulatory mechanisms of photosymbioses established within diverse marine invertebrates and their microbes