María José Petit-Rodríguez


  • Experimental Faculty of Sciences of the University of Zulia (FEC-LUZ)
  • María José is an alumnus of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), a professional scholarship program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State.


    • She represented Venezuela in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Young Ocean Ambassador, sponsored by the same U.S entity. María José has published over 10 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and actively participated in over 20 scientific events as an author and co-author.
    • She was a Research Assistant in the Geographic Information System lab at the Ecology Center at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research (IVIC). She is a Best Research Award winner of the Student Research Network of the University of Zulia (REDIELUZ) and Award Recipient of the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF). She is the Co-Founder and Director of the STEAM Learning Lab.

Licenses and Certifications


María Jose is known for her passion for knowledge, which influenced her to choose a science career. Her drive led her to become a Research Assistant at her University and steadily started working in ecology scientific research. María José is skilled in dissecting scientific findings in easy-to-understand texts; she has found a purpose in bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and public understanding.

She co-founded the STEAM Learning Lab, a maker space where children and teenagers can delve into science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics-related topics. This educational initiative highlights Maria Jose’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of curious minds.


Her areas of expertise include :

  • Ecology
  • Marine Conservation
  • GIS
  • Science Communication

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