Florida International University

Summer 2013 Worlds Ahead Graduate


Tatiana Gaona-Narvaez

Ph.D., Geosciences

School of Environment, Arts and Society

College of Arts and Sciences

As a child, Tatiana Gaona-Narvaez’s home country of Colombia fell victim to the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, which erupted in 1985, killing more than 20,000 people. As Tatiana watched the aftermath on the news from her hometown of San Gil, she was determined to help people understanding geological catastrophes and decided to pursue her career in geosciences.

Tatiana earned a B.S. in geology in 2001 from the National University of Colombia in Bogota and worked as a junior geologist for the Colombian Geological Survey. Tatiana then went on to earn her M.S. degree in paleontology from the Claude Bernard-Lyon University in France in 2003. Back in Colombia, she procured funding and designed projects in popular science to educate people about the importance of geology in their daily life.

Under the mentorship of professor Florentin Maurrasse, she began to pursue her Ph.D. in Geosciences in 2007. She studied the geological process by which the world’s oceans produce the rock sources of hydrocarbons such as petroleum. She is also thankful to professors Rosemary Hickey-Vargas and Laurel Collins in the Department of Earth and Environment for their support in this academic journey.

After graduation, Tatiana looks forward to pursuing a career in exploration petroleum geology.