BECOMING A Phylogenetic Plant Ecologist Researcher

Do your students want to pursue a career in the scientific academic research? Are they passionate about Biology and Ecology? Are they good at researching, writing and presenting? Perhaps pursuing a scientific career as a researcher on ecological and evolutionary mechanisms. Introduce them to the Phylogenetic Plant Ecologist Researcher career with Rafael Molina Venegas.

Meet Rafael Molina Venegas

For this STEM Job Profile, we talked to Rafael Molina Venegas, a Phylogenetic Plant Ecologist Researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, in Spain. As a Researcher, your typical working day involves reading scientific articles written by other colleagues to learn about new concepts, ideas, and theories.

“It is frequently thought that there are scientific investigations that have no impact or are not interesting. This happened to the researcher Thomas Brock in the 1960s when he studied bacteria present in thermal waters in Yellowstone Park. These bacteria and his research have been essential for developing today’s PCR diagnostic tests for COVID-19. This is an example of how research in the STEM field improves our lives.”

Curious to find out more about this job? Read about the related skills and scroll down to find and download his career sheet!


Find out the key skills to becoming a Phylogenetic Plant Ecologist Researcher.


Good mathematical skills are necessary to define models aimed at understanding the behaviour of different ecosystems.


This role requires travelling often to different places in the world. 


Being a collaborative colleague can help you to better work with other researchers.

Writing skills

Writing high-quality articles for scientific journals is an important aspect of this career.

Communication and

Presentation skills

A Researcher has to present his results in a clear and easy way in order to be understood.

IT skills

Having good programming skills can help with collecting and processing heavy loads of data.

Advice to take away

“My advice to students is to develop their studies and professional career in something they really like and to push themselves to travel as much as they can. It’ll help them to meet people with the same intellectual interests and it’ll always be an enhancing experience.”

Rafael Molina Venegas

This career sheet was submitted by Álvaro Molina Ayuso and is among the winners of the STEM Alliance & STE(A)M IT – Professionals Go Back to Schools Competition 2022.

The STE(A)M IT project has received funding from the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme project STE(A)M IT (Grant agreement 612845-EPP-1-2019-BE-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD) coordinated by European Schoolnet (EUN). The content of the document is the sole responsibility of the organizer and it does not represent the opinion of the European Commission (EC), and the EC is not responsible for any use that might be made of the information contained.