Costa Rica is known for its ambitious economic, social, and environmental goals and agriculture sector is of great importance. BPI is currently working with researchers from this beautiful country, which borders the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. One of BPI’s Ph.D. students, Marianelly Esquivel, a professor from Universidad Nacional, carries out work on the valorization of biomass. Likewise, in a collaboration with the University of Costa Rica, the student of Prof. Cindy Torres, Daniel Matamoros Arnáez, investigates the production of nanocellulose from agricultural residues.
To get to know Daniel better, we asked him some questions:
Please tell us about yourself
My name is Daniel Matamoros Arnáez, a Licentiate degree chemical engineering student from the University of Costa Rica. I came to UBC for one semester with the objective of furthering the knowledge from my thesis and my work as a research assistant. My thesis focuses on the extraction of cellulose nanocrystals from agricultural residues, while I also perform research on the scale-up of production of nano-hydroxyapatite with my Costa Rican advisor, Prof. Cindy Torres Quirós.
How did you come to UBC and what are you hoping to accomplish through this exchange program?
Since I was little, one of my dreams was to study abroad. Dr. Torres offered me the chance to come to Canada after some years of being her student and assistant. I immediately agreed and began to secure the funds and start the paperwork I needed to come here. There is also one more Costa Rican who is working with Dr. Rojas, Marianelly Esquivel. Hopefully, my one-semester stay can strengthen the relationship between UBC and my country. Even though the time here is limited, my objective is the production of a biocompatible 3D printing hydrogel inks for tissue engineering.
How do you feel about your experience at BPI so far?
Vancouver has made a really good impression, although it’s a little expensive. Coming from a developing country, things even as simple as the efficient public transportation amazes me, but also the breathtaking mountains (which remind me of my home), the UBC campus, and the BioProducts Institute, which is where I am doing my research, are impressive. The laboratories are huge and really well equipped, while the UBC campus is almost like a small city. The people I have met are also really nice. From Dr. Rojas’ research group to my roommates; they have all been really kind and have made me feel welcome.
BPI Team extends a warm welcome to Daniel and wishes him all the best on his exciting new journey in Canada! Pura Vida!