Maria C. Moreno-Bondi is currently Department Chair at the Analytical Chemistry Department at Complutense University of Madrid, President of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy and co-leader of the Chemical Optosensors and Applied Photochemistry Group (GSOLFA). She is an Editor of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.
Tell us about your background
I graduated in Chemistry at Complutense University of Madrid in 1984 and received the M.Sc. degree in Analytical Chemistry (1985) from the same University, working in the development of optical fiber sensors based on reflectance measurements for pH monitoring. I got a Ph.D. degree from Complutense University in 1990 with “Summa cum Laude”. My thesis research focused on the design, development and application of fiber optic chemical sensors for pH, Fe(II), oxygen and glucose monitoring, under the supervision of Prof. Carmen Cámara from the Department of Analytical Chemistry.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a woman in STEM?
Some years ago, when I was a mother, the biggest challenge was to reconcile work, family and private life. Research work is very time demanding and sometimes there are no fixed timetables that allow an easy organization of your personal life. Travelling for long periods of time was also a big problem. I had to be separated from my child for a few months during several research stages abroad and this was hard for both.
What have you seen as changes that have happened among women in STEM?
One of the biggest problems we face nowadays is the lack of stable research positions. Competition has increased considerably and many women postpone maternity until they get some kind of stabilization. Many of them are not willing to resign from their personal life and after the Ph.D. they prefer to pursue a career in teaching at high schools or in the private sector.
Did you have a role model that influenced your decision to work in STEM - either inside or outside your field?
My Ph.D. advisor greatly influenced my decision to work in STEM. She was a very active and enthusiastic researcher that collaborated with many national and international groups. This was of great help to meet new people in the field. She always transmitted me the idea that we must pursue our goals and work hard to achieve them.
Maria C. Moreno-Bondi received her Ph.D. (1990) from Complutense University of Madrid. She has carried out research stages at Columbia University (New York), the Oak Ridge National Lab (Tennessee, USA) and the Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, USA) focused on the development of luminescent methods, optical fiber sensors and microarrays for environmental, food and clinical applications. She got tenure in 1991 and, since 2008, she is a Full Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Complutense University of Madrid.
She is currently Department Chair at the Analytical Chemistry Department at Complutense University of Madrid, President of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy and co-leader of the Chemical Optosensors and Applied Photochemistry Group (GSOLFA). She has published over 115 papers in high ranking analytical journals and has been awarded 11 patents, some of them in collaboration with several companies. She received the Young Researcher’s Award from the Spanish Society of Analytical Chemistry in 1993 and the Research Award in Analytical Chemistry from the Royal Spanish Society of Chemistry in 2010. Her research interests are focused on the development of optical sensors and biosensors, and of molecular recognition (nano)materials for food, clinical and environmental analysis.