Dr. Roseli Ocampo-Friedmann was a botanist and microbiologist who mainly specialized in the study of extremophiles. Her groundbreaking work was even cited in “terraforming” Mars. Dr. Ocampo-Friedmann earned her degree in botany from the University of The Philippines in 1958. Shortly after, she went to earn her master’s degree at Hebrew University to eventually work for the Manila’s National Institute of Science and Technology. In 1973, she went on to get her PhD under the instruction of Dr. Imre Friedmann and the two married in 1974. By 1987, Dr. Ocampo-Friedmann became a professor at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. She discovered over 1,000 different types of microorganisms in extreme environmental conditions in her travels. After successfully cultivating some of these organisms in her laboratory, she published her findings which NASA eventually cited in 1976 for studies involving Mar’s habitation. Dr. Ocampo-Friedmann’s work gave the much-needed foundation for studies involving some organisms’ ability to survive harsh conditions and will always be remembered for her ambitious persona.
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