Born in central Mexico, Juan Palacios soon became a Texan when his family migrated to San Antonio during his early years. Throughout his life, he has always been fascinated by nature and wildlife. Raised on a large plant nursery, he was able to experience nature in a truly immersive way that not many of his urban childhood peers could. As he grew up, Juan was drawn to TV series like the late Steve Irwin’s The Crocodile Hunter and nature documentaries, further igniting his passion for nature and animals.
The ocean had always drawn him in, so when the time came to choose a college, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was a perfect fit. Juan was especially inspired by Dr. Paul Montagna’s oceanography course and sought to learn more by volunteering in Dr. Montagna’s HydroEcology Lab at HRI. Today Juan works part-time in the lab as a Student Research Assistant, identifying organisms found in samples collected from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He enjoys working with HRI’s researchers and applying what he’s learned in class to his work in the lab and becoming more familiar with benthic species and their taxonomy.
Juan’s ultimate goal after graduation is to one day work as a researcher at Queensland’s Australia Zoo, home of Steve Irwin.