Daniela is researching narratives about immigration on social media created by different actors including politicians, content creators, immigrants in general and immigrant influencers exploring platformed forms of persuasion, belonging, identity, and algorithmic (in)visibility. Her doctoral project focuses on Instagram and TikTok. She is conducting this research in the frame of a joint PhD agreement between Erasmus University Rotterdam and University of Huelva in Spain.
Daniela is originally from Quito, Ecuador, a city nested in the middle of the world and surrounded by the Andes. She became an immigrant at age 20, when she moved to the US, and was fortunate to obtain a full scholarship to pursue her undergraduate education in Communication Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). In her years at UMD she was introduced to research methods in the social sciences and was able to intern with various scholars conducting fascinating research in the field of Communication, getting acquainted with qualitative and quantitative research methods and becoming really excited about an academic career.
In the next years, life happened, and Daniela found herself working in the non-profit sector, and moving from the Washington DC area to California, Ecuador, and Southern Spain. Almost a decade after getting her BA, Daniela went back to school to obtain a research MA in Education and Communication and then started her PhD studies in sunny Huelva, Spain under the supervision of Dr. Amor Pérez-Rodríguez and Dr. Paloma Contreras-Pulido. Three months after starting her PhD, COVID hit and Daniela had to adapt to the new situation, which also modified her original research plan.
During this period, Daniela reached out to Dr. Amanda Paz Alencar, an expert in Media and Migration at Erasmus University Rotterdam, whose research was of great interest to her dissertation topic. They began working together and collaborating in various publications and mentorship. In the process, Daniela was invited to collaborate with Dr. Alencar and Prof. Dr. Payal Arora on a research project about digital inclusion for refugees with UNHCR. This is how Daniela began working with her Erasmus University dissertation supervisors in a time of constraints and opportunities afforded by COVID and the virtualization of our lives.
Daniela is in the last year of her PhD and is excited to be able to be part of the Erasmus family for this last stretch. She is thankful to have this amazing opportunity.
In her free time, Daniela enjoys playing and enjoying time with her two daughters, husband, and puppy, and playing the ukulele.