Despite her origins high up in the Andes mountains, Clara has built a career working beneath the surface of the world’s oceans. Being trained as a diver in the Colombian Navy, she began her archaeological career working on the 18th century Spanish shipwreck Conquistador. Working on various underwater and terrestrial archaeological sites in the following years, Clara completed an undergraduate degree in anthropology at the Colombian National University, followed by a Masters degree in Maritime Archaeology in the UK’s Southampton University. Her subsequent PhD research focused on traditional boatbuilding in the remote jungles of Colombia’s pacific coast.
Though she can happily lose herself exploring historical texts and archives, there is no doubt that Clara’s heart really lies in fieldwork. The logistics surrounding underwater research, as well as the sheer joy of being in the water, draw her to work almost as much as the archaeology itself. Recent years have seen her supporting and leading underwater archaeological research projects in Lebanon as part of an international team, but her experiences and interests are not confined to any particular region or time period.
Aside from archaeology, Clara also holds a deep fascination with the natural world. This has been fed by experiences in the diverse environments of her vast homeland, as well as travels further afield to some of the earth’s higher latitudes. Clara now lives in the United Kingdom, and when she is not in or on the water likes to spend her time exploring dry land either on foot or by motorcycle.