Marialis Rosario-Franco was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Applied Physics (Electronics) from the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao (UPRH). As an undergraduate student, Marialis sustained a work-study job as a college-level Math tutor for UPRH's TrIO Student Support Services Office for three years. Simultaneously, she worked as an undergraduate research assistant at UPRH's Optical Observatory, where she performed observations and studies of binary star systems.
After completing her undergraduate studies, she moved to Texas to pursue a graduate education at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) Physics Department. During her time at UTA, Marialis had the opportunity to instruct Electricity and Magnetism labs, Astronomy labs, mentor undergraduate students in exoplanet research projects, and tutor AP Physics to high school students. In addition, she has a passion for education, outreach, and science communication. As part of her service, she has facilitated workshops about astronomy and scientific research for high school and undergraduate students. Moreover, she has been a scientific author for Astrobitos for 5+years, where she summarizes high-level research papers in astronomy to a Hispanic undergraduate-level population.
In 2018, Marialis relocated to New Mexico to complete the observational aspect of her doctoral research from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) as a Reber Fellow. Specifically, she performed orbital stability simulations of exoplanets and their satellites (exomoons) to choose the best candidates for observation. Then, she performed radio observations using the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) to survey for emissions from exoplanets with exomoons. Beyond astronomy, Marialis also has experience in Physics Education Research and has co-authored papers in the field. She recently obtained a Ph.D. in Physics and Astrophysics from UTA and is eager to continue educating audiences from various backgrounds. In her free time, Marialis enjoys puzzles, music, art, and the outdoors. Specifically solving Wordle & Sudoku, practicing yoga, hiking, playing the piano, bouldering, visiting museums, and spending time with her puppy, Jupiter Aurora.