Sushmita Patwardhan graduated from the University of Pune, India, in May 2012 with a double major in microbiology and zoology. She was then admitted to the Graduate Program in Oceanography in the Fall of 2012, when she joined Costa Vetriani’s Deep-Sea Microbiology Lab. Since then Sushmita has been working on various projects related to the microbiology of marine geothermal environments, including the gas vents located at Tor Caldara, in the Thyrrenian Sea off the coast of Italy, and the hydrothermal system of the island of Milos, Greece, in the Aegean Sea. Sushmita’s research interests include the diversity, physiology and evolutionary history of bacteria in extreme marine habitats. Sushmita became a PhD candidate in the GPO in May of 2014 and defended her thesis proposal on April 19, 2016.