Before the age of sixteen, I changed three home countries without changing my residential address. Then I moved to another country. At eighteen years old, I moved again. At twenty-two, again. Again at twenty-eight.

I was born and raised in a small town on the coast of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1994–2002), or Serbia and Montenegro (2002–2006), or Montenegro (2006–2011). In 2011, I hopped on a plane by myself and left my home country to attend Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong, a high school with two hundred students from more than ninety countries, on a full merit-based scholarship. In September of 2013, I moved to Vermont, USA, as a Davis UWC Scholar to study at Middlebury College where I obtained my undergraduate degree. Then, in 2017, I moved to Maryland, where I obtained my master's and doctoral degrees. Finally, in 2023, I moved to Stockholm, Sweden, where I have lived ever since. Being a member of different communities constantly reshaped my personality by putting various skills and parts of my identity forward and, in turn, strongly influenced my development as a scientist.

Nowadays, I am most likely to be found in my office in AlbaNova, but ever so often I tunnel out to enjoy a good play, concert, crème brûlée, or a volleyball game. I grew up on the Adriatic coast (Herceg-Novi, Montenegro), which probably explains my love for water sports: I am an avid swimmer and love everything sea-related. You can find me at the pool multiple times a week, swimming with the Masters. Other interests include reading, creative writing, spoken word, (programming and human) languages and linguistics, math puzzles, NYT crossword puzzles, and drawing.

Below is a selection of photographs depicting ± who I am and how I got there, in no particular order.

I am a grateful and proud high-school graduate of the Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong. Being a student in a place that, besides rigorous academics, puts significant emphasis on community service, intercultural exchange, and sustainability has shaped my path as a learner, as well as significantly impacted my understanding of my role in the society. Room 4/306, left to right: Milena (Montenegro), Karen (Hong Kong/Australia), SuhYoon (South Korea), Soukeyna (Senegal). [Spring 2010]
Terrapin Masters Team at an away-meet in Worcester, MA: such amazing swimmers, such supportive friends! [Fall 2021]
Although hiking is not my favorite pastime, I absolutely love spending time in nature. Here, a friend of mine and I are hiking an active volcano, Mount Batur, in Bali, Indonesia, summiting at ~1,800 meters above the sea level. [Summer 2013]
My favorite place in the whole entire world: Herceg Novi, Montenegro. This is where I grew up and in my free time I love to talk someone's ear off about how, objectively, it is the most beautiful place on our planet (and beyond). [Summer 2021]
I LOVE everything water-related, especially if it combines clear skies and deep dives. This photo was taken somewhere in the Adirondacks, and maybe one day I will figure out where exactly. Stay tuned. [Summer 2015]
My first astronomy research experience and one of the moments I fell in love with studying the Universe. Shown are the esteemed members of the #Gliklab, left to right: Larson Lovdal, myself, Carol Hundal, Henry Daniels-Koch, and Prof. Eilat Glikman, standinig at the top of the McCardell Bicentennial Hall at Middlebury College, right outside the Mittelman Observatory, with the Green Mountains behind us. (Photo Credits: Jonathan Kemp) [Summer 2015]
"Sunset glowing o'er the mountains, snowy peaks and winding ways, peaceful stillness o'er the campus, mem'ries of most happy days." All four years, through the good times, and not so good; with friends so kind and strong, so fierce and caring. Middlebury, tour de force. Whatever comes my way, you surely prepared me for it. [Spring 2017]
Here's one more from the -20°C world: post-exam (General Relativity) sunrise hike up the Snow Bowl with my favorite physicists (our backpacks filled with Middlebury bagels.) Bi Hall 525 takes on the new heights! [Winter 2017]
Signing the banner at my first US Masters Swimming Nationals in San Antonio, TX! [Spring 2022]
Swimming with the Terrapin Masters has provided me with a recreational and competative outlet that is central to my well-being in graduate school; this time committment has become a non-negotiable time block in my schedule. [PC: Courtney Randolph, Spring 2022]
The winner of the 200-m breaststroke race at the long-course U.S. Masters Swimming National Championship in Richmond, VA: hello! [PC: Jeffrey Strahota, Summer 2022]
Photography is something I am trying to get better at: here's an M.C.-Escher-like photo taken at a D.C. metro station. Not getting lost in D.C. (or anywhere really) is also a new skill I am trying to cultivate. [Fall 2020]
Tomás Ahumada and I, two UMD Astronomy graduate students at the Kennedy Center, catching some Rachmaninoff Concertos between classes. [Fall 2018]
Another thing that astronomers love to do between their classes/research blocks is to spike some volleyball. Here's the astronomy IM Team "Dirty Snowballs" after playing the final in the UMD IM league (2nd place!) [Fall 2019]
Getting a driver's license during the COVID pandemic was probably one of the best things that I did---immediately followed by a road trip through the U.S.---12 days, 10+ states, 100+ miles hiked, 100s of rocks climbed, and 1000s of miles driven: here's a snapshot from the Arches National Park. [Fall 2021]
Living in the D[M]V area means I get to see my favorite exibits, musicians, and artists quite often! Here's a photo of my favorite spoken-word poet, Andrea Gibson, performing at the 9:30 Club in D.C. [Summer 2018]