Almira Astudillo Gilles was born and raised in the Philippines. A research associate in anthropology at the Field Museum Chicago and the National Museum Philippines, she holds a PhD in Social Science, an MA in Comparative Political Systems, and an MA in Labor Relations. She has published in many genres and received the Philippine Presidential Award for her writing in 2012. Her first, novel, The Fire Beneath: Tales of Gold (Carayan Press, San Francisco: 2012) was inspired by the discovery of the largest collection of gold artifacts in the Philippines and was a finalist for the Chicago Book of the Year Award. In addition to writing, she handles operations for a silkworm startup in the Philippines. Current projects include “Art and Anthropology: Portrait of the Object as Filipino” and a science book for young readers, Hotspot, Cool Country: Biodiversity in the Philippines, to be published by the National Museum Philippines.