Itxaso Quintana grew up in Bilbao in the Basque Country, Spain. She did her first two undergraduate years at the University of the Basque Country. Making use of the Erasmus and America Latina exchange programmes she completed her BSc at the University of the Azores in Portugal and the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil.
She holds an International Masters Degree in Applied Ecology (IMAE) under the Erasmus Mundus Master Course (EMMC) scheme. This enabled her to study at a variety of universities in Europe and South America: University of Poitiers, University of Quito, University of Coimbra, and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. The fieldwork for her MSc thesis was done in the Brazilian Amazon, where she studied the human impact on nesting patterns of threatened river turtles.
Thanks to the Global Training Programme funded by the Basque Government, Itxaso arrived in South Africa in December 2019. She assisted with the monitoring programme of the African Black Oystercatcher on Robben Island, and with the coordination of BDI citizen science projects. She now helps with the coordination of the BDI online events, especially the Citizen Scientist Hours.
In October 2020, she travelled to Cambridge, where she is an intern for the Tropical Biology Association.