June 23, 1970 - July 27, 2019 Dr. Covadonga ("Cova") Rodriguez Arias passed away on the morning of 27 July 2019 in Auburn, Alabama, at the age of 49. Cova was born in Valencia City, Spain, on 23 June 1970 to Mr. Mario Rodriguez and Mrs. Maria Amparo Arias. She is survived by her husband Ash, her sister Marta Rodriguez (husband) Pepe Miñarro, and niece Marta Miñarro. Cova met Ash at Auburn University, where they were both professors in the School of Fisheries, and married him 6 January 2015 in Dadeville, Alabama, nearby the home and farm they built together. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the University of Valencia (Spain) in 1993. She then earned her Doctoral degree in Microbiology from University of Valencia, graduating with highest honors and thereby distinguished herself early-on as an energetic, bright, and promising young scientist in her field. Thereafter, she served as Research Associate at The National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (Spain) (1998-1999) and University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (1999-2002). In 2002, she was hired as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the School of Fisheries at Auburn University. She was tenured and promoted through the ranks and ultimately was Full Professor and Assistant Director within the School. Cova's unique perspectives, expertise, and passion for science and mentorship attracted students from many countries to learn from her and work in her laboratory, and her research discoveries brought her, her students, and the university national and international recognition. At Auburn University, Cova was loved by all who knew her as a compassionate, gentle, selfless, dedicated, honest, and loyal friend and colleague. She always spoke her mind and advocated on behalf of her students and colleagues. Cova had a passion for horses and dogs, and she cherished her time spent with Buddy and Bella (dogs), Tristan (horse), and Kate (mule) at the farm and with her dear friends Carmella Belloch, Alexander Neef, Kristen Selikoff, and Taylor McIntosh. She was a bright light that helped us all see the world and each other better, and she gave everything she had to burn as bright as she could for her whole life. A memorial gathering will be held at the Auburn Alumni Center (317 South College Street, Auburn, AL, 36849) from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Friday August 2nd. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directing.