How do stars form from the clouds of gas and dust present in galaxies, and what role does star formation play in the evolution of galaxies? These key questions were addressed at the XXIII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics, a yearly event organized by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, this year's theme being the internal evolution of galaxies. In this interview, Professor Daniela Calzetti reveals some key issues to understanding star formation and explains how we may study phenomena that occur in galaxies. Calzetti is a foremost authority in the field of star formation and dust properties in nearby and remote galaxies. She is currently based at the University of Massachusetts (USA), her research heavily dependent on the use of space telescopes (HST, SPITZER, Herschel).