Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I wasn't done learning yet! I think I'll always be a student at heart and graduate school was in many ways an obvious choice for me to continue to be intellectually challenged. I fell in love with research while working on a few summer projects during my undergrad, and I knew that I wanted to stay immersed in that environment as long as I could. At the end of the day, I'm just a science nerd that is thrilled by the opportunity to ask questions about how the world works (and try to find some answers!).
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
Prestige and...location, location, location. With forests, mountains, and the ocean all a stone's throw away, there's no better place for me to be continually inspired by the beauty and mystery of the natural world. Combine that with a world class university with incredible research opportunities, students, and faculty - and you have a clear recipe for success. I feel lucky to be able to work alongside people that are full of such amazing talent.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Get outside! Whether it's hiking the plethora of local trails and mountains, rock climbing on the north shore, day trips to Bowen Island, backgammon on the beach, or bike rides to Stanley Park, there's no shortage of mini-escapes to be had in between research and (eventually...) thesis writing. Of course, all these things have recently become more fun with the addition of an energetic, adventuring-seeking pup to my four-legged family. It's hard to beat having a dog in Vancouver!
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Don't sacrifice your work-life balance just to finish a degree "on time". Being in graduate school can be a tough transition, but it is also a unique opportunity to pursue something you're passionate about with very few deal-breaking deadlines. There's a lot of flexibility to be had that can give you the freedom to develop yourself both as a person and a scientist and to discover where you want to fit into the world. Foster an open, honest relationship with your supervisor, and don't be afraid to communicate both challenges and successes!