Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
While there are a bunch of jokes that I could make here – a bunch – the honest answer is that I've always just been curious about things, and I get a great deal of satisfaction from the intellectual stimulation of graduate school.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
A number of factors led me to UBC. The reputation of the university and my department were important considerations, of course, but the deciding factors were the quality of my supervisor's lab, his reputation with his students, and our very positive early interactions.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I have to say that I didn't like Vancouver before I moved here for UBC, but I've enjoyed my time here much more than I anticipated. The best surprise to me was that there was more life to the city than I'd noticed in my previous visits (I already knew about the city's access to world-class outdoor pursuits, so that wasn't a surprise). As far as UBC goes, the campus has been the best surprise – especially its trails, parks, and gardens.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
When we get a chance, my wife and I throw the dog and the baby into the vehicle and head off into the mountains. Pre-baby, we did a lot of ocean kayaking and canoeing as well. On my own, I like to explore new neighborhoods on my bike, play ultimate, fish from local beaches, and so on.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Have a blast. Seriously, this is a fun time of life. It's not hard. People say it is, but it isn't. Just treat it like a job, put in your hours consistently, and the work will take care of itself.