Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I had the opportunity to be involved in a few different research projects during my undergraduate studies at the University of Victoria. I immediately found research rewarding and exciting, and graduate school was an opportunity to take ownership of a research project and dive into new areas of biology.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I came to UBC because I wanted access to state-of-the-art research facilities and to join UBC's network of excellent molecular biology researchers. I was also choosing a graduate program in early 2020, when the future was full of uncertainty, and I made the decision to prioritize being close to home and my support network.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I was drawn by the intersection of its incredibly diverse research programs at a common goal of understanding human genetics to help prevent and treat disease. Further, everyone I spoke to about the program gave me the sense that it's a welcoming and collaborative community, and an exceptional environment in which to complete graduate studies.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I had visited Vancouver often before living here, and knew it as an exciting and bustling place. A nice surprise was that it's not hard to find the quiet, peaceful parts of the city when you need them.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
Every day I look forward to being in the lab, collecting data and talking science with my labmates. I also appreciate every opportunity to communicate my science and find it valuable to reflect on which aspects of my work are relevant to different audiences.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I will always be grateful for my thoughtful mentors at UVic, and the opportunity to participate in a range of different research projects, from genetic engineering to salmon genomics. Throughout my career, my diverse background will allow me to contextualize the foundational research I am conducting and help me to effectively engage with stakeholder groups.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I like exploring new bike trails around Metro Vancouver, birdwatching, and cooking or doing art with friends.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Make time for fresh air, sleep, exercise, and eating healthy. Also, make sure your workspace is ergonomic.