Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I had considered the possibility of further graduate studies during my time as a researcher at the Institute for Oceans and Fisheries (then called the UBC Fisheries Centre) and decided that I would only pursue a PhD under certain conditions. These included: adequate funding, a skilled and supportive supervisor and a topic that I would be both unlikely to learn about through work experience and willing to work on for the rest of my career. Eventually, I settled on a research topic and degree program that met all of these requirements.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I found a great supervisor who is knowledgeable and treats students with kindness and respect. I had also worked with several members of different faculties across campus and knew that this network could support the broadly interdisciplinary research I was planning.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
There is lots of great research happening in little corners all over campus, so there are always new things to learn about and new opportunities to explore.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
Reconciliation and rebuilding relationships with First Nations – relationships that are built on respect and trust – is one of the most important challenges in Canada today. It’s a very important time to be working in this area and I’m very excited about the practical applications of my research.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Working at the university, as a researcher, prior to starting my PhD was invaluable for helping to prepare me for the next step.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Hiking, camping, skiing… anything outdoors! Vancouver is a great city for access to the wilderness and there are lots of people around UBC who are keen to decompress on the weekend with an outdoor adventure.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Choosing the right supervisor and committee members are some of the most important decisions you will make. Make sure you find a supervisor that is knowledgeable, enjoyable to work with and treats students with respect.