Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
A simple reason is that I love insects and plants! I enjoy the process of working to better understand insect and plant systems. I hope to use my degree to continue engaging with this process and to have future opportunities to develop this knowledge into strategies and that help to conserve these diverse organisms as well as the ecosystem functions that they provide.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I had previously completed my MSc degree at UBC, and during that time I really benefitted from UBC’s resources, community, and atmosphere, and had also become settled in Vancouver. With the opportunity to move to a PhD program working with an advisor whose expertise overlaps with my research interests, I was happy to continue here at UBC.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
One aspect that attracted me to the program was the opportunity to collaborate and learn with other grad students at UBC who all have a passionate energy for their work. Another aspect that attracted me was the opportunity to conduct research on the properties affiliated with the LFS faculty (such as the UBC Farm). Having easy access to outdoor research space and the site managers is a convenient way to get started with research ideas.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
After I moved to Vancouver, I was surprised by how much I enjoy walking! Now one of my favourite things to do is to walk around my neighborhood or to take a more roundabout path home from the bus stop while listening to an audiobook, podcast, or music. There’s an interesting combination of busy and quiet streets around my apartment and my neighbors put so much effort into making their gardens look beautiful so it’s always a treat to take a break and wander around for a few minutes.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I’m really excited to pick up with my research projects next summer!
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Probably having the opportunity to work in different contexts before returning to grad school. I was able to work for both a government agency and as a lab technician at a different university. I had been involved with research as an undergrad as well but having these different opportunities and working alongside different mentors allowed me to explore different interest areas and more so helped me to have a clearer picture of what life would be like after grad school. I think having this bigger picture of a rough pathway is a helpful guiding tool.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I like to read (especially fantasy/scifi/horror), play music (guitar and learning how to play banjo!), try to identify some of the cool mushrooms we have here in BC, bake bread, and hang out on my patio garden with my cats
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
I think that keeping a planner/agenda (physical or virtual) is a big help, both for remembering the gallery of moving target obligations and for scheduling relaxing or hobby time.