Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I like to understand how plants work and respond to their environment. A graduate degree will give me flexibility to pursue research topics that interest me and I believe are worthwhile. I enjoy teaching and research and this gives me the possibility of continuing that on into the future.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
The Forestry program at UBC is a world-class program with a strong research record. Our lab has industry and government collaboration which increases the reach and applicability of our research. With lots of conference opportunities, an interdisciplinary faculty and encouraging researchers, grad school has been a rewarding experience so far.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The opportunities and programs for professional development and guidance offered at UBC for graduate students were a good surprise. It seems like the opportunities to develop professionally and academically are abundant on campus. As a forestry student, the proximity to a variety of surrounding forest types and hands-on learning makes the experience in Forestry at UBC unique.
What do you hope to accomplish with your research?
I hope to contribute to research examining how plants use nitrogen and identify potential areas to improve nitrogen utilization in plants. Hopefully we can determine whether it is possible to breed for increased nitrogen uptake efficiency in plants. Further, to determine if climate change induced alterations in the nitrogen cycle will impact the fitness of populations of plant species with large geographic ranges.
What has winning a major award meant to you?
It gives an indication that my research project is worthwhile and important. It also provides the financial security to conduct research without the worry of financing my education.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Network and take opportunities to meet your fellow students and get involved in activities that are not directly related to your program. The more you work and discuss outside your normal research project, the more well-rounded you will be.