Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I've always enjoyed learning. Doing research in graduate school pushes you to the limits of your knowledge - you're always learning something new and it's addicting, in a way. This research project in particular interested me because of its potential for contributing to increased food security and environmental health.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I've loved the west coast for a long time and have friends in the area, so knew I wanted to be in Vancouver. UBC seemed like the obvious choice due to its reputation and outstanding academic resources. It's also been a privilege to work with my supervisor, who is a leader in the field.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I came to the Faculty of Forestry primarily to work with my supervisor, but since I've been here I've been impressed by how helpful and personal all of the faculty and staff are.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I've lived in small towns or small cities my whole life, so the biggest surprise about UBC and Vancouver is just how much they have to offer. At UBC especially it's nice to be surrounded by colleagues who are motivated, experienced, and gifted at what they do.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I completed a masters degree before going into my PhD, so that helped me a lot in understanding how research is done. I also took a couple of years off after my master's degree and I think that was valuable to help me assess whether I really wanted to do a PhD (I do) and to figure out where higher education fits in the priorities of my life.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I love the outdoors, so as much hiking, camping, and skiing as I can get in. Otherwise, I used to teach piano so still play around on that and I enjoy cooking and reading.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Grad school is a marathon, not a sprint. Mental health and financial issues are widespread among graduate students - aim for balance and be gentle on yourself.