Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I loved researching and writing during my undergraduate honours thesis – I really enjoy the process of weaving the story of an experiment. Because of my undergraduate experience I wanted to continue within the field of academia, and a masters program is the next step in that journey.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
The zoology department at UBC was recommended by my honours supervisor; he said that there was fantastic research coming out of the department and that it was a friendly environment – turns out he was right! From a non-academic perspective, I knew that I would have to move to a big city for graduate school, but I wanted to live somewhere close to nature. Vancouver has so many parks to explore and some of the mountain trails are even accessible by public transit – it's great.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I was surprised by the wonderful teaching culture here at UBC. There is a lot of interest from faculty members to constantly improve their teaching and to contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL). I recently took a graduate class focused on the pedagogy of teaching and learning; it really opened my eyes up to how much amazing research and professional development is happening on campus. If you're interested in being a Teaching Assistant or teaching in the future, then you have a lot of support from UBC faculty and administration to help develop your skills.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I love my project! Some days are frustrating, but my thesis is developing a new method which keeps me excited. Before coming here I had never worked with insects or microfluidics, so I've had to learn a lot over the past year. Thankfully I have a very supportive supervisor who has balanced guiding and challenging me throughout my project. I also enjoy the seminar series run through the department, it's a great way to learn about different research projects at UBC and around the world. I'm looking forward to the day when I can implant my oxygen sensors into a model species, as seeing them operate in vivo will be amazing!
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I like to exercise; it clears my mind and allows to focus when I'm in the lab. Specifically, I love hiking and running – I just completed my first half marathon, and I am looking forward doing some more while I'm here in Vancouver. I volunteer with Let's Talk Science; getting kids excited about science is always rewarding and a lot of fun. I also love to cook and eat, so Vancouver is a great place to be from that perspective!