Where are you from?
I grew up in Durham, Ontario, went to high school in Hanover at John Diefenbaker Secondary School, and then did my undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Guelph. I moved to Lethbridge in 2009 to work at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research station. I worked there for a year and it motivated me to go back to school to do grad studies. I felt I needed more skills and loved learning. I began studying with (Dr.) Ute (Kothe) and finished a Master of Science in 2012 and a PhD in 2016.
How long have you been at the University and what do you do here?
I’ve had several different roles at the U of L. During graduate studies, I did a lot of science outreach with Let’s Talk Science. I was involved in starting Spooky Science and Let’s Do Science Day. In September 2016, I started with Destination Exploration as program coordinator. It was a wonderful opportunity to bring science education, STEM and hands-on activities to a lot of different communities and different age ranges. They do really great work. I was recently hired as an instructor in Chemistry & Biochemistry. My main responsibility right now is running the high school iGEM team. I’m also manager of Synbridge, which is a synthetic biology maker space and the only one of its kind in Alberta. It provides researchers, community members and industry partners with access to equipment and expertise that wouldn't normally be available to them. I’m also program coordinator for RNA Innovation. I’m very excited about this program because it’s a great way to help students learn research skills and get real-life training with industry partners.
What’s the best thing about working at the U of L?
It’s such a nice community. It’s small enough that you know a lot of people. There’s a sense of helping each other out. Everybody who works here really cares about the University. I’m very excited about moving into the new Science and Academic Building.
What’s your all-time favourite movie?
The Last Unicorn. Best movie ever. Based on the book by Peter S. Beagle—he came and did a Q&A here a few years ago at the movie theatre. It was great! I regret not getting him to sign a copy.