Q1. What is your educational background?
- BS in Biology at the University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
- MS in Biology at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
- PhD in Zoology at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Q2. What inspired you to become a scientist?
Time spent outdoors with my Dad, a real interest in science, great math teachers in high school, and National Geographic.
Q3. What is your role as a scientist for CWC?
Together with co-PI Dr. Philip Stouffer, and Drs. Stefan Woltmann and Christine Bergeon Burns, I work on the effect of oil on Seaside Sparrows and marsh rice rats. We are examining Seaside Sparrow reproductive success, population size, and dispersal; altered predator-prey interactions in collaboration with Drs. Jill Olin and Linda Hooper-Bui; incorporation of oil into food web; stress hormone levels; and metabolism of PAHs in Seaside Sparrows and marsh rice rats.
Q4. What do you like the most about doing scientific research?
I like everything: formulating an idea, collecting the data, analyzing the data, and writing it up. I think that the inevitable unforeseen challenges are always interesting, and I love seeing what the results reveal.
Q5. Can you describe any surprising findings you have come across so far?
The most surprising thing has probably been the lack of research examining the effect of oil spills on terrestrial vertebrates. Most studies have focused on marine organisms, so I think our work is filling an important gap.