Lycee Claudel (primary and secondary), The Collegiate (last year of secondary in 1993; my parents moved across the country), University of Toronto (1994-1998), University of Guelph (1998-2001), University of Cambridge (2002-2007)
BSc Honours, MSc, MPhil, PhD
After my PhD I worked in France, Spain and Germany doing research in different labs
I am a lecturer
University of St Andrews
Favourite thing to do in my job: discovering something no one has ever seen before
I am Canadian but have been living and working in the UK and Europe for a looong time now-you could call me a scientific nomad! My two cats have lived in 4 countries with me in the last 10 years
When I am not doing sciency things, I love the arts, architecture, food, traveling
I am an evolutionary developmental biologist, with a sprinkle of cell biology and genomics
My Typical Day
No typical day, that´s the great thing!
I do all sorts of different things-from teaching, to computer analysis, to lab work. I may spend time taking care of my animals in the aquarium, or looking at results under the microscope, or simply meeting and discussing research with my PhD students or colleagues. Sometimes I go to exotic places to do fieldwork, or attend conferences, or write up my research papers. I do read and answer a lot of emails… It can be a very long exhausting day, but it is NEVER boring!
What I'd do with the prize money
I would really like to build a super skinny transportable aquarium to showcase the amphioxus properly
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
outspoken, quirky, creative
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I wanted to understand the amazing organismal diversity we see around us and how it came to be
What was your favourite subject at school?
Technical Drawing actually, though I loved languages and science
What did you want to be after you left school?
I was pretty sure I wanted to go to University to study science of some kind
Were you ever in trouble at school?
hasn´t everyone been? I was pretty "goody two-shoes" really though
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
An architect I think-same way of thinking as a developmental biologist (understand how to build structures!)
Who is your favourite singer or band?
so difficult! Adele/Evanescence/Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin/Cowboys Fringants/Manu Chao/Johnny Cash....depends on the day!
What's your favourite food?
again, so difficult. I am pretty partial to smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel....or anything with bacon (smoked and "streaky", obviously) or maple syrup-I am French Canadian after all!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
still trying to choose..
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
to be smarter (everyone can be smarter!) ....and to be taller....and I can´t remember the third-oh yeah, to have a better memory
Tell us a joke.
Person 1. Why did the chicken cross the road? Person 2. I don´t know, why? Person 1. To get the Chinese newspaper. Person 2. I don´t get it. Person 1. Neither do I-I get the Times (terrible joke from my youth. I will try to remember a better one)