I have been teaching at the College of the Rockies since 2013 in the University Math and Sciences department. I teach, primarily, courses in Biology and am currently teaching Introductory Biology courses, second-year courses in Ecology and Microbiology as well as Introduction to Environmental Science. I am also a representative of the College on the BC Biology Articulation committee and am involved in various recruitment and retention activities.
I graduated from Trent University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science with honours in Biology and completed a Master of Science in Biotechnology in 2002 at Brock University. A portion of my research established the importance of habitat type in driving the population structure of certain insect pathogenic fungi and thus the importance of habitat type as a criterion for identifying entomopathogenic fungal strains for use in biocontrol efforts. I also investigated how various environmental conditions affect gene expression of traits related to pathogenicity to better understand the potential for commercial applications of these fungi as biological control agents. I am obsessed with the microbial world, particularly microbial ecology, microbial symbioses, and the incredible ways that microbes interact with, and are fundamental to life on Earth.
Before moving to Kimberley in 2008, I spent several years working as a technician at Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Summerland BC, investigating various aspects of the pathogenicity and virulence of fungal pathogens of cereal crops as well as plant defense and resistance responses to infection. I was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study the art of pottery and then work as a functional pottery maker while living in the Cariboo and Chilcotin.
In the classroom, my main objective is to foster a love of learning. I encourage students to be curious about what they are learning, how they are learning and to explore new ways of learning. I am a firm believer in learning through doing and incorporating experiential learning through lab and field experiences, field trips, guest speakers, and community engagement at every opportunity. Student success is important to me; I find the time that I spend working with students individually to set goals and navigate the challenges to achieve success especially fulfilling.