Carolyn Fitzsimmons

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Carolyn Fitzsimmons is a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Outside of work I

I exercise to relax. I do a boot-camp outside year-round. Plus I got into running long distances after I came to Edmonton. I like being outside and the people who run are fun. I'm trying to start volunteering with the MS Society, but it is hard to find time.

Outside of work I
My career path is

I originally wanted to be a veterinarian. But I took some genetics courses in my 3rd year of undergrad that got me interested, and did a research project in my 4th year that got me hooked. Then I did my Master's at the U of S. After completing that I took a job as a research technician at Iowa State University. I wanted to learn more about livestock genetics from a different angle and make money to pay off some of my student loans. Then I went on to do a PhD in Sweden. There I met a few student at ISU who introduced me to their supervisor. Afterwards I did a Post-doc in Australia because I always wanted to go there. Also, I wanted to work with cattle again, and was not ready to come back to Canada yet. After 3 years I applied for the job I have now.

My career path is
My advice to others

Do what makes you happy! You don't need to make a million dollars, but reality is that you have to support yourself. Don't be afraid to change your mind about what makes you happy.

My advice to others

About me

I was born/grew up in: Colonsay, Saskatchewan, Canada

I now live in: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

I completed my training/education at: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon (BSc, MSc), and Uppsala University, Sweden (PhD)

About me

I am motivated by

I enjoy solving logic problems, and that is how I view genetics, like it is one big logic problem that we don't have all the pieces to yet. I also like when a theory I have based an experiment on shows through in the results - very cool. I'm still at the start of my career so I hope these results can one day benefit producers, but that is a long journey.

I am motivated by
How I affect people's livesMy research helps the beef industry in Alberta understand and use new genetics methods in an effective manner. My teaching responsibilities help undergraduates at the U of A learn about the beef industry in Alberta and Canada, and helps to prepare them for life after university.
How I affect people's lives
What I do at work

Many of my daily activities involve organization - data, experiments, people who work for me. I use my science background to review papers, articles students have written, write proposals, and grant reports. I organize lectures and assignments for the class I teach - Applied Beef Production. During the semester I often answer questions from students about class, both via email and in person.

What I do at work
When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Geography
  • History
  • Math
  • Industrial Arts
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Liked reading
  • Was really creative
  • Always knew what I wanted to do

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