I was born/grew up in: Shelburne, ON
I now live in: Toronto, ON
I completed my training/education at: I did my undergraduate degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology, with a minor in Environmental Resource Management at The University of Guelph. My passion for fish and the aquatic environment lead me to continue my studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where I studied fish physiology and completed my Master’s degree in Zoology. While at UBC I was fortunate enough to also take part in research project studying the effects of ocean acidification on sablefish.
What I do at work
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is a fast-paced work environment. Between managing a team of over 30 Educators, booking fieldtrips and experiences, designing and researching new exhibits and writing for the Deep Sea Diary (the Ripley’s blog), no two days are the same. My job lets me connect with and share my knowledge with a diverse group of people whose love of aquatic life is infectious. My background in science helped get me to my current position. I get to follow my passion and goals to increase conservation of the aquatic environment.
My career path is
I was fortunate enough to know what I wanted to do at a very early age, and from there I just went for it. I did my undergraduate degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology. I discovered I also had a passion for natural resource management (fish are resources!). From there I moved all the way across Canada to BC and continued my studies with a Master’s degree in Zoology. This was probably the most challenging part of my career thus far. It was also the most impactful on both my career and personal growth.
I am motivated by
One of the main things that I love about my job is that I continue to learn. I research and learn about new animals we are fortunate enough to display at the aquarium. I learn about caring for those animals and I learn a lot about how the aquarium functions as a whole (which was completely new to me!). Whatever career path you take, my advice is to make sure you are always learning!
How I affect people’s lives
Have you ever learned something about an animal that catches your interest? Ignites your passion? Those are the moments that I love seeing at the aquarium. Those are the moments that I am lucky to say, “I helped create that”. Hopefully, the guests that experience those moments leave the aquarium with a new found passion for aquatic conservation.
Outside of work I
In my spare time, you can usually find me near water. I enjoy snorkeling, diving, and fishing…or just on a floaty in the water. I also enjoy reading, playing sports (soccer and Frisbee), and catching new movie releases!
My advice to others
My advice to you would be that you don’t need to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life just yet. Every job you have will help you determine what you like and what you don’t like, and hone in on what makes you happiest.