Magali Houde (she/her)
I was born/grew up in: Montréal, QC
I now live in: Montréal, QC
What I do at work
I conduct research to better understand the presence of pollution and the effects of chemicals in aquatic organisms. These studies are carried out with my team and other researchers. Some projects are done in the laboratory. Other projects are carried out in the field. For example, we might be on site in the St. Lawrence River where we collect samples for analysis. These samples could be things such as fish or water.
My work also takes me to the Arctic where I help measure pollution in wildlife. This is important because wildlife is an important part of the Indigenous Peoples traditional diet. My work is done in French and English. Through my work I have partnerships with northern communities, as well as government and universities. In addition to managing a scientific team, I also supervise the work of students.
My career path is
I didn't know what I wanted to do when I was younger. I just kept creating and trying opportunities. These led me to the university and then to graduate studies. I've completed my Bachelor and Master degrees in Quebec. I then went to Ontario to complete a PhD. in Environmental Biology. I took a couple of years after my graduation to welcome my first two kids. Then I officially started working as a research scientist. I have been enjoying my career and my work since then.
I am motivated by
I like knowing that the work that I do matters to Arctic Indigenous Peoples, to the general population, as well as to next generations. This work allows me to travel the world and meet other scientists. I love the relationships that I have made within northern communities. This career also allows me to arrange my schedule so that I can be present for my three kids.
How I affect peoples’ lives
The work done by my team helps identify potential pollution threats to the environment and human health. Results from our studies sometimes support the ban of specific chemicals used in our everyday life. These bans help to ensure that the environment is kept clean and healthy.
Outside of work I
I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking in the woods and running around city parks.
My advice to others
I believe that you have to follow your instincts. Do the best you can to create opportunities. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to try things. If something doesn’t work then try something else