Growing up in the Yukon, I have always been attracted to the vast, spectacular and sometimes harsh landscapes of the North and the sense of adventure associated with such places. So, after obtaining my B.Sc. from the University of Victoria with a double major in Chemistry and Biology, and having decided to pursue graduate studies, it felt natural to choose a thesis topic in Arctic science. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta, under the supervision of Dr. Vincent St. Louis, studying the cycling of mercury in arctic aquatic ecosystems. Some arctic freshwater fish, such as Arctic Char, and marine mammals, including Ring Seals, Narwhals and Beluga Whales contain high concentrations of mercury which is a potential health risk to Northern Peoples consuming these animals as traditional food. My research focuses on identifying the sources of methylmercury ? the most toxic and most readily bioaccumulated form of mercury ? to aquatic foodwebs by understanding the biogeochemical processes which control the production and decomposition of this contaminant. The data for this project was collected during two cruises aboard the CCGS Amundsen research icebreaker encompassing marine sites from the North Open Water Polynya to the Beaufort Sea as well as during four field campaigns conducted outside the ArcticNet framework in Quttinirpaaq National Park (Ellesmere Island, NU) working on wetlands, ponds and lakes. My general research interests include Biogeochemistry, Limnology and Environmental Chemistry, especially as these pertain to contaminants and carbon cycling. I am also a former member of the ArcticNet Student Association executive committee, which was an exiting opportunity to work closely with other students and become more involved in ArcticNet.
University of Alberta