What was your first job after graduation?
I was hired as an Associate Researcher by the Northwest Biological Research Centre (CIBNOR, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico).
What was the most important connection you made?
One of my Biology 209 students from the 1992 class, Jean-Paul Danko. After I returned to Canada from Mexico in 2000, Jean-Paul was the university programs coordinator at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BC). He invited me to teach a Marine Ecology course in the summer of 2002. Although I thought that I was out of my league to teach such a course, he convinced me that I could do it. I prepared that course for four months before that summer, the course went fantastically well (we even published four papers with some students), and I learned so much by preparing the course that I became more competitive for jobs, and in 2003 I won the nomination for a Canada Research Chair at St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, NS), where I’ve been working as a prof for the last 10 years.
What is your best memory from your time at UBC?
Honestly, every moment. The vibrancy of UBC, its great people (especially the Department of Botany), its beautiful campus, the library (which we visited to read the latest papers in paper form!), the always exciting bookstore, the great food court, and especially my PhD supervisor, Robert DeWreede and my lab mates between 1992-1997.
What is your dream job?
The one that I have now at St. Francis Xavier University: a professor of marine ecology with my own Marine Ecology Lab, where I supervise graduate and undergraduate students in research, which is what I truly love doing. I owe that tremendously to my unforgettable years at UBC.