The work: academic & professional life
I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where I also completed my undergraduate education at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary. My aimless undergraduate studies eventually resulted in a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography.
After my undergraduate education (and after some literally aimless wandering around the globe), I went to work in Calgary’s energy sector at a geomatics and survey company. For several years, I worked both in the field and office surveying, CAD drafting, and GIS mapping for energy development in Alberta, before returning to university to pursue graduate studies in the environmental sciences.
I completed my PhD research at the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta, under the supervision of Dr. Andreas Hamann and Dr. Scott Nielsen. My PhD research focused on using species distribution models to assess past and future range changes for North American tree species.
My first postdoctoral fellowship was under the supervision of Dr. Andreas Hamann at the University of Alberta and Dr. Sally Aitken at the University of British Columbia. I was part of the AdapTree project, which uses genetic, landscape, and socioeconomic analyses to develop seed transfer strategies for forest tree species in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Through this posting, I also worked with the AdaptWest project, in collaboration with several other researchers from the USA and Canada, with the objective to “provide [conservation] planners with detailed knowledge with which to compare different approaches, and with data that can inform planning throughout much of western North America.”
Most recently, I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biometry and Environmental System Analysis at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (University of Freiburg) in Freiburg, Germany, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Carsten Dormann. My research here was mostly focused on statistical methodologies, specifically on reliable validation of statistical models when data are autocorrelated (a common problem in ecology!). I also worked with genetic field trials of North American trees planted in Europe.
The balance: personal and recreational pursuits
When I’m not working, I spend as much time outdoors as possible with my family and friends. I enjoy a variety of athletic activities including cycling, running, orienteering, and triathlon. I also support cycling and running communities through coaching, event planning, and event support. When I slow down, I tend to head out hiking or camping.
On rainy days, I prefer to hone my coffee and bread-making skills, build epic LEGO creations with the kids, read books about things other than science, or simply park on the couch and binge-watch Battlestar Galactica all over again.
I also take a lot of photos, mostly of the afore mentioned activities (with the exception of BSG watching), for which nobody has yet offered me heaps of money.