Students & Alumni Spotlight

Welcome to the BRC's Students & Alumni Spotlight page! Read on below to learn more about the diverse experiences, exceptional research, and personal journeys of students and alumni affiliated with the Biodiversity Research Centre. Explore the collection of interviews, illuminating the unique perspectives, research endeavors, and contributions of our community members. Explore their exciting discoveries, academic pursuits, and the profound impact of their work within the vibrant realm of biodiversity and ecological studies. Join us in celebrating the remarkable achievements and diverse paths of these inspiring individuals connected to the BRC.

Interested in sharing your experiences on the Alumni Spotlight page? Contact Ben Scheufler for more information.

Maggie Scuba Diving

November 2023: Maggie Slein

Maggie is a graduate student specializing in marine ecology at the Biodiversity Research Centre. Her primary research involves investigating the impacts of temperature on ecological processes, particularly in marine ecosystems, exploring the thermal variability and asymmetry between biological processes in anemones. With a strong background shaped by a stint working in an aquarium, her passion for ocean stewardship fuels her scientific pursuits. A highly engaged member of the BRC, Maggie revels in the collaborative and open scientific community the Centre embodies, reflecting her efforts in multiple roles like treasurer of the Zoology Grad Student Association, union representative, and GSS counselor. Find out more by reading the interview below!

May 2015: Robin Le Craw, Ph.D.

Robin LeCraw was a PhD candidate with Diane Srivastava. At UBC, she studied the effects of spatial processes at multiple scales, from local colonization of patches to biogeographical shifts in community dynamics and function. Robin used a system of aquatic invertebrates contained in bromeliad rosettes (a tropical plant) in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Brazil to examine the effects of spatial scale on predation and decomposition. Robin now works as an aquatic ecologist with the MMM Group Limited, an engineering and environmental consulting firm in Kitchener, ON. We reached out to Robin to hear about how her experiences at the BRC prepared her for her career in consulting.


April 2015: Leithen M'Gonigle, Ph.D.

Leithen M'Gonigle was a PhD student from 2005-2011 at the Biodiversity Research Centre where he worked with Sally Otto. His work comprised two separate topics: 1) sexual selection and species co-existence (e.g., is it possible that sexual selection might enhance co-existence of species across space?) 2) antagonistic host-parasite co-evolution (can host-parasite interactions affect the long-term evolution of hosts or parasites in terms of other traits like mutation rate or is it just how "parasitic" they are?). We caught up with Leithen as he begins his transition to an assistant professor position at Florida State University.



February 2015: Roya Eshragh, M.Sc.

Roya Eshragh recently completed her Masters with Brian Leander here at the Biodiversity Research Center. Roya explored the fascinating evolution of dicyemids, a little known parasite of cephalopods. We were able to catch up with Roya while she is in Madagascar to hear about her adventures after graduate school.



January 2015: Ross Whippo, M.Sc.

Ross Whippo studied the community ecology of near-shore marine habitats during his master's degree with Mary I. O'Connor at the Biodiversity Research Centre. Ross was interested in the assembly and persistence of invertebrate communities in seagrass meadows. He conducted subtidal surveys using SCUBA and tested the dispersal of several common seagrass-associated organisms in Barkley Sound, BC from the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. We chatted with Ross to hear about his adventures post graduate school and plans for the new year.



December 2014: Jessica Lu, M.Sc.

Jessica Lu got her masters degree in Botany (2013) while working in the BRC with Roy Turkington. Jessica studied plant community ecology and designed a field experiment carried out in SW China. Her experiment involved manipulating the quality and quantity of plant litter and measuring the response in soil nutrients and the detritivore community in subtropical rainforests. We caught up with Jessica to hear more about her experiences.


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