On this International Women's Day, we want to highlight women in the Faculty of Science. A few agreed to answer our questions.
Which female scientist inspired you? Why?
Teacher. Nicky Clayton, Cambridge University, inspired me a lot. She has published innovative articles that have demonstrated cognitive abilities that are still unknown in animals, such as the ability to remember what was done at what time and place (episodic memory). Her discoveries have been around the world and have contributed to the development of studies on the intelligence of corvids and birds in general, when I was a PhD student in this field. Moreover, she has a very full life; she studies and practices several types of dance and is even interested in the junction between her two passions, the art and the evolution of the behavior. Finally, I had the opportunity to meet her during my thesis and she was very generous with her time; By agreeing to have a meal with me and discussing my work, she broke the wall I imagined existed between students and researchers.
- Julie Morand-Ferron, Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Who influenced you to work in science?
Throughout my academic career, I was fortunate to be mentored by senior mathematicians who not only embodied passion for the subject, but also quite directly pushed me to the next step: from choosing the right courses, to applying to the top schools, to setting high goals throughout my career. Their absolute confidence in me (especially at times when I lacked confidence myself) was invaluable, and I have never thanked them enough!
- Monica Nevins, Professor, Department of Mathematics and Satistics
A wish / word for future generations of women in science?
My advice to future generations of women in science is to inspire the love of what you do to everyone! Both younger women and men will see that you have to tools to succeed in what you are doing. This encourages young women to follow their dreams and it really also encourages young men to do the same without seeing any differences in gender. This is the greatest gift we can give to our youth.
- Rashmi Venkateswaran, Senior Instructor/Undergraduate Chemistry Lab Coordinator, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences