"I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Daphne Goring in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto. My PhD research in Botany and Plant Pathology focused on arsenic tolerance and hyperaccumulation in the unique fern genera Pteris with a focus on Pteris vittata in the laboratory of Professor Jody Banks. During my graduate studies I expanded both my skill set at a plant molecular biologist as well as my abilities to be a critical and thoughtful scientist. I found that the facilities in the department were good with greenhouse and growth chamber space as well as support staff. I most definitely benefited from our seminar series as well as the interdepartmental Plant Biology Lecture Series. I did not realize it at the time, but I appreciate that the Botany Graduate Student Organization (GSO) ran a fundraiser that helped contribute to graduate student travel grants to conferences in addition to funding from the department. As a teaching assistant in the department I was able to get valuable teaching experience as a graduate student.
I have found that what has been the most important aspect of my time at Purdue was that I was properly prepared for the next stage of my career. My PhD studies gave me a strong foundation in the fundamentals of plant molecular biology and the flexibility to pursue a new field of research as a postdoc changing from arsenic tolerance in ferns to cell signaling in pollen-pistil interactions in the Brassicaceae. The teaching experience as a graduate student also helped prepare me for giving lectures to undergraduates here at U of T in the 400 level plant molecular biology class. Lastly, the most important thing that I feel that I have brought from my PhD is the ability to keep learning and expanding my skill set: in the laboratory, in the classroom and now in the office with grant writing and student mentoring."