I am currently in an Honours Bachelors of Science program at the University of Toronto. My majors are in Paleontology and Biology, with a minor in Philosophy of Science. So when I graduate it will be in the field of Paleobiology (to a certain extent) and I will be looking for opportunities in museums and research laboratories to gain additional experience in fossil preparation, excavation, and research. I considered additional graduate schooling, I love learning, but I am eager to work first. I still have yet to narrow down my love of fossils to a specific critter (or set of critters) and I think some hands-on work will help me do that. My interests range from evolutionary radiations after mass extinction events to childhood favourites of pterosaurs and ankylosaurs… which isn’t exactly all that helpful.
One of the first fossils that I discovered is actually a nautiloid. While I was studying astrophysics and debating switching majors, I was sitting by the Credit River. I tend to find a body of water when I need comfort, having grown up beside the Bay of Fundy. I’m not even sure how I came across it anymore but I remember turning this ‘rock’ over in my hand and thinking it looking like a bone with teeth marks in it. I held onto it to show to one of my professors, wondering what type of animal could have a bite so strong to cut into bone like that. The professor corrected me and told me it was a nautiloid, but that I would have to find an invertebrate paleontologist, as he couldn’t tell me any more than that. We chatted about how he had actually completed some of his graduate work not far from where I grew up in Nova Scotia, and then he gave me the name of a professor to go speak to.
I did find the next professor, the one who could tell me more, and inquired about the nautiloid. The conversation led to my application for a summer field position photographing fossil localities. After my contract was up, I decided I would keep researching the nautiloid on my own and never stop looking for answers until I was satisfied. It turned out the fossil was far from where it should have been. It must have traveled in a storm or been physically carried by some method or another, but either way there it was in my house. That funny looking ‘rock’ changed my whole career path. Ever since that day, I never lost my curiousity, my spark, my smile. I love discovering fossils in the field, I love studying them in the lab, I love reading as much as I can about them in books. I finally found my niche.
Other stuff: I am on my second career. I am 31 years old. I did E.C.E. previously. I currently do Science Outreach in classrooms on a volunteer basis with Let’s Talk Science. I believe all children should have access to cool experiments and STEM programs! I also occasionally am contracted to do nature, geology, paleontology photography. I grew up near the Atlantic Ocean. I have celiac disease (no gluten). I also am a huge sci-fy/Marvel/DC nerd. I am terrible with names.
Note: the above pictured fossils in the header are randomized, (selected from my personal gallery) and they are not nautiloids.