People


 

Gillian Fuss: Executive Coordinator

Where I’m from: Victoria, BC 

I’m researching: I am a MsC candidate in the department of Forestry. My research looks at changes in water quality associated with land use and how to protect water supplies for smaller communities.

Responsibilities:  I am responsible for overseeing the program's finances, including budgeting, fundraising and processing expense claims. I also support our team of coordinators in all administrative aspects of the program and manage our website 

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science: I love how we actually reach out and talk to people, making connections between people, the planet, and how to study it. It helps the person be more successful, but also improves our society by fostering trust in science and a responsibility to the great outdoors!!

Email: gillian@ubclts.com


 

Kaitlyn Harper: Volunteer and Internal Relations Coordinator

Where I’m from: Portland, Oregon 

I’m researching: I'm an MSc student in the School of Population and Public Health. My research is in molecular epidemiology; I look at how changes to the small intestine affect the health of young children in low-income countries.

Responsibilities:  I help out the executive coordinators in managing all the UBC Let's Talk Science programs and I'm your go-to person for all things volunteer-related!

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science: I love how everyone in Let's Talk Science—the executives, the volunteers, and the teachers—are all SO passionate about science and work together to provide the most exciting and engaging opportunities for students!

Email: kaitlyn@ubclts.com

 

Connie Leung: Teacher Partnership Program Coordinator

Where I'm from: Vancouver, BC 

I'm researching: I am a PhD candidate. I try to find novel genes involved in obesity and diabetes. I figure out how these genes are involved in increasing body weight and how they alter insulin secretion. 

Responsibilities: I match volunteers with teachers and make sure they have everything they need for their classroom visits. I also organize groups of volunteers for full day visits to schools that are further away. 

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science:  I like the continuity that you get with the teacher partnership program, the fact that you get to interact with the same group of students over the year. You get to see the students learn and grow as scientists. You get to witness their 'aha' moments, and be the person who helped them get to there. It is such a rewarding feeling!

Email: partnership@ubclts.com

 

Evelyn Sun: Community Events Coordinator

Where I’m from: Sao Paulo, Brazil

I’m researching: I'm a PhD student in the department of microbiology and immunology studying a specific type of bacterial motility associated with the opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  

Responsibilities: My responsibilities are to set up and coordinate Let's Talk Science events in the community. I work to ensure that awesome and fun activities take place in our community to deliver the love of science to students everywhere.

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science: Inspiring young people to love science and think like scientists! When I was young, I was inspired by an education outreach program just like Let's Talk Science and that's what led to my career today so I love being a part of something that can inspire a person to pursue a career in science. 

Email: community@ubclts.com

 

Andrew Santos: Community Events Assistant Coordinator

Where I’m from: Toronto, ON

I’m researching: I’m a PhD student in Microbiology and Immunology. I study the mechanisms that pathogenic E coli use to hijack host cell pathways, ultimately causing disease.  

Responsibilities:  I’m responsible for setting up activities with various community groups throughout Vancouver. This community outreach puts us in touch with people of all ages, where we deliver activities ranging from Science booths and demonstrations to the Let's Talk Science Challenge: an annual hands-on science competition for elementary students.

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science: Showing people of all ages that science isn’t intimidating or scary, rather that it’s exciting, fun, and fascinating. 

Email: community@ubclts.com

Sherie Duncan: Rural Trip Outreach Coordinator

I'm from: Burnaby, BC

I'm researching: The use of microfluidic platforms for monoclonal antibody discovery. I'm a postdoc at the Centre for High-Throughput Biology.

Responsibilities: In partnership with Genome BC, I organize UBC LTS trips to classrooms and communities in areas of British Columbia outside of the Lower Mainland. 

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science: Sharing my passion for science and bringing fun, hands-on activities to students all over BC and Yukon.

Email: trips@ubclts.com

Deborah Good: Mentorship Coordinator

Where I’m from: Golden, Colorado 

I’m researching: I'm a master's student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. I'm improving a method for calibrating radio telescopes, specifically for use on the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), an experiment that will help us learn about dark energy. 

Responsibilities:  I coordinate the mentorship program, meaning I recruit and pair graduate and undergraduate student mentors with elementary or secondary school students to help students develop, implement and present science fair projects. 

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science: I love presenting science in a fun, non-threatening context and watching people realize they can enjoy and understand science. Also, I became interested in science largely through outreach programs, so I love the opportunity to give back.

Email: mentorship@ubclts.com

Eva Yap: SMaRT Coordinator

Where I'm from: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

I'm researching:  I'm a Master’s student at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre. I research large-scale methods to explore the genetic code of tumours and apply this in a clinical setting to personalize treatments for cancer patients.

Responsibilities: I coordinate the SMaRT program. I liaise between the UBC Community Learning Initiative and Let's Talk Science to help equip UBC graduate and undergraduate students to deliver engaging and hands-on activities in Vancouver elementary schools.

My favourite part about Let's Talk Science: Obviously, I’m biased towards the SMaRT program! It is an awesome program that relies on the collaborative efforts of many enthusiastic individuals who love science such as graduate and undergraduate students as well as elementary school teachers. More importantly, the SMaRT program reaches out to schools in East Vancouver with the goal of improving accessibility and diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.  

Email: smart@ubclts.com

 

Cora Skaien: MEED (Modules in Ecology and Evolution) Coordinator

Where I’m from Stirling, Alberta

I’m researching: My PhD focuses on investigating how spatial heterogeneity in natural selection can cause phenotypic divergence between plant populations in an island archipelago, and how gene flow between populations can impact phenotype. Specifically, I use a plant-herbivore system to look at the impacts of grazing on plant populations. 

Responsibilities: I am responsible for the Modules in Ecology and Evolution Development program (MEED), where we create 1-3 hour interactive modules for K-12 students to explain biological concepts. I am also involved in the SMaRT and Mentorship programs in conjunction with BIOL 201.

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science: Bringing people together to share their love of science, and spreading that love to children and young adults, to hopefully inspire a love for science in them. 

Email: meed@ubclts.com

 

 

Alyssa Kirlin: Summer Camps Coordinator

Where I’m from Winnipeg, MB

I’m researching: I'm a PhD candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. My research is trying to understand and characterize the functions of a particular family of proteins, and the roles they play in modifying chromatin and regulating DNA accessibility. 

Responsibilities: I am planning our summer camp, leading a team of volunteers to plan the activities and field trips and act as camp counsellors for the week. I also communicate with the camp's partner school and other community groups and organizations to handle the logistics for everything.

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science: I love seeing the joy and excitement in the students when they are immersed in the hands-on activities I bring in to the classrooms. They remind me how much fun science actually is, and why I started studying science in the first place.

Email: summercamps@ubclts.com

 

 

Chantal Mustoe: Assistant Genome BC Coordintor

Where I’m from Denver, Colorado

I’m researching: I am a PhD student in the Chemistry department. My research focuses on understanding peptide interactions in Alzheimer’s disease and characterising particular types of chemical bonds which may help prevent the toxic behaviour of these peptides. 

Responsibilities: In partnership with Genome BC, I organise community events and local Geneskool workshops.

My favourite part about Let’s Talk Science: I love sharing my passion for science by creating interesting and fun activities which are just as much fun to teach as they are to experience for the first time! 

Email: trips@ubclts.com

 

Rashedul Islam: Website Coordinator

Where I'm from:  Dhaka, Bangladesh

I'm researching: My PhD research focuses on understanding the role of a transcription factor, RUNX1, in regulation of histone modification and gene expression in concert with NOTCH1 gene in T-cell acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. 

Responsibilities: I coordinate website of Let's Talk Science UBC informing our followers of upcoming events and opportunities, as well as broadcasting the great work being done by LTS volunteers.

My favourite part about Let's Talk Science: The most fascinating part is reaching to young generation of scientists to share the excitement of science with hands-on activities.

Email: rashedul.gen@gmail.com

 

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