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VEP – Very Employable Person – Erin Leonard


Name: Erin Leonard Contact email: leonarem@mcmaster.ca Degree: MSc, PhD Title of Thesis: Nickel bioaccumulation as a predictor of toxicity Institution and Advisors: McMaster University, Dr. Mike O’Donnell (MSc), Dr. Chris Wood (PhD) Graduation Date: Spring 2014 Career Goals: To have a positive impact on the environment through research. Connection with Laurentian SETAC: I had attended the pub nights for a number of years, which led to me chairing the Dinner Meeting Committee in 2009. Over the past six years, I have been a regular delegate at the SETAC NA conferences. Accomplishment I am most proud of: Finishing my PhD Big Cheese I would most like to have a drink with: Chris Schlekat from NiPERA Most people won’t guess that I: like to knit and do needlepoint. I can brag that I have rubbed shoulders with: Brad May (of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks; won the Stanley Cup in 2007) Best laugh I had during my degree: During the late hours of fish dissections, when laughing was what got you get through the long nights. Most memorable conference I have been to during my degree was: My first SETAC NA conference in 2007 in Milwaukee. I gave a platform presentation on using electrophysiology to better understand mechanisms of metal toxicity. I was thrilled by how many people were interested. Most memorable philosophical moment I had during my degree: During a committee meeting early on in my PhD, one of my committee members explained a PhD thesis perfectly: “It’s your opportunity in your career to make an impact on your field in a series of papers.” This statement helped me focus the scope of my PhD and its implications in the field of environmental toxicology. My graduate experience was more than just a degree because: I learned time management. Over the course of my PhD degree, I bought a house, got married, traveled to Brazil for 4 months of research, got a second dog, had my first child and was pregnant with my second child for my defence. I learned the value of both time and energy, and how to use them wisely. I have become much more proficient at accomplishing tasks. Click here for Erin's CV. -Submitted by Matt Graham

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