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VEP – Very Employable Person – Rebecca Dalton

Name: Rebecca L. Dalton Contact email:; Degree: Ph.D. Biology, specialization in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology Title of Thesis: Effects of agrochemicals on riparian and aquatic primary producers in an agricultural watershed Institution and Advisor: Dr. Frances Pick (University of Ottawa); Dr. Céline Boutin (Environment Canada) Graduation Date: June 2014 Career Goals: To continue research in ecotoxicology with the ultimate goal of protecting freshwater ecosystems. Connection with Laurentian SETAC: I first got involved with Laurentian SETAC by attending Ottawa Pub Nights during my M.Sc. and subsequently joined the Board of Directors. I have since served terms as President, Vice-President, and Chair of the Ottawa Pub Night, Annual General Meeting, and Short Course committees. Accomplishment of which I am most proud: I am really proud of successfully defending my Ph.D. I am also very proud of my chapter/publication on passive sampling. This work involved the development of sample preparation and analytical methods that proved to be quite challenging. In the end, I succeeded through sheer determination. Big cheese with whom I would most like to have a drink: Chris Hadfield. His passion for his work is amazing but his ability to inspire so many people is truly extraordinary. Most people won’t guess that I: have hyper mobile joints- definitely an advantage in yoga. I can brag that I have rubbed shoulders with: Dr. David Schindler. I attended one of Dr. Schindler’s seminars and had a discussion with him afterwards. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet one of Canada’s greatest limnologists. Best laugh I had during my degree: After a long, hot day in the field my assistant literally got stuck in the mud and exclaimed “Just leave me here! Go on without me!” For the record, I did help him once I stopped laughing. Best weird science moment: Forgetting something in the greenhouse and returning in the evening just in time to witness a robbery - a long line of ants stealing all the plant seeds I had so carefully sown earlier in the day. Most memorable conference I have been to during my degree was: SETAC Berlin. I was able to bounce ideas around with people in my field who I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. You sometimes learn much more in person compared to in a manuscript. Also, German beer is delicious. Most memorable philosophical moment I had during my degree: This moment came while reflecting on one of my favourite Nelson Mandela quotes during the long, lonely phase of thesis-writing, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” I was struck by a couple of thoughts: 1) that completing difficult tasks are often the most rewarding; and 2) how lucky I was compared to most people in the world that one of my biggest challenges involved doing research I love. My graduate experience was more than just a degree because: I had the opportunity to meet and work with a number of really interesting and intelligent people. I learned a lot about science and also about myself. Click here for Rebecca's CV.

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