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Very Employable Person (VEP) - Kristine Hammill

NAME: Kristine Hammill

Contact email: hammillkm@gmail.com LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinehammill/ Degree: M.Sc. in Biology (aquatic toxicology) Title of Thesis: The effects of parental carbamazepine and gemfibrozil exposure on sexual differentiation in zebrafish (Danio rerio) Institution and Advisor: Dr. Joanna Wilson, McMaster University Graduation Date: September 2016 Career Goals: To have a fulfilling and rewarding career in environmental science, toxicology, or in a broader sense, the application or communication of science to help ensure a sustainable future. I’ve had many diverse co-op and contract positions that have exposed me to the public and private sector, as well as both research and regulatory work. I have enjoyed each unique experience and remain open minded to where my career will take me. Connection with Laurentian SETAC: I started attending pub nights my first year of grad school, and continue to make it out now whenever my schedule allows it. Accomplishment I am most proud of: My MSc! I changed projects in my second year (more on that below) and the new project was highly dependent on histology – something I knew next to nothing about at the time. I plugged away with hard work and determination to master the new skill, collect my data and write my thesis. Not only did I finish on time but I got a lot of flattering feedback on my written thesis and oral defence. In retrospect, I do think I was a little crazy to tackle analyzing the gonads of well over 500 fish, but it was totally worth it. Big cheese I would most like to have a drink with: I’m going to change this to the if-you-could-have-dinner-with-anyone-dead-or-alive…and say Rachel Carson. It’s a clichéd answer for this crowd, but she’s been my idol since first year of undergrad. Having excelled at both English and science I’ve always identified with her backstory. She’s a great inspiration for women in science and the fact she essentially started the modern environmental movement is completely kick. Most people won’t guess that I: I’ve run a 30 km road race before (Around the Bay!). Currently I’m training for my first official half-marathon. I’m a huge fan of running. It’s great exercise, gets you outside if you’ve been in the lab or office all day, and you can have quality “me” time with just your thoughts and some sweet tunes. Best laugh I had during my degree: Probably playing Cards Against Humanity with the entire lab in attendance (supervisor included) at Rice Lake. Best weird science moment: The conjoined twin zebrafish that were bred in our lab (parents and embryo completely untreated). It was neat to see, but for ethics they were only kept a few days post fertilization. Most memorable conference I have been to during my degree was: SETAC Salt Lake City! Actually, I wrote a blog about this for my lab’s website (shameless plug) that you can check out here: http://wilsontoxlab.ca/first-conference-experience-kristine-tells-all/ My graduate experience was more than just a degree because: It helped to build more character than digging holes at Camp Green Lake. As they say “the struggle was real” during my first year of grad school. I hit many road blocks that were out of my control (sick fish – not so fun). My project quickly became a case of Murphy’s law. I changed projects a few months into my 2nd year and was able to crank out my thesis in less than a year. I learned a lot along the way about adversity, resilience, and that things really do have a way of working out in the end. Click here to view Kristine's resume. -Submitted by Oana Birceanu

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