I am currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. If you would have told me 10 years ago I would be doing scientific research I probably would have told you “you’re crazy”, but I couldn’t be happier!
I have always had a love for the outdoors and enjoyed learning, so why not make a career out of it! During my last year of high school I decided to take all the advanced science classes to “keep my options open”. This led to a Pure and Applied Science degree in Cegep, which then was followed by a undergraduate degree (B.Sc.) in a Specialization of Environmental Sciences at Concordia University (Montréal, Québec, Canada). While at Concordia I was fortunate enough to have spent two seasons on the varsity football team, where after my second season I received Academic All-Canadian Status. This was the clincher – my future and focus turned from the gridiron to my academics.
In 2008, I completed my B.Sc and was left asking like many other undergraduate students after completing your undergrad; What do I do with my life now? Struggling with this question for some time and numerous discussions with people and some of my professors, the answer became clear…. “Go somewhere completely different” one professor told me… My response… “Sure”….this came in the form of a cross country move (+3,600km) to Edmonton, Alberta to pursue a Masters degree.
What an experience! What a reality check, and what a culture shock! I traded in chic cafes, poutine, and sugar shacks of Québec for the big, jacked up trucks, steak, and rodeos of Western Canada! A great life choice, that only took about 6 months of complaining to get my head around.
At the University of Alberta I was introduced to the world of academia and research. Under the guidance of a great supervisory committee, my love for research and science began to flourish. Here, is where I began to understand the inner workings of the scientific community; the discovery, hard work, and passion it takes to make it. In 2010, right before my thesis defense, that nasty question lurked again when I was asked: What are you doing after this? I thought I had already answered this question. I had my stuff all packed up ready for a move back home, and I was luckily offered a position with the Canadian Forest Service (CFS). So I began to unpack and stay a bit longer. Working for the government over the next two years provided me with an ample opportunity to network and develop my skill set, while also getting a much different perspective outside the world of academia. However, it was about this time I quickly understood the government cuts to the various environment departments would prematurely lead me out the door, I knew it was time to continue the journey of back into academia. In 2012, after a great 4 years out west, I traded in my cowboy hat back for gravy and curd cheese and moved back to Montréal to begin Ph.D (See the Research – Research Tab or PhD Project).
In the summer of 2017, I successfully defended my Ph.D and headed back out west to work in Edmonton (AGAIN!).
I make my home currently in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with my lovely wife Amanda and our German Shepherd, Zeus. When I`m not working, I love to spend time with family and friends, I also love hiking and being outdoors! A die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan who bleeds black and gold, I try to venture down south at least once a year to see a game live!
Growing up in a hard working family, I developed a love for classic cars. I currently own two: my pride and joy “Lola”, a 1965 Lincoln Continental and “Berta”, my 1982 GMC K2500 pick up (Alberta influenced).