Event aims to inspire next generation of female scientists

What do the elements polonium and radium, the first computer algorithm and the first direct evidence of dark matter all have in common?  They were all discovered by outstanding female scientists.

Women in the scientific community contribute compelling and life-changing research globally every day, but the United Nations (UN) estimates that less the 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are female. In order to achieve full and equal access to science for women while also achieving gender equity and the empowerment of women and girls, the UN General Assembly declared every Feb. 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

To recognizing the remarkable female faculty and students within the Brock community, an event is being held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Brock’s second annual Women in Science event will feature 11 guest speakers from a wide array of scientific disciplines who will discuss their research and rewarding career paths. In addition to inspirational presentations, the event will include virtual breakout groups that will allow attendees to discuss science at Brock and address questions undergraduate students have about their own academic and career trajectories.

“We want the event to show women that there is a path for them to become professors and researchers at universities,” said Mariana Garrido, a PhD student in the Faculty of Mathematics and Science who spearheaded the Women in Science event in 2020. “Hearing the success stories from our speakers and graduate students may inspire the next wave of women scientists to help change the world.”

Jolia Custodio, a second-year Biological Sciences student, recalls her experience at last year’s event.

“The first Women in Science event left a strong impression on me,” she said. “To witness a supportive and uplifting community of women partaking in science was so wholesome and wonderful to see, and I made new friends along the way.”

Faculty of Mathematics and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed emphasized the importance of encouraging science’s next generation of female greats.

“Without women scientists, many of our most important scientific advancements would remain undiscovered. They bring a different perspective to the scientific world,” he said. “Our Faculty must continue to make women scientists feel welcome and supported. Gender balance and diversity is an important pillar of the Faculty.”

Six of Ahmed’s last nine PhD students, and all four of his current master’s students, are female.

Women in Science is open to all Brock students, faculty and staff members as well as the public. To register for the event, visit the Women in Science web page.

The speakers list for this year’s event includes:

  • Debbie Inglis — Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and Director, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute
  • Karen Campbell — Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Kiyoko Gotanda – Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Nota Klentrou – Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
  • Laura Broley — Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Math and Statistics
  • Bridget McGlynn – Master’s student, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, who will present “Social-Ecological Network Analysis of Flood Management in the St. John River Basin”
  • Daislyn Vidal – Master’s student, Department of Health Sciences, who will present “The role of mitochondrial membrane phospholipids in muscle mass homeostasis during overloading”
  • Elizabeth Al-Jbouri – Doctoral student, Department of Child and Youth Studies, who will present “Mean Girls: Engaging Diverse Psychological Approaches to Study Girls Bullying Girls”
  • Hanna Vance – Master’s student, Department of Applied Disability Studies, who will present “Recent Trends in Pay Equity Among Behavioural Health Practitioners”
  • Juana Goulart Stollmaier – Doctoral student, Department of Chemistry, who will present “Synthesis of C-1 analogues of natural narciclasine”
  • Katrina Carbonara — Doctoral student, Department of Health Sciences, who will present “Early identification of women at risk of preterm labour”

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