Thoughts of a graduate student in behavioural ecology (Part I)

(A male Ruby-crowned Kinglet.) The cognitive and behavioural ecology (CABE) program is a good fit for those who are intrigued by how animals interact with their environments. I was introduced to animal behaviour during my undergraduate studies at Memorial by Dr. David Wilson (the current chair of the CABE program). I had the privilege of … [Read more…]

Master plan?

(Open excavation at  Anse à Bertrand, Saint-Pierre (2019)) Entering the second year of my master’s, I paused to think about the choices that led me here. Coming from Ottawa, I chose to move to Newfoundland to pursue an undergrad in marine biology, at Memorial. That decision was apparently a surprise to most who knew me, … [Read more…]

Let’s all be naturalists!

I’m at a conference. It’s 10:30 am, after the morning session, and people are spilling out of sessions all around me, most stopping to look for the nearest coffee station. I meet up with a group of my lab mates. I’m primed and energized from the great talks I just experienced, and I’m preparing myself … [Read more…]

Balancing life, school, and everything in between

I’m a busy person. I’m sure you are too, and so, likely, is most everyone you know. This is my second semester of my Master’s program, and when I went to the graduate orientation the speakers said something like “You will be busier than you have ever been in your life.” I thought to myself, … [Read more…]


Hello from Reno, NV! I am writing this post in the midst of The Wildlife Society Conference. I spent the last three months preparing for and attending this and another conference at the end of August, so I think it is a fitting time to write a post about my perspectives and experiences at conferences. … [Read more…]

Pronouns, and how to be a trans ally in academia

(This is a picture of my conference badge from the Qualitative conference in the summer. I wrote my pronouns on my ID badge, and so should you! And if you see someone’s pronouns on their name tag or ID badge, ensure you use those pronouns!) “Hi, I’m Shannon, and my pronouns are they, them, and … [Read more…]

Welcome and Welcome Back!

Welcome new graduate students and welcome back to our returning graduate students for the Fall 2019 semester! We are very excited to be resuming the graduate student blog for the 2019-2020 academic year. This year we have 10 graduate students who will be blogging about their first-hand experiences in graduate studies. Follow their journey throughout … [Read more…]

Stress and Distractions

(The site of Kivalekh on Okak Island, where I sampled from) Hey everybody, I arrived back in St. John’s a couple of weeks ago. I am taking it a bit easier now after having gone around the city to get supplies and planning for my field work over the last couple of months. I am … [Read more…]

The search for stability – Musings of a wandering academic

I have been moving in pursuit of my academic goals for 11 years. Since graduating high school, I travelled from Ontario to Alberta, to Newfoundland, and back and forth between Manitoba and Newfoundland, for a total distance of more than 17,500 km. And that just counts fully uprooting and moving my life between provinces, not … [Read more…]