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Biology grad student recognized for leadership

by Kelly Foss

A fourth-year PhD Biology candidate is one of three Atlantic Canadian recipients of the 2008 Graduate Student Award of Merit from the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada.

Robyn Auld will receive a $2,500 prize, which is given annually to women graduate students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the university or general community while maintaining exemplary academic records.

Ms. Auld is currently researching the life history of the hairy chinch bug, a common lawn pest in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Her effort to understand how the insect develops “alternative life strategies in unique environments,” particularly in this province’s cool climate, may lead to better pest management strategies that can benefit homeowners and the environment.

Throughout her university career, Ms. Auld has participated in causes and activities she feels strongly about, from spearheading a departmental seminar series to chairing the MUN Biology Graduate Student Association.

She has shared her knowledge through her involvement with educational workshops and peer training programs at MUN and has instructed a departmental course in co-operation with others.

This passion has also been shared with the community as Ms. Auld has previously been active with the Newfoundland and Labrador Ultimate (Frisbee) Association and encouraged young women to consider careers within the science and engineering fields as a weekend science instructor.