Samantha Gene

PhD Student, Biology

I have always had a love of freshwater ecosystems; I remember questioning my mother endlessly about the blue green algae that prevented me from swimming in the lake during some of my childhood summers. During my B.Sc. Env. co-op degree at the University of Guelph, I found a name for my interest; ecotoxicology. As a co-op student I was first introduced to the complexities of my field while exploring the impacts of herbicides and surfactants on wetland ecosystems while working with the Canadian Wildlife Service. I was able to continue investigating the interactions between chemical contaminants and the environment through the Chemicals Management Plan when I was again granted the opportunity to work for Environment and Climate Change Canada. I further developed my research skills as a research assistant for the Prosser Lab at the University of Guelph. It was there that I investigated vegetated buffers as a runoff mitigation strategy, and the toxicity of microcystin to freshwater mussels. I am currently investigating the toxicity of microplastics to herpetofauna in freshwater systems. When I’m not trying to learn more about aquatic ecosystems, I am swimming in them, or reading by their shores.