Paths-Post-PhD Panel

New to the symposium, OCIB 2024 will host the PPP (Paths Post-PhD) panel with a diverse group of scientists and professionals. From academia to industry, entrepreneurship to policy-making, this panel will explore the myriad paths that PhD holders can embark upon, offering insights, guidance, and personal anecdotes. Panelists will share their experiences navigating the post-PhD landscape, highlighting the challenges and opportunities they encountered along the way.

Take a look at the exciting panelists and moderator for this year’s panel!

Dr. Tuan Bui

Dr. Tuan Bui is an associate professor and Vice-dean of graduate studies at the Faculty of Science at uOttawa. He earned a PhD degree in Physiology from Queen’s University and did a postdoctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University before becoming an assistant professor at uOttawa in 2013. His lab investigates neural circuits of the spinal cord controlling movements in fish and mammals.

Dr. Eugene Fletcher

Dr. Eugene Fletcher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and holds a cross-appointment at the Institute of Biochemistry at Carleton University. Prior to joining Carleton in the summer of 2023, he served as the Research and Development (R&D) Lead at Escarpment Laboratories, a yeast company based in Guelph, Ontario. At Escarpment Labs, he leveraged his expertise in molecular biology, biochemistry, and microbial physiology to spearhead an active research program focused on developing yeast strains for the competitive craft brewing industry in Canada and abroad. Eugene earned his PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where he specialized in developing synthetic biology tools to investigate microbial stress. Following his PhD in 2014, he pursued postdoctoral training at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg (Sweden), Technical University of Denmark, and the University of Ottawa. In addition to his academic and industry experience, Eugene holds a 2023 US patent and is passionate about moving ideas from the lab bench to market.

Dr. David Lapen

Dr. David Lapen received his Ph.D. at Queen’s University in 1998 on wetland development processes in southern Newfoundland.  He is currently a research scientist at the Agroclimate, Geomatics, Earth Observation and Agroenvironmental Resilience Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Ottawa.  Dr. Lapen leads the  Environmental Change One Health Observatory (ECO2) that focuses on the benefits and trade-offs of natural capital in agro-ecosystems using a One Health lens: specifically, how natural capital influences water quality/quantity, infectious diseases, crop productivity, GHG emissions, and biodiversity. Dr. Lapen applies this One Health work to other initiatives such as Canada1Water; a national scale modeling and decision support activity angled at reducing impacts of climate and land use changes on public health and food and water security.

Dr. Stacey Robinson

Dr. Stacey Robinson is a Research Scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada and an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Biology at Carleton University. She studies the impacts of contaminants on wildlife at the National Wildlife Research Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her research program assesses the effects of pesticides and other contaminants on wildlife, primarily frogs, using laboratory, mesocosm, and in-situ caging exposures. Dr. Robinson completed her Ph.D. program in biology at Carleton University. Her Ph.D. research was in the field of ecological parasitology and ecotoxicology, where she focused on the interactions between contaminants and parasites in birds to help recognize constraints on wildlife health. Her first full-time position after graduate school was with Statistics Canada as a Biologist working on the Canadian Health Measures Survey where she found many of the skills she developed during graduate school were highly relevant for the position. On a more personal note, Dr. Robinson currently lives south of Ottawa with her husband, Nick, and their ten-year-old son, Cooper. She enjoys gardening, hiking, kayaking, and playing hockey with her son.

Dr. Jennifer Rowland

Dr. Jennifer Rowland is an experienced professional with a strong background in environmental management and policy development, particularly within the Department of National Defence. She has held various roles within the department, including Audit Manager (current), Manager of Environmental Management, Deputy-Director of Strategy for Infrastructure and Environment, and Acting Director of Policy, Strategy, Governance, and Environment. Dr. Rowland’s educational background includes a Doctorate in Environmental Science from the Royal Military College of Canada, where she developed a methodology for compiling indicators to assess the ecological sustainability of military training areas. She also holds a Master’s degree in Plant and Environmental Science from the University of Western Ontario, where she conducted survivorship experiments on the endangered sand dune plant, pitcher’s thistle, to determine methods for increasing its population size in its natural environment. Additionally, she has an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Windsor, where she studied phenotypic plasticity in barnyard grass to develop effective weed management techniques for developing countries.

Dr. Azam Tayabali (Moderator)

Azam Tayabali is the lead Research Scientist for Health Canada’s Biotechnology Lab (Government of Canada) and an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University (Biology) and Université de Sherbrooke (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). Tayabali’s efforts for >20 years have focused on research to support the regulation of microbial biotechnology products. His research focuses on virulence mechanisms of opportunistic bacteria and fungi, immunotoxicity, and development of biosensors for pathogens. He has represented Canada on several international expert advisory groups (OECD, ISO) and participates in Canada’s Interdepartmental Biological Sciences Safety and Security Community of Practice.