Mal-U graduate receives prestigious national award

November 27, 2006 - 4:00pm

Submitted by Ruth Salmon, Communications Manager, Centre for Shellfish Research

A graduate of Malaspina University-College recently received prestigious recognition for her scholastic achievements.

Soleil Switzer, a 2004 graduate of MU-C's Biology Department, has been awarded a post-graduate scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

“It is a huge privilege for me to receive this award – my interest and enthusiasm for science and research have been sparked here at Malaspina” said Switzer.

The two-year NSERC Industrial Post-graduate Scholarship will fund Soleil's Master of Science research, which she commenced in September 2006 at the University of British Columbia and Malaspina’s Centre for Shellfish Research (CSR). These scholarships provide financial support for highly qualified science and engineering graduates, allowing them to gain research experience in industry while undertaking advanced studies in Canada.

“We’re all very proud that Soleil received this prestigious national award,” said Dr. David Drakeford, Dean, Science and Technology. “Soleil’s success demonstrates that Malaspina students can compete with Canada’s most promising.”

Prior to beginning her M.Sc., Soleil worked on a number of research projects for Dr. Penny Barnes, Head of the Environmental Interactions Research Program at the CSR.

“Receiving an NSERC scholarship is a great honour and Soleil is very deserving of this award.” said Dr. Barnes. “Soleil has an excellent and broad background in biology which she combines with dedication and hard work.  She has been a highly valued member of my research team here at the CSR.”

Soleil’s M.Sc. research project is a natural extension of her work in Dr. Barnes’ programs – she will be examining the naturally occurring invertebrates that live on Pacific oyster aquaculture production systems. As the industry partner for her research, Evening Cove Oysters Ltd. is providing Soleil with an aquaculture study site and assistance with field logistics.  Soleil’s research project is under the supervision of Dr. Barnes and Dr. Scott McKinley (Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC).  

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