I am a lesbian and I am an experimental physicist.//
I’ve always been curious about how things work — and love solving puzzles — but I never intended to be a physics professor. My early career aspirations included geologist (age 5), astronaut (age 6-7), and aeronautical engineer (age 7-17). However, once I tried science research in a chemistry lab (age 19), I knew that research was the career path for me. After doing an undergraduate degree in physics (Carleton College, USA), a PhD in physics (Cornell University, USA), and post-doctoral research in chemistry (York University, Canada), I moved to Memorial University (St. John’s, Canada) where I have been a physics professor for more than 18 years. My research is a blend between physics and chemistry, focusing on understanding structural and physical property relations in inorganic materials. In a nutshell, I use physics to make complex problems more tractable. I enjoy working with interdisciplinary teams in order to learn which problems are the most useful to solve. The applications of my work span from technologically relevant semiconductors, to medically interesting biomaterials, to naturally occurring geomaterials, to ancient archaeological materials. Experiential learning and science advocacy are at the core of my research and teaching. I’m also out and proud!