I am gay and I am a master’s student in environmental technology and engineering.//
My name is Miguel and I am a French Canadian master’s student in the Erasmus Mundus environmental technology and engineering programme (IMETE) hosted by UCT Prague, UNESCO-IHE Delft Institute for Water Eduction and Ghent University. My background is in marine microbiology and (self-taught) bioinformatics and my research aims to solve anthropogenic marine pollution using bioremediation. To do so, I want to use an interdisciplinary approach combining environmental engineering, metagenomics, and bioinformatics within the context of microbial ecology.
Growing up as a gay man in a small conservative fishing town in rural Canada brought its share of external and internal conflicts. As a result, coming to terms with my sexuality and self has been a (sometimes unconscious) struggle and is still a work in progress.
Fortunately, my academic journey began at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver where I studied microbiology and oceanography within a highly diverse group of scientists en devenir. In all my academic experiences, I found inclusive, supportive and acceptive mentors, colleagues and teachers. While I found a home and family within the scientific community of many countries, I understand that it would not necessarily have been the case in other parts of the world. For that reason, I believe that LGBTQ+ visibility in the STEM field is important for the constant progress towards social equality.