Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023

February 11, 2023

Department of Biological Sciences

February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science! According to the United Nations website, in 2015, the "UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to establish an annual International Day to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology communities." 

The Biological Sciences Outreach and Engagement Committee is celebrating the day by showcasing the work of women practicing science in our department. Below is a sampling. It's clear we have (and have had) many gifted women in the department - alumni, undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, and staff - performing ground-breaking science, and doing a fabulous job of documenting their work! Thanks to all who sent in their photos.

Kudos to the women in our department!!

For more information about International Day of Women and Girls in Science, visit:

Photo of Anna Linton, a Masters of Biological Sciences student in the Centre for Wildlife Ecology (CWE) collecting data at Crescent Beach for her research project. Anna uses her scope to observe bald eagle foraging behaviour on a fish called the plainfin midshipman. Photo taken by Vanessa Hum, another Masters of Biological Sciences student in the CWE.
"My name is Hannah Roodenrijs and I’m a master’s student in David Green’s lab in the Centre for Wildlife Ecology studying the morphology and diet of black oystercatchers in BC and Alaska. This photo was taken in Haida Gwaii during field work this past summer after we caught and banded this black oystercatcher and took some measurements."
"My name is Melissa Van Veen and I am an Indigenous Biological Sciences major, finishing my 3rd year. Currently I am doing research in the Gries lab on symbiont bacteria in the guts of ants and hopefully this summer will be working in a biotech company for an 8-month Co-op. It is never too late to start doing something interesting!"
"My name is Jessie and I'm a Biology student who's currently working in the biocontrol department for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. My job is to rear parasitoids and conduct experiments to help with the suppression of invasive pests."
Jhunam (left) and Sayma (right) from Silverman Lab are working on brain cells.
ISS student Sophie Hennig and undergraduate research assistant Rachel Wong calibrate LED arrays in the Gries lab as part of their research assessing the visual responses of the blood-feeding stable fly.
"My name is Sruthee Govindaraj and I am a MSc. candidate at SFU. My background is in biology and environmental sciences. My thesis is on studying microplastics contamination in the freshwater systems in Yukon. I also work at an environmental consulting company called Core Geoscience Services Inc. based out of Yukon as an Environmental Scientist. "
Part of Sruthee Govindaraj's work involves conducting surface and groundwater quality sampling (image above), soil quality, and contaminated sites assessment and remediation activities in Yukon.
"My name is Claire Attridge. I'm lucky enough to be conducting my MSc research with Dr. Isabelle Côté, and exploring topics that require SCUBA for data collection. I'm investigating the environmental and biological factors that structure kelp forest animal communities." ------ Photo: Sherry Young
"In the traditionally male dominated field of diving, it makes me extremely happy to find myself working with entire teams of female and non-binary scientific divers through SFU and partner institutions." Claire Attridge ------Photo: Sherry Young
Kiara Kattler is a researcher in Isabelle Côté's lab. This photo of Kiara and Elizabeth Oishi (MSc student, Côté lab) is from their summer field work last summer (in Bamfield) where they collected crabs. ------Photo: Sherry Young
Manjot Sidhu is working on extracting buffy coat from blood samples in the gynaecological oncology lab at the BC Cancer Research Centre. These patient samples will be stored in the biobank and are to be used by researchers.
Kiara Kattler is in the lab, working on excretion experiments. This was done to determine the amounts of ammonium excreted by various crab species to see how these organisms are affecting nutrient cycling in the ocean.------Photo: Sherry Young