Emily Darling receives Governor General's Gold Medal

May 31, 2013

Emily Darling's latest tweet, above, barely scratches the surface of her deep research contributions to marine biology.

Her supervisor, Dr. Isabelle Coté, says that Dr. Darling's ground-breaking dissertation, Corals in a stressful world: Life histories, synergies, and resilience, is of direct conservation value. She says, "Emily's greatest contribution to the field of coral reef conservation has been developing a method to help predict the response of corals to multiple stressors. This was, in essence, a 'holy grail' quest, and the answer that Emily provided are central to managing coral reefs for the future."

Dr. Darling's academic career has been stellar, starting from two NSERC Undergraduate Research Awards and moving onto a $70k NSERC PhD Graduate Scholarship, a $20k International Development Research Centre scholarship, and a $20k WWF Kathryn Fuller Doctoral Fellowship. She currently holds a $140k David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship for postdoctoral studies.

She has also received international awards for her many conference presentations and has participated in invited talks in locations from Edmonton to Kenya to Réunion to Australia. She's also published 15 papers in major journals, including Ecology Letters, Conservation Letters, PLOS Biology and Global Change Biology

Over the course of her graduate student career, she has also been a TA and research assistant, and helped organize several conferences and symposia, founded a Coral Reef Discussion Group, mentored a number of fellow students and refereed 11 papers. Oh, and of course she received excellent grades as well.

In addition to her research on coral reefs, Emily has been digging into how scientists use social media, like Twitter, to spark and share ideas, and to promote conservation.

She tells us, "I am thrilled to be a Smith Conservation Research Fellow at the University of North Carolina — I'll be looking at how to protect coral reefs from climate change. I'm excited to work with academic, NGO and government scientists on a climate adaptation plan for US coral reefs. At the end of the day, I hope my research can make a real difference for the conservation of the world's oceans."

She adds, "I've been so lucky to work with the Earth to Oceans Research Group in SFU's Department of Biological Sciences. It's been such an honour to learn from an incredible group of graduate students, postdocs and faculty."

On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Darling on her outstanding achievements which are being recognized with the award of the Canadian Governor General's Gold Medal as SFU's most outstanding graduate student in Engineering/Medical Sciences/Natural Sciences.

Marine Ecology Lab members
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