"I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to conduct my research at the Centre of Forensic Research. I get to work alongside fellow graduate students from various backgrounds, so I am constantly learning something new!"

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Student Profile: Momoko Ueda

October 13, 2021
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School of Criminology doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

I am a PhD candidate in the School of Criminology and conducting research in Dr. Lynne Bell's lab at the Centre for Forensic Research. My research is in the area of forensic stable isotopes. I have a BSc in Life Sciences (sub-specialization in Chemistry and Earth, Ocean, Atmospherics Sciences) from the University of British Columbia and an MA in Criminology (Stable Isotope Forensics) from SFU. I love playing and watching soccer with my husband and enjoy spending time with my two young daughters!

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

When I was 16, my basketball coach, a forensic DNA analyst at the time, inspired me to pursue a career related to forensic human identification. During my undergraduate studies at UBC, I enjoyed learning about the different applications of stable isotope analysis. I happened to come across a paper authored by Dr. Lynne Bell on the forensic application of stable isotope analysis, so I made my way up to SFU, knocked on Lynne's office, and here I am today!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

I looked at stable isotopes in human teeth collected from across Metro Vancouver to better understand what the stable isotope values look like and whether the values differ from other Canadian cities. When human remains are found without any information on the individual's identity, identification methods like DNA or fingerprints cannot be used. In such cases, information on the possible place of origin can help narrow down missing person searches.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to conduct my research at the Centre of Forensic Research. I get to work alongside fellow graduate students from various backgrounds, so I am constantly learning something new! SFU also has a great support system for graduate students, including wellness and career services.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

I am also a co-founder of HirePhD Career Society, a registered non-profit organization that helps talents with advanced degrees (PhD/Masters) navigate career paths outside of academia. I help organize free monthly online events on various career paths, and we invite guest speakers with advanced degrees who have transitioned into non-academic roles to share their career transition stories! The event dates are posted on the HirePhD Linkedin Page!

 

Contact : mueda@sfu.ca

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