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Student Profile: Samantha de Vries
Criminology doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
I am a PhD Candidate in the School of Criminology at SFU, working under the supervision of Dr. Anderson. Since 2020 I have worked part-time contracts with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Environment Team, and I am grateful to have been able to contribute to their international efforts in addressing crimes against wildlife. I instruct my course ‘CRIM 318 Crimes Against the Environment: An Introduction to International Wildlife Criminology’ at SFU with the goal of raising awareness about how human actions and trade can impact at-risk species. I believe biodiversity loss and species extinction are important issues of our time that deserve attention in the criminology community.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I chose SFU to work with Dr. Anderson for her expertise and knowledge of crimes involving wildlife and animals.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
My research looks at how transnational crimes involving wildlife are pursued and resolved in different criminal justice systems, including international and regional approaches to wildlife crime. Addressing transnational crimes involves various levels of cooperation, and understanding the challenges involved in these processes is important to identify best practices in responding to transnational wildlife matters. My research has taken me to Singapore for an international INTERPOL meeting, and to Kenya, where I interned with the United Nations for six months. International research is very rewarding, but is also a privilege, and I strive to respect cross-cultural ethics.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
The guidance and support I have received from different professors and instructors throughout my time at SFU has been incredible. I was afforded flexibility with my schedule, so I was able to conduct research abroad and complete program course requirements. The SFU Centre for Educational Excellence Certificate Program for University Teaching and Learning also provided me the opportunity to develop my own university course on wildlife crime. With the expertise and knowledge I gained from the program facilitators and fellow cohort members, and with support from the School of Criminology, I was able to teach my own course in Summer 2022 term and this spring 2023 term to SFU undergraduates where I can raise awareness about green and wildlife criminology.
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.
I am extremely grateful to have received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) doctoral award (2022-2023). The SSHRC award helps support the finalization and dissemination of my research.