"[Victoria] is a fantastic student who unfailingly provides high-quality work, whether she is completing coursework, contributing to laboratory meetings, or presenting her work in front of scientists at international conferences."

Dr. Karen Kohfeld

Victoria Postlethwaite receives Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Environment, Victoria Postlethwaite is being recognized with the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Ms. Postlethwaite as well as all Convocation Medal recipients on their outstanding achievements.

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October 08, 2019

Victoria Postlethwaite’s Master’s of Science research in SFU’s Faculty of the Environment focused on measuring carbon storage in seagrass ecosystems in British Columbia. Working in collaboration with Parks Canada and the tri-national Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC), Postlethwaite’s scholarship has been of the highest quality. She was awarded a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship for 2015-2016, was lead and coordinating author on a scholarly publication, and has presented her work internationally at academic conferences.  

Postlethwaite's research demonstrates a strong caution that understanding regional ecosystem behavior of seagrass systems is crucial for understanding how they can be incorporated into carbon reduction strategies. She illustrated that there is significant carbon storage in eelgrass meadows that can contribute to climate change mitigation strategies. Her research is the first to demonstrate that BC seagrass beds only store 1/10th the amount of carbon as those found in warmer, tropical-to-subtropical systems.

Victoria’s accomplishments extend beyond the classroom and lab. She was an active participant and leader in SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management student activities, acted as laboratory coordinator for her supervisor’s lab, served as a research analyst for EcoPlan International, was an Assistant Ecologist for Parks Canada, and also a Policy Analyst for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Upon graduation Victoria obtained an indeterminate position with Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a Herring Fishery Manager.

"This is quite a coup to obtain such a position directly upon completion of her masters," says her supervisor, Dr. Karen Kohfeld.

Kohfeld also describes Victoria as "one of the top two smartest and most broadly competent students that I have ever had in my laboratory. She is a fantastic student who unfailingly provides high-quality work, whether she is completing coursework, contributing to laboratory meetings, or presenting her work in front of scientists at international conferences." 

Victoria is working as a Regional Herring Officer at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. She consults with First Nations, commercial representatives, and stakeholders on herring fishery allocations, area openings, and ecosystem considerations, and also develops Ministerial briefings and provides information for media on contentious public issues.

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