"I’ve always loved the ocean, and became interested in the ecology of marine invertebrates."

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Student Profile: Em Lim

Biological Sciences Master's student in the Faculty of Science

December 21, 2020
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I am a second-year master’s student in Dr. Isabelle Côté’s Marine Ecology Lab in the Earth to Ocean group. I’ve always loved the ocean, and became interested in the ecology of marine invertebrates while working with Dr. Christopher Harley during my undergraduate degree at UBC. After completing my B.Sc., I worked as a marine sciences educator at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre for a few years before starting a master’s degree at SFU. As a queer non binary student (my pronouns are they/them), I am also passionate about diversity and inclusion. I live in Bamfield, BC where I work part time as a scientific diver at BMSC and enjoy surfing in my free time.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I came to SFU because I was drawn to Dr. Isabelle Côté’s work on invasive species and sea cucumbers. I was also intrigued by the collaborative Earth to Ocean group, which tackles big questions in conservation ecology.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH AND/OR PROGRAM.

My research is broadly focused on the role of invertebrates in animal-mediated nutrient cycling. I want to understand the role of lesser studied invertebrates to build a broader understanding of ecosystem functioning. Specifically, I am exploring the functional role of temperate sea cucumbers in nearshore marine communities. Basically, I spend a lot of time putting sea cucumbers in bags of sea water so I can measure their pee!

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

I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to dive into fieldwork, both literally and figuratively. I appreciate the flexibility these online times have afforded me, as I’ve been able to stay in Bamfield while I work on my degree.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR FUNDED AWARDS?

I was awarded a BC Graduate Scholarship, NSERC Canadian Graduate Scholarship at the master's level (CGS-M), and a Dean’s Graduate Fellowship. This funding has allowed me to focus on my research, which I am very thankful for.

SFU 3MT and Western Regional 3MT First Place Winner 2021

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