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"My interests in sustainable agriculture and plant biosystems began early on in my undergraduate career, and this inspired me to seek out several internships and co-op placements to delve into my curiosity."
Student Profile: Heather Tso
Biological Sciences doctoral student in the Faculty of Science
I obtained my BSc at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. My interests in sustainable agriculture and plant biosystems began early on in my undergraduate career, and this inspired me to seek out several internships and co-op placements to delve into my curiosity. Graduate studies just felt like the natural next step. I completed my MSc in plant pathology at the University of Alberta studying the clubroot disease of canola. It was during this time when I knew I wanted to become a researcher in plant pathology.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
It was an easy decision to come here for my doctoral studies. SFU is a world-renowned academic institution located in a beautiful part of the city. The Department of Biological Sciences is home to some of the most innovative and leading professors in the field. I was thrilled to join Dr. Zamir Punja’s research group as I knew it would provide me a solid foundation to explore my interests and develop research independence.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
My research in plant pathology focuses on crop protection and preventative plant disease management through agroecological frameworks. I am studying the function of Trichoderma species as biocontrol agents against plant pathogens and as plant growth stimulants in agri-food systems. It’ll be interesting to explore its mechanism of action when introduced into the growing media and investigate any synergistic effects that may exist.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
We are provided plenty of opportunities to network and collaborate with researchers and industry partners. As well, I am truly appreciative with how welcoming, supportive, and engaging the graduate student community has been!
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 honoured to be a recipient of an NSERC Doctoral Postgraduate Scholarship. It has encouraged me to continue with my academic journey and to pursue my passion for research. This recognition has been remarkably meaningful as it has strengthened my belief in myself.
Contact Heather: firstname.lastname@example.org