CBU student takes home major prize at Science Atlantic Conference

During the annual Science Atlantic Environment Conference in March, Bachelor of Science student Emily Bennett won first place in the Science Communications category after presenting her honours thesis. Being the first CBU student to attend the conference, Emily hopes to lead by example and that more students will participate in the coming years.

Focusing her research on the environment, Emily spent a lot of research hours outside of the classroom in preparation for her paper and presentation. “I had the chance to spend many hours last year enjoying nature for my thesis,” says Emily. “It’s so great to have the ability to gain even more knowledge and education outside of the classroom, and it really made the most of my undergraduate experience here at CBU.”

Presenting her project and attending the conference was an incredible experience for Emily, which was made known to her by Martin Mkandawire, Industrial Research Chair in Minewater Management, associate Professor in Chemistry, and Science Atlantic Environment representative at CBU. “Martin had brought this conference to my supervisor’s attention, Dr. Thomas Bouman,” says Emily. “We thought that my research would fit in well with the environmental theme.”

After presenting her thesis Emily felt personal satisfaction and knew it was an important moment in her academic career. “Winning first place for the Science Communication award made me feel so proud that the judges also believed my presentation was strong and thought it deserved recognition,” says Emily.

(From left to right, CBRM Watershed Coordinator Anthony Mazzocca, Emily Bennett, Thesis supervisor Dr. Thomas Bouman.)

While at the conference Emily was able to attend other inspiring presentations, and says, “The caliber and quality of the whole conference was very impressive and motivating.”

Emily was joined at the conference by Dr. David McCorquodale, Dean of Science and Technology at CBU. Dr. McCorquodale is very passionate about encouraging more students to take part in Science Atlantic conferences, saying, “I hope Emily’s success at the Science Atlantic Environment conference will draw more CBU students to the annual event as our cohort of strong honours students continues to grow.”

Emily is very grateful for the opportunity and plans to put her prize money towards her education, and says, “I’m very excited because I just heard back today from Dalhousie that I’ve been accepted in to the Audiology program starting in September 2017.”

Also bringing home awards were Biology students Justine Trask and Melanie Campbell at the Science Atlantic Fisheries, Aquaculture and Biology conference in Antigonish.

Learn more about Science Atlantic or about AFRED, or watch a snapshot of Emily’s presentation below: