Ellyne Geurts

– February 8, 2018

Background

Hello!
I’m a Winnipegger, and I am a 5th-year undergraduate student studying biological sciences in the Honours and Co-op program with a focus in ecology. Come talk to me if you have any questions regarding the biology program, I would be happy to help!

Why FoS at U of M?

Growing up, I always loved learning about science, especially anything related to animals, so there was no doubt that I was going to join the science faculty at university when I was in high school. I chose the University of Manitoba because it was local and had a large selection of biology courses, especially in biodiversity and ecology compared to other nearby universities I researched.

The U of M also offered a lot of opportunities for work and research in my field of interest as well as study abroad options. The science researchers online profiles were really interesting to me, and there were a lot of ecology professors in the biology department. I found the biology department at the U of M was totally up my alley.

Why biological sciences?

I chose to study biology because I honestly love animals and I want to contribute to their conservaUon. I also really enjoy working outdoors because every day is like a mini adventure. I wish to have a job that involves the outdoors and animals, so I am currently pursuing a degree in field ecology, as the research focus aligns very closely with my goals.

Lastly, I recently discovered that doing research is a bit addicUng as you design your own experiments and tried to decipher the natural world around you. It’s so saUsfying to find paTerns and/or mechanisms in your study that no one else has found before.

What is my minor?

Well originally I was not going to have a minor in my degree, but then I began teaching music and working as a teacher assistant for intro biology classes and I really enjoyed it. So I’m now getting a minor for the education program as a backup plan in case I change my mind in the future.

I chose statistics as my minor because I find it fun and interesting, it’s immensely useful for scientific research, and it is considered a teachable minor by the education program. So no maTer which career I pursue in the future, research or education, my bases are covered.

What stands out about my experience here?

How comfortable and supportive the biology department is to learn and research at. The professors are super friendly and helpful. They’ve been very encouraging throughout my undergraduate degree.

Advice to future students

Talk to professors, teacher assistants, anybody who works in your field of interest! I promise, they are not as scary or as intimidating as they might appear. They are some of your best resources in university, I promise you.

Try to be involved in some form on campus and make connections with fellow students and professors, so many opportunities and resources will then open up for you such as exam help, job openings, research projects, etc.

Other interests

Clubs: I’ve been part of the executive team of the Biology Undergraduate Students’ Association (BUGS) since 2nd year, where we strive to make a welcoming environment in the department for fellow biology students by putting on fun events and offering exam help resources.

Hobbies/interests:

  • I love to dance, and I am currently in a dance group with university and high school students and perform at local events. It’s a bit of an outlet for me to help deal with school stress.
  • Playing music. I’ve been playing violin and piano since I was very young, and I now teach it to others.
  • Bird watching

Future aspirations

As weird as it might sound, I really want to travel and work in a jungle at one point in my life.
But as a general future career aspirations, I want to have a job that allows me to travel the world, and work on research projects on different animals, especially birds, to help with their conservation. I’m not picky where I end up.

  • Other background information
  • I grew up in Winnipeg
  • I did a study exchange in Australia in my third year of university, which was very fun, and I learned a lot.
  • I was homeschooled until grade 11
  • I’ve always wanted to have a job involving animals ever since I was little girl, though the occupations I wanted to pursue changed as I grew up.
  • I’ve always like to be involved with the community, either volunteering in school clubs or animal organizations.