A Bit About Us

The goal of Diversity of Nature is to share first-hand science experience with underrepresented audiences in Nova Scotia, and nationally. The leadership from our team of talented graduate and undergraduate students is integral to our outreach mission.

 

Directors

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Suchinta Arif

MSc, PhD Candidate

I am a PhD candidate interested in marine conservation, with a current focus on coral reef ecosystems. I am passionate about teaching and community outreach. I hope my role in DoN can help inspire the next generation of BIPOC leaders in STEM. Check out my research site here!

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Melanie Duc Bo Massey

MSc, PhD Candidate

I'm a PhD candidate studying how changing environments affect fishes. I've worked and volunteered in STEM youth outreach for six years, and am delighted to share my passion for science with BIPOC youth through Diversity of Nature. Read more about my research here!

 

Our Team

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Aaron Judah

Workshop Leader

Aaron is an Honours student investigating the functional ecology of reef sharks and distinct reef fishes on a global scale. He has a deep passion for teaching, for which he credits his Nonna (grandmother), who was a teacher in Calgary. With Diversity of Nature, he aims to share his experiences in STEM, his passion for the ocean, and the need for intersectional and diverse voices in marine science and conservation.

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Shanukie Embuldeniya

Workshop Leader

Shanukie is a Master’s student at Dalhousie University studying the mechanisms of action of lace plant anthocyanin extracts on breast cancer cells. In addition to her research, Shanukie is also a passionate teaching assistant in the biology department who enjoys sharing her love for science and research with students. Outside of academia, she enjoys science outreach activities, hiking, reading, and travelling. Shanukie is hoping to share a little piece of her research project with Diversity of Nature students by looking at the different colored pigments found in plant extracts.

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Unity Cooper

Workshop Leader

Unity has previously led guided hikes for Diversity of Nature and assisted with our day camps. She is currently employed by Nature NS and is hoping to lead some upcoming Nature NS x Diversity of Nature workshops!

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Leah Creaser

Workshop Leader

Leah led a workshop for our day camp where she took students to the Bedford Barrens to teach them about Mi'kmaq history and science, and her own STEM journey. Students let us know that it was the highlight of the camp!

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Afolake Awoyiga

Collaborator

Afolake is the cofounder of Generation 1 Leadership Initiative (G1LI) and we often collaborate with her to host events for the G1L1 x DoN community. We have some exciting events planned for 2022!

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Damini Awoyiga

Collaborator 

Damini participated as a student in our first ever day camp and we now collaborate with her to support her Afro-Indigenous Book Club!

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Zonghua Ai

Workshop Leader

Zhongua often accompanies our STEM workshops to teach us all about plant, mushrooms, and languages. She has many talents!

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Zoya Tyabji

Workshop Leader

Zoya Tyabji is a PhD student investigating the shark and ray meat trade of India. She is interested in using interdisciplinary approaches to conserve marine biodiversity while safeguarding the livelihoods of coastal communities. Alongside research, Zoya has worked on education and outreach for the past six years and hopes to share her experience and passion with BIPOC youth.

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Hunter Stevens

Workshop Leader

Hunter is currently a Master’s Candidate at Dalhousie University. His research is focussed on identifying genetic reasons for migration success in Atlantic salmon. Hunter has always loved teaching, and before he was teaching biology, he taught karate at his local dojo for three years. He has always had a passion for the life around him, a trait exemplified by his childhood nickname: “Hunter-bug”. Hunter is sharing his love of the ocean and marine life with Diversity of Nature students as a workshop leader.

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Taylor Hersh

Grant Writer

Taylor is a Ph. D. Candidate who researches how sperm whale communication varies over space and time. She has a long history of studying whale communication around the world! Taylor is sharing her extraordinary writing and research abilities with Diversity of Nature to assist with funding applications. Learn more about her research here!