We are open to constructive feedback and we invite you to share with us your suggestions and ideas about our group.


Jody is a PhD Candidate in the Biology department. She studies how environmental conditions in wetlands influence plants, birds and aquatic macroinvertebrates.

When she's not studying, Jody enjoys exploring natural areas, but food was always her first love!

Jody joined WiSS because she believes that inclusivity, openness and collaboration are critical in building an impactful community. Jody hopes to support WIS in making this a reality.

Ellen standing her her dog, Freddie.

Ellen is a PhD Candidate in Dr. Kirsten Müller’s Lab. Her research focuses on the spatial and temporal dynamics that influence microalgae and microbial community composition in freshwater lakes. She completed her undergraduate at the University of Waterloo in Honours Biology, and she also hold a MSc in Molecular Science from Ryerson University.

When she's not in the lab, she spend her free time exploring parks and trails with her dog, Freddie. 


Vanessa is a PhD student in the Biology department, conducting a study that brings together taxonomy, evolution and bioinformatics; trying to solve a mystery regarding the classification and evolution of red algae.

When she's not in the lab, she's keeping busy through a combination of cooking (eating) & netflixing. Vanessa is also a hot yoga enthusiast and loves spending time with her friends!

Vanessa is also an international student that has been through a long journey. She can be a good reference for those who are arriving at UW, give tips on adaptation to the new country/school or just act as a friendly ear to hear you vent!

She'd love to see WiS build a strong and powerful community with the strong and powerful women we have on campus, composing a better place for the new ones that will arrive.

Her New Years resolution is to enjoy life, both the good and bad days- see the beauty in them!


Izabela is a MSc student in the Department of Biology. She studies how heavy metals like arsenic move through lakes in northern environments that have been impacted by mining. As a paleolimnologist, she considers herself a magician and uses the sediment in the bottom of lakes to travel back in time to understand what environmental conditions were like prior to disturbance.

When she's not in the lab, you can find her collecting rocks, playing with her sisters dog Waffles, and eating nice food at restaurants she can't really afford. 

Izabela considers herself a strong writer and has a background in teacher education. She'd love it if you came to her for writing advice or tips on effective studying techniques. As a local to K-W, she's got lots of places and activities she could recommend- especially restaurants! 

With WiSS, Izabela hopes to help grad students understand their options outside of academia and what the transition to and benefits of a PhD are. She also wants to make the science community more inclusive overall and help those that maybe aren't having the easiest or best time with their transition from undergrad through navigating those hard to talk about problems. 

Her New Years resolution is to hang out with her mom more.

Joanne standing on a rock with the horizon in the background.

Joanne is an MSc student in the Earth and Environmental Science Department. She is studying passive remediation strategies for the removal of arsenic and other metals from mining-contaminated groundwater.

When she’s not doing research, she enjoys hiking, exploring nature, reading, and eating lots of snacks. She also loves dogs and can’t wait to have her own!

As a part of WiSS, Joanne wants to build a community that empowers women on campus. She hopes to create a safe space that supports and encourages people to speak up for their beliefs and rights. She also wants to raise awareness about the biases that women face in the workplace.


Aysha is a PhD student in Kinesiology, specializing in neuroscience. She studies multi-sensory integration - the ability of the central nervous system to integrate information from multiple different sensory modalities - in young and aging populations. 

When she's not in the lab, Aysha can be found with a book in her apartment or exploring the outdoors. She also loves to try different types of cuisines and can be found experimenting with food in her kitchen.

Aysha has have volunteered at the women's centre as well as at planned parenthood where she was trained to provide peer support in a university as well as a community setting. She invites you to contact her if you need someone to talk to in a safe and inclusive environment. On a different note, as graduate students we all are essentially required to apply for scholarships which can be quite frustrating; feel free to approach her if you have any questions about this process (she currently holds OGS- amazing!)

On campus, Aysha would like to see more resources available for women in science at different stages of their career (i.e., PhD, post-doc, professor) regarding how they can be as competitive as their male counterparts. This is especially important for job hunting and applying for grants and/or scholarships.

Her New Years resolutions is to skate and ski more in the winter and to explore Ontario's provincial parks that she hasn't visited yet in the summer.