Introducing new faculty member Alex Peace, an assistant professor with our school of Geography & Earth Science. Alex joined us in 2019.
"I have always been fascinated by the origin of our natural world, particularly the rocks that record Earth’s history. I grew up in the Lake District National Park in northwest England which provided ample opportunity to explore this renowned area of natural beauty.
My first true research experience was my undergraduate thesis at Durham University examining the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. Through field-based mapping, I uncovered the beginnings of this segment of Earth’s crust from the deep ocean that is now exposed in southwest England. After graduation I worked as an outdoor education instructor in Yorkshire, developing a passion for teaching outdoors and also the intrigue of geological processes. This led me to undertake a Ph.D. at Durham University on the opening of the North Atlantic. My Ph.D. took me to Labrador to investigate its separation from Greenland and left me with unanswered questions that I then pursued at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
My move to McMaster University represents my first time not living on the edge of a continent. This comes with new and exciting research topics as I apply the concepts and approaches I have used previously to this new part of the world."
Alex Peace is a structural geologist with an interest in extensional tectonic processes. Alex's research is supported in part by the D. Keith MacDonald Structural Geology Advancement Fund, established this past summer by Keith and Traci MacDonald. Alex holds a Bachelor of Science and a Ph.D. in Geology from Durham University in the United Kingdom. Alex was previously a postdoctoral fellow in structural geology and applied geophysics with the Memorial Applied Geophysics for Rift Tectonics group at the Memorial University of Newfoundland where he also taught 4th year Marine Geology and 2nd-year Structural Geology courses. When not studying geoscience, Alex enjoys rock climbing, cycling, fishing, and martial arts.
Daria Aleksandrova 3rd year student in Medical Radiation Sciences, Radiography stream.
"I was born and raised in Ufa, which has an amazing Bashkirian culture. Ufa is one of the biggest cities in Russia and about 1,300 kilometres southeast of Moscow. I spent a semester at a secondary school in Thornhill, Ontario and dreamed of returning to Canada to earn a bachelor's degree. McMaster was the best fit for me, with its reputation for excellence in science and its unique, hands-on Medical Radiation Sciences program. From a very early age, I had always wanted to work in health care and this was the program that would help achieve my dream.
The transition to McMaster and Hamilton was hard at first because I missed my family very much. I was alone and a long way from home. Fortunately, I met two good friends while in residence. Even though we're studying in different fields, we remain close.
Initially, I didn't take advantage of everything McMaster offers international students. While my English is very good, it's not perfect. Sometimes not knowing the exact translation of a word in a question can lead to giving the wrong answer. My advice to international students - don't guess. Talk with your professors and get the help you need. I'm extremely thankful for my professors who've helped me deal with the language barrier and explain unfamiliar words on tests and assignments.
I am very happy with where I am today. I love my program and professors and I'm excited about beginning a career in health care.
My advice for students, faculty and staff who've been born and raised in Canada? While I have an accent, please know that I completely understand what you're saying. And while we were raised in different countries, we have a lot in common. We are all world citizens so let's be friendly and kind with each other."
"I launched Science Stories to highlight the important work of science journalists and storytellers. It's challenging to both describe science in terms anyone can understand and to find ways to make science relatable to people who may not feel connected to it. But that's exactly what science journalists and storytellers do. They don't dumb down science; they clear it up and show us why it matters. I think we can all benefit from understanding how they do this and being aware of the different pressures they face along the way. I think it's particularly important for scientists and science students to think about ways that they can personally make science accessible and engaging to diverse audiences — we can learn a lot from these experts.
"Every science journalist and storyteller who we've approached has been enthusiastic to participate. They appreciate that science communication is a focus for us in the Faculty of Science and they’re happy to meet with faculty members and students who are curious about the work they do and how they do it. They also appreciate the opportunity to connect with the Hamilton community and to have a conversation off-campus about science and the media in today’s political climate.
"Most of the science journalists and storytellers who participate in Science Stories spend the day at McMaster. They visit students in our science communication courses and some lead hands-on workshops. All of our speakers meet with students in small groups to discuss careers in science communication. And in the evening, our speakers give a free public lecture. It's important for communities to hear from science journalists because the media remains an important source of science and health information.
"Last fall, our speaker was Matteo Farinella, a neuroscientist who's also a comic book author and illustrator. Matteo led a workshop in the Thode MakerSpace where students explained scientific studies and concepts in the form of a comic. This was such a unique experience for students and it revealed that we have some talented artists in our midst. It was an important reminder that science and art can and should go together."
Katie Moisse completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, her Masters in Neuroscience at King's College London, and her Ph.D. at Western University in Pathology. She was then accepted into Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, interned at Scientific American, reported on health and medicine for ABC News in New York for four years and then edited stories about neuroscience and autism at Spectrum. Katie joined McMaster in January 2018 where she's an Assistant Professor with the School of Interdisciplinary Science.
Faculty and students are invited to submit scientific research images to NSERC's annual Science Exposed contest. NSERC, in collaboration with Acfas, runs the contest to help Canadians better understand and see the work that is being done behind the scenes through the same lens as researchers. Three jury prizes of $2,000 each and one $2,000 people's choice prize are available to be won.