It’s crazy for me to think it has almost been a year since I graduated with my MSc!  I took these instagram shots on my phone while I was printing my figures for my thesis in the Advanced Imaging Lab at UVic.  Some neat natural curiosities in the director’s collection… I hope my collection looks like this some day…


I loooooove museums of Natural History and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC did not disappoint!  My cousin Sarah (pictured bottom right) was one of a few young artists being honoured for a poem she wrote for the Robert Bateman “Get To Know” program and she had an extra ticket to the soiree held at the museum!  Sarah wrote a beautiful poem titled “Dawn’s Dreamer”, and it was great to see her involved in such a neat program!  After the ceremony and speeches, we were allowed to tour around the collections and see just a few of the amazing specimens stored in the museum (used for both research and public information).  I would HIGHly recommend visiting the museum, I had a lot of fun looking at all of the critters!  It’s worth visiting for the massive blue whale skeleton alone!  My labmates and I were lucky enough to see the whale in Victoria while it was being restored, before it was moved to the Beaty Museum – so cool to see it fully assembled!

A few Sundays ago, Ryan and I went to the Vancouver Mycological Society Mushroom Show at VanDusen Gardens, and we had a blast!  There were SO many amazing local mushrooms on display, I couldn’t believe the diversity!  Mycology is always a subject I wish I knew more about, and a field guide I’ve been coveting for a long time (ahem Christmas Wish List item: Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora)!  My FAVOURITE fungi are the coral or clavarioid fungi, and I was excited to see some on display like Ryan and I found growing at Thetis Lake a few years ago

Outside the hall, there were members of the Mycological Society serving free pan-fried mushrooms and onions, and a local Mushroom Farm (Ming, I believe, please correct me if i’m wrong) deep-frying Enoki mushrooms – they were DElicious! Ryan and I bought a clump of Enoki mushrooms they were selling and we tried it at home – a fun, unique snack!

Our visit happily coincided with the Grand Opening of the new visitor’s centre at VanDusen, a beautiful new building designed by Perkins + Will.  It was a gorgeous fall day and the gardens were basking in afternoon light, a truly inspiring visit…

[photo 1: mushroom coral at the vancouver aqaurium, by me; photo 2&3: by ryan]

1. glasses by kio yamato style KP-083; 2. jacket from the gap (2002), 3. tank from club monaco, 4. ashley watson recycled leather warbler purse (gift from erin p.), 5. american apparel long accordion-pleat skirt in almondine, 6. steve madden seeri patent flat t-strap sandal (2009).

(this is my first outfit post – be kind, i’m a little nervous)  i first laid eyes on this amazing pleated skirt on an inspiring fashion blog called “giia’s tonic” in her post “pleated in the wind“, and i assumed i could not possibly afford something this beautiful! she pairs it with another, shorter pleated skirt (LOOVE it) and her leather jacket – i love LOVE the combination, i’ll have to try it too! as soon as i saw the skirt, it reminded me of a mushroom coral i’d photographed at the vancouver aquarium a few years ago! how the coral moved in the water, how the skirt rippled and flowed… siiigh biology and fashion!

i was happy to find out the skirt was from american apparel!!  i’m a bit strapped for cash atm, but for a unique piece like this, i couldn’t pass it up! it is SO comfortable, soft, airy, fun to twirl, and can be dressed up or down. i want one in every colour! thanks to ryan for my outfit shots!

[editorial image source: fashiongonerogue]  this is my first time posting a magazine editorial, i couldn’t help but post this amazing june 2011 US vogue editorial called “america the beautiful” photographed by craig mcdean.

the editorial features models karlie kloss, arizona muse (quickly becoming one of my favourite models out there), isabeli fontana, raquel zimmerman and the great karen elson (who’s hair colour i’m coveting atm). i love how it shows how outdoor gear can be beautiful, while of course, still being functional! (though pairing thousands of dollars of designer wear might not be a great idea if you’re ACTUALLY out picking up crab traps or hiking the West Coast Trail ;))

my favourite pics are of karlie and arizona (how insanely gorgeous are her cheekbones and eyebrows?!?!), wearing gear that i’m sure a good number of my friends and i have donned at one point or another in our stints as marine biologists! although i’m not sure that any of us have ever paired our helly hansens with prada or dries van noten! 😉 hey, there’s a first time for everything! (erin and i looked pretty spiff sometimes…) foooor instance……

i might call an editorial with the images that follow, “whoa canada, the beautiful reality”:

model erin pemberton, styled by erin, photographed by alison on location in the deer group islands (props of rusty chair and mustang pfd – fortuitous and erin).

models erin and alison in waders and miscellaneous MEC gear

photo on left: karyn and danielle on location on the coastguard research vessel the jp tully, wearing helly hansens paired w/ chunky knit sweaters and this seasons most fashionable toques! photo on right: erin and me in bamfield with our pfd/boot/MEC waterproof bags/helly hansen raingear ensembles! we could all make a living as models hey? in case biology doesn’t work out? heh…

photo by doug brown featuring me and michelle nelson on location in a stream in bella bella, bc
note the functional accessory – the nylon belt with attached bear spray! eh? eh? pretty spiffy! 

second photo by michelle nelson featuring me and doug brown (decorated with silver gee traps), third by doug brown featuring… me. ick omg.

i’ve probably shot myself in the foot by posting those last 2 of me, but they are just too funny and show the reality of the field work! plus i think #2 shows the ability to be stylish and colourful, while layering and staying INCREDIBLY functional. i’m bug-proof, waterproof… and definitely boy-proof in that outfit (i was smizing under that bug netting, but the netting was so effective, it blocked out my smize and the blackflies) 😉 and the third photo, it has movement and colour and… hair… styling… ok i just look awful, but if “deet or Off! – hodgeman’s waders – columbia outerwear” ever wanted to be all featured in an editorial – DONE!

i apologize for my lack of posting as of late; i just successfully defended my MSc. thesis on Friday! (i’ll resist using any puns that come to my mind when thinking of how long i’ve been working on it and the specific animals i work w/ 😉 – i think you can all guess what many of them might be.) it hasn’t really had time to sink in yet, and i still have some minor revisions to complete before i can completely relax, but the worst is over!

above are a few shots of me trying to be a “biologist” over the years. me with a rock crab in bamfield, bc in the summer of 2005 during my undergraduate, netted-up against the mosquitoes, no-see-ums and black flies as a research assistant at SFU in bella bella, bc. preying on the poor ochre sea stars on the sunshine coast the summer of 1991 and finally, inspecting a shore crab at witty’s lagoon, bc during my masters.