Shaina Cahill



JS: Okay, let’s warm up with something easy. Coffee or a cold apple: which keeps you going?

SC: I would say coffee.. even though I only started drinking it this past July I have come to love it.

JS: You know,  I love coffee more than I did in July too! Just imagine how much we will love it in 2050!  And how do you like Vancouver? Where did you live before coming to Vancouver? Vancouver’s better, right? KIDDING! There are no wrong answers here! Please, go ahead.
SC: I really love Vancouver. The city is beautiful with lots of green and it has lots to do and every part of the city has its own things to discover. I also really like being back by the water. Before coming to Vancouver I was in Ottawa ON doing my masters and before that I was in St. John’s NL.

JS: Wait – isn’t St. John’s in New Brunswick and St. John in Newfoundland?? Kidding kidding – I just can’t resist seeing Maritimers get all riled up! And, yes, I know Newfoundland isn’t a Maritime province! Just wanted to see you get riled up again! <clears throat, gets serious> Okay, standard interview question, sorry: What’s your worst feature (and how does it make you an amazing scientist/person?)

SC: My worst feature would be that I am very particular; I like things to be in the right place and get annoyed when things aren’t put in their place. This makes me a good scientist not only because I like to have a clean lab space but also because it make me careful and precise as well as being able to remember how I did something and do it the same way again (mostly because it would drive me crazy doing it a different way)

JS: Tell me about your first experiment. Not from your first lab experience, school etc, but your REAL FIRST experiment. If you have amnesia or if your first official experiment in a lab is particularly memorable, that’ll work too.

SC: I would guess that my first experiment would be on my older brother when I was a child. I remember figuring out ways to trap him or trick him into getting trapped somewhere but making sure he didn’t get too mad but found it amusing that I had done it.

JS: Ha! So you’ve always done behavioural experiments! What are you up to when you’re not in the lab? WHAT? YOU’RE NOT ALWAYS IN THE LAB? Just kidding, do tell!

SC: When I am not in the lab I am normally exploring the city or surrounding cities (as I just got to Vancouver this past summer I still have a lot to see), watching movies or shopping (my weakness)

JS: Standard interview question #2, really sorry: Tell me about a challenge you faced (and totally overcame).

SC: As someone who seems to move a lot my challenge so far has seemed to be figuring out how to get around each city. Coming from a small town kind of place and living on an island when I moved to Ottawa it was the first time I had driven on the highway and driven anywhere but the island (which is a special form of driving). Everyone in my family was a little worried when I left (My brother gave me a GPS saying he didn’t think I would make it with a map).. I got to Ottawa ok and did the same when driving to Vancouver.. Thought the downside to the GPS is I use it to get everywhere and without it I am constantly lost.

JS: If you were to come into the lab one morning (it’s ok to leave the lab to sleep at night, sometimes) and find that someone had brought in your favourite edible treat to share with the lab, what would that favourite edible treat be?

SC: Apple or Lemon Meringue pie!

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