Gill is a master’s student in the Environmental and Life Sciences Program at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Gill has worked in the field avian research for up to 10 years, with a focus on the breeding ecology of arctic-nesting birds. Gill enjoys bird watching, embroidery and participating in community-organized activism.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

I am currently cat-sitting two cats over the summer and also have a cat daughter that lives with my partner in Australia.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

I have a map of the Arctic Circle by Polar Knowledge Canada, as well as plenty of bird prints; a Common Merganser family, a Northern Saw-whet Owl, Superb Fairy-wren. I even have a wooden replica of a Dunlin made and gifted to me by a friend.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Cooking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Savory

7 Do you speak any other languages?

No

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Plan B is to become a Therapist/Counsellor for Queer youth.

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

Psychology

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

Australia to be with my partner, I miss them very much.

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

I wish I could fly. Every day I wish I was a bird.

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

Listen: The Bechdel Cast podcast
Watch: The Midnight Gospel on Netflix
Read: Bitch Media Magazine

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Play animal crossing, make a big fancy meal and watch Star Wars.

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Food, a Sacred Space, and my Binoculars.

15 What beverage gives you life?

Coconut bubble tea with coconut jelly.

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

Diary of Anne Frank, in hindsight it helped me feel seen as a queer kid even when I didn’t know I was queer.

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was young I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I am a biologist!

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Honestly, fear of failure, but I’ve been trying to unlearn those feelings and instead think about my personal goals and meet myself where I am.

19 What got you excited in science?

I had a great Science Teacher in Grade 9 that instilled wonder in me, but it wasn’t until Grade 11 when I enrolled in the Environment Science course that I truly began to love biological science.

20 What excites you about science now?

I love knowing that I am contributing to a greater understanding of our world.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

I don’t believe we should every feel guilty for things that bring us pleasure.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I can spin a hula hoop around my body and over my head.

23 What is your favorite game?

I personally love the video game Animal Crossing, but also really enjoy the board game Catan!

24 What is the last book you read?

Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

My therapist always tells me that two things can be true at once. This concept has helped me through every difficult feeling I have every had.

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Skateboarding or rollerblading, I am so fearful of hurting myself.

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

Don’t ever be afraid to be yourself.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Yoga and breathing meditations, and obviously long baths!

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The Dragon Prince on Netflix, it was wonderful!

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

Once I carried around two Arctic Hare feet for an entire day while in the field.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Birds, obviously!

32 What is your favorite book?

You are not so Smart by David McRaney

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Vegetarian noodle bowls.

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

My birthday April 29th.

35 What is your favorite plant?

Woolly Lousewort

36 What is your favorite science fact?

The longest distance migrant is the Arctic Tern. It migrates up to 19,000 km a year and only weighs 100g! Amazing!

37 What is your favorite season?

Summer

38 What is your favorite smell?

I love the smell of lavender and rose.

39 What is your favorite sound?

My favourite sound is the song of the Black-capped Chickadee.

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I love that I am a good friend and companion.

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

LOVE

42 What is your proudest moment?

This is hard to answer because I have felt so much pride in all my accomplishments, probably when I won Runner-up for Student Poster at the 2015 Water Bird Society meeting.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

I’d love to be a Myrtle Beech, living in an Australian Rainforest

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

The community! Weekly farmers markets, queer events and a ton of diverse local business.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

Last year, my nana passed away while I was in the Arctic. My nana had dementia, and for many years I had to prepare for the event that she would pass while I was far from home. I had to go through the motions of grieving even before she was fully gone. It was hard but I am grateful for that process as it allowed me to accept the things I could not control.

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

@SandraKlemet