• Graduate Student Ambassadors

    Graduate Student Ambassadors

    Fostering positive relationships with potential applicants, new students, and alumni.

Graduate Student Ambassadors

If you would like to reach out to an Ambassador of a program you're interested in, the best way to do so is via e-mail. Please put “Question to Ambassador” in the subject line to ensure that your message doesn’t get lost. Please also note that all ambassadors are volunteers as well as current graduate students with busy schedules, so allow 48 hours for their responses.


Connect with an Ambassador:

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews

I am a 1st year PhD student in Biology. My research investigates the impact of obesity on the heart using Drosophila melanogaster, or the fruit fly, as a model. It’s a bit whacky but the fruit fly is a great organism for lots of different experiments, including ones looking at the heart! I am particularly interested in the changes to the protein matrix around the heart and how they impair its contractility. I use a variety of tests to assess heart function, and have been able to collaborate with researchers in engineering both at McMaster and the University of Toronto.

Sian Ford

Sian Ford

Hey there! I’m a PhD student in Earth Sciences and Astrobiology. My research involves using an interdisciplinary approach to help answer fundamental questions regarding the search for life in space, and the origin of life here on Earth. By detecting and characterizing microorganisms living at the very limits of terrestrial life as we know it, we can better understand where and how organisms might live on other planets such as Mars, or moons such as Titan. Additionally, I am involved in analyzing meteorites for biologically-relevant molecules and determining how this may have contributed to the abiogenic origin of life on Earth some 4 billion years ago. In my spare time I enjoy bird watching, table-top RPGs, video games, and painting.

Novan Gray

Novan Gray

I am a Jamaican-Canadian hailing from Mississauga, Ontario. I came to McMaster as an undergraduate and completed my bachelor's degree in Chemistry. I am now a PhD candidate in the lab of Prof. David Emslie. My research in organometallic/coordination chemistry focuses on the synthesis and study of new actinide complexes bearing soft-donor ligands to gain insight into metal-ligand interactions and covalency in the f-block. By advancing our understanding of these relatively understudied interactions, we can exploit their chemistry for the separation and reprocessing of nuclear waste products. Outside of the lab I enjoy playing squash and softball in the summers in addition to hanging out with friends and peers.

George Long

George Long

Originally trained as a biostatistician in my undergrad (B.Sc University of Ottawa, 2018) my background allows me to approach a wide variety of questions from a robust statistical perspective while also understanding the ramifications as a biologist. Previous work involved the detection of key virulence mutations in influenza using machine learning and laying the groundwork to identify protein-protein interactions involved in rare genetic diseases.
Since my undergrad, I've developed an interest in both characterizing ancient pathogens and metagenome compositions. Current projects include the characterization of an ancient opportunistic pathogen, the potential analysis of pathogens from samples preserved in formaldehyde and studying the variation of a key metabolic product in the microbiome through time. This work has required the streamlining of current bioinformatic methods into quick and easily chained steps while still maintaining their required flexibility.

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams

I am a PhD student in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, with a prior MSc degree from Queen's University. I previously studied the impact of acute hyperglycemia on vascular function in healthy men and women, across the menstrual cycle. My present PhD research focuses on the short- and long-term impact of hormonal contraceptives on cardiovascular and metabolic indicators in women.

Sarah Brassard

Sarah Brassard

I am a 3rd year PhD candidate working under the supervision of Dr. Iris Balodis in the Integrated Neuroscience of Motivation and Change Laboratory. My research examines stress effects on maladaptive decision-making across disorders of impulse control (namely binge eating disorder, cannabis use disorder and pathological gambling). To answer my research questions, I use multiple units of analysis including self-report data, physiological data as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). During my time at McMaster, I have become actively involved with science outreach and engagement activities such as the Neuroscience Graduate Program Colloquium Committee and the McMaster Children and Youth University. Outside of academia, I can be found running, spinning and exploring Hamilton and surrounding neighbourhoods with my dog.

Alex Ly

Alex Ly

Hello, I’m a 2nd year graduate student in the Adronov group! I’m originally from London, Ontario and I graduated from Western University in Integrated Sciences with Chemistry. After seeing the cool research from Alex Adronov’s lab I decided to migrate over to McMaster’s Chemistry department where I now do research in click chemistry with polymers and their interations with single-walled carbon nanotubes. Using tetrazines and trans-cyclooctenes, I modify polymer backbones and their properties on a minute timescale, making these kinds of transformations amazing for industry and further use into electronics! Outside of the lab, I love watching movies and TV shows, and crocheting (A hobby I picked up in quarantine!). I’m a little talkative so I’m always open to a good conversation over some great food!

Megan Oxland

Megan Oxland

Hello! I am a Master’s student in Astronomy working on galaxy evolution with Dr. Laura Parker. My research focuses on the timescales associated with the changes of various galaxy properties as galaxies fall into galaxy clusters. At McMaster I am involved in science outreach through the W.J. McCallion Planetarium, where we run astronomy related shows for the public. Outside of academia I love pottery, baking, embroidery, gardening, and taking long weekend walks around Hamilton!

Dusan Srdic

Dusan Srdic

Hey there! Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry here at McMaster University in 2021. During my undergraduate degree, I completed my thesis with the Saravanamuttu group, and decided to stay on as I enjoyed my time here. I am currently a 2nd year master’s student, and my research focuses on generating self-trapped beams of light using a digital projector. Outside the lab, I enjoy playing and watching soccer.

Lauren Dutcher

Lauren Dutcher

Initially completing my undergrad in physics at the University of Guelph, I came to McMaster in 2019 for my Master’s degree working under the supervision of Dr. Kari Dalnoki-Veress. Enjoying my Master’s research as well as the McMaster campus and community, I decided to continue into a PhD in the same field. My research focuses on the flow of nanoscale systems utilizing polymer thin films. I work on understanding how these nanofilms react when introducing various types of frustrations into multilayered systems.

Mackenzie Neal

Mackenzie Neal

Hey there! I am a MSc student in Statistics working under the supervision of Dr. Paul McNicholas. My research focuses on dimension reduction algorithms for mixture model-based clustering when deviations from normality are observed. In my free time, I enjoy listening to true crime podcasts, playing board games, and exploring the city.

Steven Lee

Steven Lee

Hello! After completing my undergraduate degree in neuroscience, I am now pursuing a Master's degree in Computational Science and Engineering under the supervision of Dr. David Earn. I am currently focused on investigating the epidemiology of infectious diseases in London, specifically interested in the interactions between these diseases. Outside the lab, I enjoy playing video games, and listening to all kinds of music.

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