Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math? Curiosity on Stage is a series of short, interactive presentations that brings you face-to-face with researchers and innovators. Each week, a featured speaker delivers an engaging presentation followed by an interactive Q-and-A session. Curiosity on Stage invites you to learn directly from people working in the science and technology-related fields. Find out what they do and why it matters – and leave inspired by their stories of curiosity, overcoming obstacles, and innovation.
While everyone is welcome on the Demo Stage, this program is recommended for ages 10+.
This week: Finding Where Forest Birds Live – with Lasers!
Rachel Kuzmich, a PhD student from Queen’s University
Rachel Kuzmich grew up exploring forests, fields and fens with her family in the Niagara Region. After several years of big city life in Toronto and Montreal, she moved to Peterborough to pursue an Honours BSc at Trent University in biology and geography, with a minor in international development studies. Rachel is currently working towards her PhD at Queen's University; her research draws from her diverse academic background and she is interested in using airborne laser scanning to study forest structural aspects related to bird habitat in the aim of supporting existing conservation efforts. In 2018 she hiked about 350 km as she completed fieldwork at the Queen's University Biological Station, and 2019 will bring her to Monk Woods in the United Kingdom for more hiking and data collection. Rachel recently founded and continues to run an initiative called Conference2Classroom, which provides a pathway for individuals attending conferences to connect with classrooms in their host cities. When she is not working towards her research or on her initiative she is probably hiking in the woods or doing some other form of science communication outreach anyway, but if not she is reading, painting, cooking, travelling, or watching a movie.
Cerulean warblers are a species of conservation interest in Canada and the United States due to the dramatic decline of its population in the past 50 years. Today there are 500 breeding pairs in all of Canada, and a quarter of them are found within the Queen's University Biological Station. Rachel's research uses airborne laser scanning and acoustic monitoring data to look at the habitat members of this species are selecting, quantify its availability, and provide better guidance for current and future conservation efforts.