Q&A with Postdoctoral Fellow Pardis Karimialavijeh
Before joining the Centre for Earth Observation Science at the University of Manitoba, Pardis was a Yoga Instructor and worked as a Landscape Designer for a year. Born and raised in Tehran (meaning warm mountain slope) the capital of Iran, this beautiful city is located at the foot of the Alburz mountain range. It was here that Pardis obtained her Bachelors in Agricultural Engineering.
After completing her studies, Pardis moved to India for her Master’s in Environmental Science. In her second year she taught 1st year Master students Waste Water/Treatment Plan Design at the University of Mysore. From India, Pardis travelled to Malaysia where she received her PhD in Environmental Pollution Control, worked as an Environmental Consultant in Oil Spills, and taught English.
In an effort to get to know our team members a little more, CEOS sat down with Pardis to ask her what her goals are, how she likes her coffee and why she chose the work she does.
Postdoctoral Fellow: Pardis Karimialavijeh
Studying in: Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS), Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources
Advisor: Gary Stern, Research Professor
Why did you choose CEOS?
I read that the Government of Canada was funding Oil Spill projects, and about that time I saw Dr. Gary Stern’s posting for researchers to study crude oil spills. I was excited because that is exactly related to my PhD.
What’s the focus of your research?
My research focuses on the control and remediation of soil and marine hydrocarbon pollution, (ie. Oil). I am primarily interested in pollution remediation using microorganisms, as well as the study of the bioremediation capability of bacteria.
What is it that fascinates you about this field?
I believe in balance and I think apart from the constant natural cycles occurring in the world we are expediting this change. Having said that, petroleum contaminants are one of the major Environmental Contaminants. I’ve always been looking for a more environmental friendly way of cleaning up and I think working with microorganisms to cope with this and looking at their genetics, how they change and adapt themselves to these stressors really fascinates me.
What is the best part of your job here?
I love what I do, I am not just in the field or in the labs, but it’s a good mixture of both. When you’re involved with both and have an idea, you can implement that idea.
What did you want to be as a kid?
My Father was a Mechanical Engineer and my Mom holds two degrees, one in Nursing and one as an Analytical Chemist, so I grew up surrounded by a mixture of everything. Initially I wanted to be a Biologist, so I chose Agriculture Engineering.
If you could be a SuperHero, what SuperHero would you be?
I’d like to be a vampire. They’re really powerful.
I want to teach. I would like to work in the Academic Field teaching Biodegration of Hydrocarbons.
Favorite TV show:
Friends, Big Bang Theory. And I love Family Guy.
One thing not too many people may know about you:
I love technology, I’m a bit of a gadget freak. I am also an Animal Rights Activist. I have done Dog Rescues for over 10 years. I don’t anymore, it’s a very emotional job.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee! I am addicted to Starbucks. I love all the flavored coffees, Mocha, French Vanilla and Caramel Macchiato.
Any particular food you miss from home?
There is a really good dish in Iran, it’s like a rice and herb stew. But because I have lived in so many places, I’ve learned to be flexible, and adapt to my new culture. Every culture has really good dishes. You can’t find curry like you can in India.
Favorite Canadian food?