Dr. Jennifer Sunday started her postdoctoral fellowship at UBC in 2013. Her postdoctoral supervisors in the zoology department are Drs. Christopher Harley and Mary O'Connor. In addition to the 2016 Killam Postdoctoral Fellow Research Prize, Dr. Sunday is also the recipient of the UBC Biodiversity Research Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Each year, two outstanding postdoctoral fellows are selected as recipients of the Killam Postdoctoral Fellow Research Prize. Nominated by their faculties, the Killam PDF Prizes are awarded to full-time postdoctoral fellows in recognition of their outstanding research and scholarly contributions. Dr. Jennifer Sunday, a 2016 prize recipient, tells us about her research goals, what its like to live in Vancouver and work at UBC, and what winning the Killam PDF Research Prize means to her.
What do you hope to accomplish with your current work?
I hope to advance our fundamental understanding about the evolutionary ecology of species distributions, and to simultaneously improve our ability to predict responses to climate change.
What research related or academic event coming up in the near future are you most excited about?
I am excited for two research symposia in Europe - one at the University of Zurich and the other at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of Marine Environments in Oldenburg, Germany.
Jennifer Sunday’s research is focused on understanding the relative roles of environmental change, physiology, and species’ interactions upon biogeographical ranges and changes in biodiversity. She uses analyses of biogeography through time, comparative traits-based analyses, and experimental approaches to better understand ecological change, and to advance our understanding of biosystem reponses to environmental change.
Why did you decide to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at UBC? Did you consider other opportunities?
I came to UBC to work with the fantastic ecologists and evolutionary biologists at the Biodiversity Research Centre. Also, Vancouver was my first choice of a location to start my young family, as my parents live here, and my husband has started a business here.
What advice do you have for new postdoctoral fellows?
Go skiing in the winter, and get out on the water in the summer! Also, get involved within your departments.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your postdoctoral fellowship?
The best surprise was the unofficial support network for navigating parenthood as a scientist.
What does receiving this award mean for your career?
It is a wonderful injection of support and encouragement. My work is cross-disciplinary by design, and broad-level recognition like this is especially helpful for cross-disciplinary work.