Professor and Chair, University of Waterloo
Kirsten is a phycologist (studies algae) and professor at the University of Waterloo. In 2021, Kirsten became the first woman chair in the history of the Department of Biology. She is also the past President of the Phycological Society of America and as of January 2022 she will be the managing editor of the society’s scientific Journal of Phycology. Her research focuses on the evolution, ecology and taxonomy of marine and freshwater algae including toxic and invasive species. More recently, she has been examining the impact of climate change and forest fires on rivers and lakes and the resulting algal blooms that occur from these events and subsequent impacts on drinking water. Kirsten is passionate about being a role model for women and advocating for increasing diversity in STEM and feels that empathy for others is our best path forward. Kirsten grew up in Northern Canada, where the outdoors was a huge part of her life, and this continues to today. She loves to explore and hike with her family and document her adventures with photography. Kirsten was thrilled to be part of HB4 and found this program to be life changing and has enabled her to move forward using values-based leadership to make a difference in her communities and create a better world for future generations.