Jody Daniel, BSc

Jody Daniel, BSc

Graduation Date: 2012
Grenada


St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences graduate Jody Daniel was recently awarded the coveted Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) to the University of Waterloo, an institution ranked first in Canada as its most innovative university for the past 24 years running. Unbeknownst to her, Ms. Daniel was nominated for the prestigious scholarship by a Waterloo faculty member. The OTS, which serves as a significant recruitment initiative to attract the best qualified international students to Ontario for PhD studies will also provide her with full funding for the four years as she pursues her degree in biology, beginning this September.

For Ms. Daniel, becoming a marine and wildlife conservationist was not a lifelong dream but rather a growing passion ignited by her time spent obtaining her bachelor’s degree from the Department of Biology, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC) at St. George’s University. Guided by Dr. Andrea Easter-Pilcher, Senior Associate Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Ms. Daniel attributes the outstanding SGU faculty in the BEC department, along with her involvement in the student group Education Conservation Outreach (ECO), with awakening her desire to be of service to the conservation effort locally.

“My time at SGU while I was involved in ECO really helped me to embrace the culture of conservation, which we currently don’t have here in Grenada, since the concept is relatively new to our small island state,” said Ms. Daniel. “I think we will eventually get there and the fact that ECO recognizes these gaps is what really attracted me to conservation research in particular.”

Ms. Daniel credits Dr. Easter-Pilcher, who noticed her love for the sciences and the outdoors and steered her to SGU’s Marine and Wildlife program. Additionally, she tributes Dr. Eric Dyreson, a visiting professor from the University of Montana Western with sparking her interest in Wildlife Ecology Management. Ms. Daniel later went on to do an online internship with Dr. Dyreson—a research project focusing on the population dynamics of the Grenada hook-billed kite.

“Dr. Dyreson taught us about population ecology and research modeling, which everyone in the class thought was boring except for me,” shared Ms. Daniel. “I learned to do programming and to estimate and monitor change over time, which I found fascinating. My subject preferences are physics and math, and when I realized this program had a strong quantitative background ,that cemented by aspiration into conservation research.”

In 2014, after completing her degree at SGU, Ms. Daniel left her hometown of Grand Anse in Grenada and pursued a master’s degree at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. She received full funding after being awarded the National Science and Engineering Council Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship and focused on natural resource management while completing her degree in conservation ecology in 2015.

Since graduating, Ms. Daniel continues to give back to her homeland, returning to her alma mater where she has worked both part-time and full-time as a teacher in the BEC department at SGU. Her strong interest in research models and gathering quantitative evidence to be used in management decisions has also driven her volunteer work with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries and the Woburn Woodlands Development Organization.

“Many of my colleagues are currently working in the Fisheries division and doing some very informative campaigns in regards to educating the public on conservation,” praised Ms. Daniel. “However, I would like to tackle this topic from the scientific research side, which I believe will go hand in hand with the educational campaigns already being done.”