International Day of Women and Girls in Science – Interview with Jessica Schaub, Master of Science Student in Oceanography; by Maria Neagoie 🦑


Jessica Schaub

Master of Science Student in Oceanography,
University of British Columbia

Education: HBSc Oceanography & Biology,
University of British Columbia

Jessica grew up in rural northern Alberta but has always been drawn to ocean sciences. After graduating high school, 17-year old Jessica made the difficult decision to move to Vancouver after being accepted to the University of British Columbia. Navigating academia as a first-generation university student was challenging, but incredibly rewarding. Jessica graduated with a combined honors degree in Oceanography and Biology in 2018 and developed a passion for jellyfish research. Now as a graduate student, Jessica is dedicated to addressing barriers for under-represented groups in academia, including women and Indigenous peoples. Her outreach is directed by the challenges she experienced as an undergraduate student in the hopes that she can improve experiences for future students.

Source: Perimeter Institute’s Celebrating Women in Science 2021 Event Description


Opening Remarks: Hello, My name is Maria Neagoie and I am a 9th grade student at Tudor Vianu National High School in Bucharest, Romania. I have just attended Perimeter Institute’s Inspiring Future Women in Science Event and really enjoyed your knowledgeable answers, joyful attitude and kind advice. I am a big Space enthusiast and I have a website at where I share the NASA, ESA, NSS and United Nations educational projects I do. After the webinar, I feel like I learned a lot and had a fun experience, but unfortunately my questions were not answered, and I hoped you’d be so kind to give your answers to this mini-interview.

Opening Remarks: Hi Maria, This is an amazing initiative, I’m very impressed with your website and your outreach! I would be happy to answer your remaining questions here.

Q: 1)What drew you to the field of science?

A: 1)Like the other panelists said, they changed their career path a few times as they grew and learned in their fields. I always joke that I was one of the ‘lucky’ scientists that has always known what I wanted to do. Since I was young, I have always been interested in ocean science so it’s hard for me to know exactly when I became interested in science. I know that I have always asked a lot of questions!

Q: 2)What were the toughest and happiest moments of your career?

A: 2)Toughest moments: It’s hard to think of one specific tough moment, but I face challenges all the time! Every day I struggle with procrastination and impostor syndrome, my funding applications are often rejected, and sometimes I accidentally miss deadlines, etc. It is important to know that this is common in science, but it shouldn’t deter you! I learn from all of my mistakes and know how to pick myself back up and continue on. Happiest moments: Big milestones are obvious, like being accepted for my Master’s or graduating with my Bachelor’s degree. Similar to my challenges, I have many happy moments too! Anytime I finish a paper or hand in an assignment, when funding applications are accepted, and when I am invited to be a panelist for amazing events like today!

Q: 3)What’s your favourite science-related book?

A: 3)I like Spineless (Juli Berwald), and When Elephants Weep (Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy). I like them because they challenge me to think about new perspectives in science.

Q: 4)Have you ever felt like giving up? Why and what kept you working towards your goals?

A: 4)I think many people have experienced this. This is why today’s panelists emphasized finding your passion! It is easy to push through a tough time when you are excited about the end goal.

Closing Remarks: Hope this helped! Let me know if you have any other questions. Cheers, Jess

Closing Remarks: That is very helpful and impressive! Thanks a lot for your time! I will definitely keep you updated when I post the answers on my website and I’m looking forward to attending more of your speeches or even doing other online interviews together! (And also trying out the books you recommended. 🙂 ) Thank you again and have a great day!😀 Ad astra, Maria Neagoie

Screen Captures of our Email Interview

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