#WCWinSTEM: Cylita Guy, H.BSc.
Cylita Guy is a science educator, an ecologist and an evolutionary biologist who studies bats and the viruses that they sometimes share with humans, but rarely get sick from themselves!
When she is not doing field work, Cylita is passionate about helping others foster their own senses of curiosity and discovery. Cylita is a host at the Ontario Science Centre (OSC) and started a Junior Bat Biologist Program in conjunction with the High Park Nature Centre. You can catch up on her numerous and fun field exploits in the recent general audience book Fieldwork Fail: The Messy Side of Science!
Where did you go to school?
- H.BSc. Animal Physiology and Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, University of Toronto, Ontario, CA
- Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (in progress), University of Toronto, Ontario, CA
What do you do right now?
I’m currently a PhD candidate in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto. I study bats and their viruses. I am trying to figure out why bats are really good at carrying diseases that they rarely get sick from themselves, but often share with us as humans (diseases like Rabies, Ebola, SARS and more). I also work part-time as a host (i.e. scientist) at the Ontario Science Centre, a science museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with the mission to inspire curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the planet. As a host, I present science content to diverse audiences in a fun and accessible way. Although I am trained as a biologist, on any give day, I may be delivering planetarium shows, running toddler workshops or leading nature walks. I’ve spent the last 8 years working at the OSC and I love what I do. I get the opportunity to help people get excited about science — the opportunity to educate, delight, inform, and inspire! Along the way I’ve had some pretty powerful experiences with our visitors and have gotten to hone my communication skills
What made you choose your STEM discipline in the first place?
I’ve always been fascinated by the diversity of organisms on this planet, so it seemed only natural to me that I should study this diversity when I started University. During my undergrad, my honour’s thesis project was in the field of conservation biology. Although I loved what I did, I learned that it’s often hard to get people to care about conservation for a variety of reasons.