Karina de Souza Jensen

Biology Major, Ecology, Evolution & Conservation

For this research project, I took a BISC 498 with Dr. Leah Bendell to examine the changes in clam community composition of beaches in Buckley Bay following the introduction of invasive Varnish clam Nuttallia obscurata.

Why did you choose to come to SFU?

I chose to come to SFU because it offered the degree program and courses I was interested in - including both the ecology-based BISC courses, as well as the interaction between social and ecological/environmental sciences from the REM program.

How would you describe your research or program to a family member?

Through the various research projects that I have been lucky to be a part of here at SFU, I have been able to work hands-on with aquatic organisms both in the lab and the field. Although it is not what I would have expected as a younger undergrad, I have also learned really valuable programming and writing skills that have allowed me to communicate to greater audiences about how climate and habitat changes are affecting aquatic organisms. 

What are you particularly enjoying about your studies/research at SFU?

Something I have absolutely loved about the research I have been able to be a part of is working hands-on with animals. Not only is it is so exciting and such a pleasure, but it completely changes the learning experience. I am someone who really enjoys working with my hands, and being able to interact with the organisms we learn about in such detail in classes truly makes me appreciate why I am here in the first place.

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?

If you are a student interested in getting involved with undergraduate research, I would say the best way is just to talk to your professors, instructors, and TA's! This is of course easiest if you are someone who is chatty to begin with - but whether it is in person after classes, during an office hour, or via email, I have never had a bad experience at SFU when trying to get involved. Most people I have talked with are very excited to talk about their (and their peers') work, and will happily chat with you about opportunities. The easiest way in might be through TA's as they are often grad students who need help with their projects - but for all the research projects I have been part of, I have spoken directly with professors, so it is really case-dependent.