I’m a writer and author, and I specialize in Ocean Sciences.
I have a Masters degree in Physical Oceanography from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and an Honours degree in Physics from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. Some of my writing can be found on my portfolio page.
My first children’s novel, Oli’s Ocean Adventures, is now available.
To get in touch about my book or my writing, please email me. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
More about me:
My physics degree had been hung on a wall of my mom’s house when I cycled across Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, and found Anne of Green Gables, the oceans, and Dalhousie’s Department of Oceanography. I had determined to go to graduate school in physics, but in an atypical field: I wanted to study something I could see and touch.
At Dal I completed my thesis on the topic of van-sized muddy ice blocks in the Bay of Fundy. My field work involved wielding a hand-held ice drill and using climbing harnesses in case the ice we stood on broke off into the channel as we drilled. It involved hammering and collecting ice, and sampling seabed mud enclosed in below freezing seawater. When my supervisor first described the project to me, he said, ‘You have to not mind being cold.’ Of course I lied.
During my time at Dal I also spent three weeks on a Canadian Coastguard research vessel in the North Atlantic, during which I was the sickest I’ve ever been, and I spent a work week on a small fishing boat, watching for minke whales in the strait where we worked. And living in Halifax, from my house I could hear the deep and long blow of ships’ fog horns in the harbour.
Oceanography is a physical, tactile field, and all parts of the oceans have personalities that humans connect to. My experience in oceanography is unique in that I came to it with no knowledge, even that of intuition. So I was completely in awe of that fluid’s complex dynamics and of the ingenious ways humans study it. One professor even said, ‘Space! That’s nothing. That’s a change in pressure of one atmosphere. We deal with a change of one atmosphere per ten metres of depth.’ At the bottom of an average spot in the Atlantic ocean, that’s 400 times the pressure change you would feel if you went into space. And what’s equally amazing is how the fields of biology, physics, chemistry, and geology are intertwined. If you study marine animals, their movements are affected by currents, i.e., if a turtle has a moment of relaxation, he’s still likely to be going someplace. So studying Oceanography means studying and taking into account many otherwise disparate topics. It’s not about taking an interest in the place where, for instance, chemistry meets physics: it’s that in the ocean, one is a part of the other.
The ocean’s wonder and a newness of perspective, along with the experience of the fantastic education I got at Dal, that’s what I strive to share with my readers.