Catherine Cullingham, Ph.D.
I am an assistant professor, hired as a plant population geneticist at Carleton in July of 2019. I grew up on a small dairy farm on the edge of the bustling metropolis of Burks Falls (Pop: 1000!). There I spent a lot of time outdoors and interacting with animals. I always had a passion for math and biology and decided to do my undergraduate studies in molecular biology and genetics at the University of Guelph. Finishing my undergrad, I had decided I hated lab work, and research was not for me. A year after not finding any meaningful employment, and after some great interactions with researchers at a plant research station, I jumped into a Master’s at Trent University. From there I was hooked, and transferred to the PhD program where I used population and landscape genetics to examine the risk of raccoon rabies spread into Ontario. From there I did my postdoctoral work at the University of Alberta, where I initially worked on understanding spread-risk of chronic wasting disease in deer, and then switched from mammals to plants to investigate the genetics of pine trees to understand spread-risk of mountain pine beetle. This research has formed the foundation of my current research lab. But, because animals and plants are bags of DNA to me, I am happy to explore any interesting question that we can apply a population genetics approach to.