President: Avni Patel
Hi everyone, I’m Avni, a third-year PhD candidate studying amorphous carbonate phase transformations for application in carbon capture and storage! Whilst, I love science and research, STEM is not the most inclusive, diverse or equitable space, and these systemic imbalances make the landscape extremely difficult to navigate for those belonging to minority groups. Seeing and hearing the effects of inequity and exclusion on people of different groups over the years has made me passionate about EDI. I’m committed to making EDI a priority for this department, so that we can build a safer and more welcoming workplace, where everyone belongs, has equal access, and feels supported.

My goals this year as the President of the Grace Anne Stewart Speaker Series are to:

1. Continue showcasing the work of minority scientists and allowing people within our department opportunities to network with these individuals

2. Validate common, but difficult struggles faced by those in the university system by creating a platform for people to share their experiences

3. Create better opportunities for mentorship within our department to provide those from minority groups with better resources and support

4. Work with the departmental and faculty of Science EDI groups to create wider, systemic EDI changes for future members of the EAS community (see the outcomes of URGE 2021)

5. Provide the department with new opportunities for developing their knowledge of inequity in science

Kasia Staniszewska

I'm Kasia, a PhD student with a fiery passion for cold regions river chemistry. I've volunteered with GASSS since 2018, eager to improve diversity, inclusivity, and equity in the geosciences by supporting GASSS's speaker series, industry panels, mentorship program, and EAS's participation in the Unlearning Racism in Geoscience Program. I hope our initiatives will grow an ever more welcoming environment for all students, staff, and faculty in EAS.

Drew Brown

Hi, my name is Drew Brown. I am doing my MSc with Dr. Murray Gingras. My research is looking at the influence of burrows on diagenesis in the Abu Dhabi sabkha.

Daniela Gutierrez Rueda

Scott Cocker

This year in 2022, Scott is running the Speaker Series along with Maria. He also runs Scientific QUEERies, a speaker series which works to improve the visibility of LGBTQ2S+ professionals in STEM.

Kira Holland

I am a third year PhD student working with Dr. Alison Criscitiello in the Canadian Ice Core Lab. My research uses the geochemistry of ice to reconstruct past climate and environmental conditions. I am currently working on the new Mount Logan ice core from southwestern Yukon, which will provide us with a better understanding of ocean-atmosphere variability of the North Pacific.

Tahya Weiss-Gibbons

My name is Tahya Weiss-Gibbons, and I am a first year PhD student with Dr. Paul Myers. My research focuses on the modelling coastal processes in the Arctic Ocean, particularly looking at the impacts of climate change on these regions.

Radhika Saini

I am a first year MSc. student and my thesis project aims at understanding the formation and evolution of meteorites from the moon, mars, and an asteroid called 4 Vesta. I received my BSc. degree here in Edmonton from MacEwan University. If I am not "studying", I prioritize spending time with my family and playing with my dog. As a hobby, I love working on DIY projects and would've probably given interior designing a shot if I hadn't figured out my interest in rocks and research within my 2nd year of undergrad.

Maria Arizaleta

Hi! My name is Maria Arizaleta and I am one of GASSS event organizers. I am in my 3rd year of my PhD with Dr. Sasha Wilson, my research focuses on characterizing and assessing the potential of clay minerals found in lakes and mine tailings for CO2 sequestration.

Brielle Andersen

Hi, I'm Brielle. My research focusses on near surface geophysics to determine aquifer characteristics and structure in the Edmonton region, with some field research in northern permafrost areas as well. Jordan Koop and I are this year's advertising team.

Jordan Koop

My name is Jordan and I'm going into the second year of my MSc project under Dr. John Waldron. My research is on platform-edge rocks in western Newfoundland. This year with GASSS, I'm a part of the website advertising and mentorship teams!

Shaun Woudstra

Hi, I'm Shaun, and I study Quaternary to Holocene volcanic activity in Alaska, BC, and Yukon. I hope to strengthen the sense of community between different levels of study in our department

Miranda Holt

Faculty Contact

Stephen Johnston


Friends of Grace Anne Stewart


Dr. Willem Langenberg
Adjunct Professor EAS Department