Alicia Bowland is a second-year Food and Agricultural Business student with enthusiasm for analyzing food security and economic growth in developing communities. She is also very passionate about sustainable development and advocating for positive social change. Outside of school, Alicia’s interests include health and wellness, politics and outdoor activities. She enjoys being an active community member in her hometown of Guelph – during the summer you can find her working with the social media marketing and communications team for the local Hillside Festival. As a SPARK writer she aims to help readers understand how development research, as well as other innovative research themes, affects us in daily life and on a global scale. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career that integrates law and policy with her keenness for communications and economic betterment.
Mya Kidson is a first-year Nutritional and Nutraceutical Science student with an interest in pursuing studies linked to growth and development in relation to nutrition. She grew up in the quaint town of Hespeler, Ontario, and has since ventured to Guelph as of Fall 2018 to pursue her passion for science. Mya enrolled at the University of Guelph because of its well-known advancements in research – she knew that she wanted to be a part of that in the future. Although commuting, Mya has become accustomed to the bustling student life in Guelph and considers it her home away from home. What Mya loves most is that there is an abundance of veganrestaurants, something that is hard to come by in her current hometown, Cambridge. Mya is also passionate about writing and has contributed to multiple blog posts for the College of Biological Science’s undergraduate blog, BioEd. She jumped at the chance to apply for SPARK in the hopes of delving into topics related to nutritional growth and development and was excited to join the team in January 2019. When she is not studying or attending lectures, Mya enjoys browsing for treasures at local thrift stores and stopping for an espresso at her favourite coffee shop, Monigram Coffee Roasters.
Ariana Longley is and has always been curious. This led her to move from her hometown of Brampton, Ontario to pursue her Master’s Degree in the Integrative Biology Department at the University of Guelph. She is currently in the final year of her Master’s program researching how urbanization effects the evolution of plant reproductive traits. During her first year at the University of Guelph, Ariana began writing for the University of Guelph’s student newspaper, The Ontarion, and making weekly content for her YouTube channel, Ariana Alexis. In both ventures, she likes to thoughtfully analyze life, pop culture and other topics she finds cool. While working at SPARK, Ariana hopes to combine her love of science and communication while honing her ability to create interesting and insightful content. When she’s not researching plants, working on YouTube videos or writing articles, Ariana likes to watch movies and paint creative nail art.
Samantha McReavy moved to Guelph in 2015 from Owen Sound, Ontario, a picturesque town off Georgian Bay. This fall she'll be starting her fourth year at the University of Guelph, studying Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences. Samantha recently discovered a passion for knowledge translation, and while working at SPARK, she aims to educate, engage and inspire people with her writing. When she graduates, she wants to get a job in knowledge translation for human health. Samantha's outside interests include drawing and painting. Working mostly in photorealism, she creates photo realistic portraits and flowers. She’s also starting up her own health and wellness website where she translates new research findings into a format that’s easy to understand and engaging.
Sydney Pearce is a recent graduate from the Animal Biology program with a minor in Psychology: Brain and Cognition. Her passion for animal science and research began at a young age due to her large family of cats, dogs, hamsters, fish, birds, and the occasional reptile. She nurtured her interest of literature and science in her home city of Mississauga, Ontario. She's currently the president of the U of G Animal Science Society and is part of a research team looking at therapy dog stress and human recognition of canine stress. She has also researched ways to reduce pacing behaviour in the Sumatran tigers at the Toronto Zoo and is passionate about conservation. When not involved with animals, she can be found staying active at a local belly dance studio or dancing for the University of Guelph dance team, Gryph Steps..