Bsc. Marine Biology and Environmental Studies
My name is Shelby Kutyn and I recently completed my Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Victoria, with a specialization in Marine Biology. I was born and raised on Vancouver Island, growing an appreciation and love for nature though family camping trips, hikes, and beach combing excursions. I am constantly inspired by the natural beauty on the West Coast, and this inspiration is what drives me to work towards preserving its existence and learning more about it through exploration, art, and science.
As an artist, I am inspired by the enigmatic Pacific Ocean and the ancient rain forests that blanket the West Coast. My creative background has allowed me to look at the world from multiple perspectives and think of innovative solutions to problems and questions revolving around wildlife and ecology. I would love to work in an environment where I could collaborate with other researchers and offer unique perspectives on how to approach research questions.
My knowledge of art and biology led to my first co-op position in 2016 at the Robert Bateman Center as a Species at Risk Outreach and Summer Camp Facilitator. In this position, I learned about the different issues regarding threats to marine and terrestrial species, and some approaches to combating these issues. I also acted as an ambassador of the organization, spreading awareness about species that are at risk in BC during a 3-month tour across lower BC with a portable museum exhibit that I set up everyday.
My second co-op position was at Science Venture as an Island Travel Science Instructor where I worked with Indigenous children in Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nation Communities across Vancouver Island. This job required immense flexibility in working hours, as we drove at odd hours of the day, and worked variable hours during the day at the summer science camps depending on the needs of each community. I had the privilege of working with Indigenous elders on their traditional territories, giving me the opportunity to teach youth by connecting western science with Indigenous knowledge. I strongly believe in the importance of respecting the values, traditions, and practices of other cultures, as they are intrinsically important and offer new perspectives, knowledge, and ways of interacting in life and with living systems.
My most recent job was as a Research Scientist at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. I worked in various locations, including Winnipeg, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Nunavut to contribute to climate research on the range and thermal tolerance of Northern Shrimp- an important fisheries crustacean that may be affected by climate change. For the field-work component of this position, I spent 6 weeks on a trawling vessel in the Arctic to collect data on the range of Northern Shrimp, their abundances, and their place in the food web (via stomach analysis of fish).
While living in different conditions with new people for extended periods of time, I showed patience, kindness, and admiration towards others, and learned that respectful communication is all that is needed to make relationships with people work smoothly. My years of dedication to soccer and ballet have aided in my ability to work with others as part of a team, but have also taught me how to take initiative and work on my own as a leader when appropriate.
For part of my schooling at UVic, I have taken classes on Ecology, Conservation Ecology, Marine Ecology, Ichthyology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Oceanography, Animal Behavior, Remote Sensing, and GIS. As such, I can identify the land and marine vertebrates, invertebrates, and birds of BC. In addition, my GIS and Remote sensing classes taught me how to use satellite data and other imagery to classify images into respective land cover types and how to geometrically and atmospherically correct these images for use in statistical analysis.
As for practical experience, I have been on several plankton research cruises and have been involved in researching marine mammals including several species of whales and porpoises on a research vessel off the west coast of Vancouver Island through a Whale Research Internship Program. I am also certified as a PADI Open Water Diver.
When I graduate from university, I would like to pursue a career in wildlife conservation and research. I am enthusiastic, easy-going, and hard-working. I love to get involved with research projects and learn new skills while also employing the skills and knowledge that I already have. If you would like to contact me about possible career opportunities, please contact me through the Contact heading at the top of the web page.