Cindy Bongard

​​​​​​​​​​​2013 alumna, the first PhD student to graduate from the Environmental Science program at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)

I was absolutely delighted to learn from the faculty at U of T when I first returned to school, as each person who taught me helped me move closer to the decision to pursue graduate studies: books were recommended, field courses that I never knew about were promoted by various departments, and passionate support for embracing conservation through knowledge and education was abundant.

In my PhD program in Physical and Environmental Sciences at UTSC, I have been using molecular techniques to characterize fungal associations of invasive plants to determine whether alterations induced by invaders disrupt healthy, productive native plant-fungal associations and larger ecological systems.

The opportunities at the University of Toronto keep expanding. New degree programs create opportunities that reflect the needs of the community, both local and global. Studies at U of T continue to become more collaborative, resulting in solutions to challenges that conventional approaches have not been able to fully address. The University of Toronto is well positioned to meet these challenges as  it tends to attract global thinkers and people who want to work in and learn from a large variety of disciplines and areas of expertise.

I am not quite sure about my future plans, but I hope to couple my accounting background with my newly minted environmental science expertise to find a job that relates to sustainability and education.

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