September 2018 - Current
Ph. D. in Biology, Dalhousie University
I am broadly interested in how temperatures influence organisms, and especially in how temperatures experienced in early life-history stages can have effects that cascade into the later life of an organism, and in thermal fluctuations. I am currently conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Hutchings.
September 2016 - August 2018
M. Sc. in Ecology and Evolution, University of Toronto
During my M. Sc., I studied the effects of temperature on sex determination and growth in embryonic Snapping Turtles under Njal Rollinson.
September 2010 - December 2014
B. Sc. in Biology, Minor Natural History, McGill University
I completed my B. Sc. at McGill with a focus on development and paleontology. I did undergraduate research with Hans Larsson on chick development.
Grants, Awards & Recognitions
Tri-Society Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Award
"The ASN/SSE/SSB Inclusiveness, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Award was created in 2019 by the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), and the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB). The IDEA Award is given to a person at any career stage who has strengthened the ecology and evolutionary biology community by promoting inclusiveness and diversity in our fields. "
Outstanding Graduate Student Award
Winner of the inaugural Outstanding Graduate Student Dalhousie IMPACT Award for service to my department and academic achievement.
2020 - 2021
MEOPAR Fathom Fund (for Diversity of Nature Program)
We were awarded a grant of $37,500 on top of $12,500 in crowdfunding for our Diversity of Nature BIPOC-focused educational outreach program from the Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction, and Response Network (MEOPAR).
2019 - 2020
Dalhousie President's Award
Awarded to outstanding Ph. D. students in their first two years; covers tuition (Appx. $11,000 per year)
Killam Doctoral Scholarship
Awarded to Ph. D. students on the basis of academic excellence, research potential, and leadership. ($30,000 per yr)
Alexander Graham Bell CGS Doctoral Award.
National scholarship awarded by NSERC. ($105,000)
Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Scholarship
Provincial scholarship from the Nova Scotia Government. ($60,000).
Alexander Graham Bell CGS-M Scholarship
National scholarship awarded by NSERC. ($17,500)
Awarded to an outstanding graduate student in the EEB department. ($2000)
Awarded to an outstanding graduate student studying zoology at the University of Toronto. ($1300)
Imar Talvila Graduate Scholarship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Awarded to an outstanding graduate student in EEB. ($830)
Margaret and Nicholas Fodor Fellowship
Awarded to a graduate student on the basis of leadership and academic performance. ($500)
Harold H. Harvey Travel Award, University of Toronto
Awarded to attend a graduate conference. ($400)
Awarded to two outstanding teaching assistants based on student and teaching supervisor reviews.
Frederick P. Ide Graduate Scholarship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Awarded to an incoming graduate student on the basis of academic merit by the University of Toronto. ($1,550)
Friends & Alumni Entrance Scholarship
Awarded to an incoming graduate student based on academic merit by the University of Toronto. ($4000)
Awarded to a student who has shown outstanding leadership, academic excellence, and outstanding contributions to the Redpath Museum by McGill University ($300)
Biodiversity Science Discovery Award
A research grant awarded to an undergraduate researcher based on academic excellence and project potential by the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science ($3000)
Awarded to new students of McGill University based on academic merit and leadership ($3000)
Awarded to new students of McGill University based on academic merit and leadership ($3000)
Governor General’s Academic Medal
Awarded to the top student entering post-secondary studies from a Canadian secondary school by the Federal Government of Canada
Awarded to an outstanding scholar entering post-secondary by the University of Toronto
2021 - Current
Curriculum Developer, Dalhousie Science Scholars and Leaders Program (DSSLP)
I am assisting Dr. Joseph Bielawski and Suchinta Arif in developing course content for BIOL2111 (Becoming a Scientist I), BIOL2112 (Becoming a Scientist II), and the "Toolkit for Science" First Year Interest Group (FIG) course. These programs are part of an initiative that seeks to give underrepresented the tools they need for success in STEM (BIPOC, first-generation, women, femmes, and nonbinary individuals, 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, those with disabilities, or other historically excluded and underrepresented students).
Instructor, Graduate Science Communication & Outreach, Dalhousie University
I launched and developed this graduate module alongside Suchinta Arif. In this graduate module, we teach students how to effectively communicate science to broad audiences, with a focus on hands-on activities and accessibility.
Teaching Assistant, Animal Diversity, Dalhousie
I provided individualized support for students, and was responsible for grading and giving feedback on their work. Additionally, I graded the final projects alongside the course Instructor in a senior teaching assistant capacity.
January 2019 - Current
Biology Content Expert, King's View Academy
I currently teach Biology part-time to students from Grades 7-12 in accordance with the Nova Scotia curriculum guidelines. King's View Academy is a private school with a pedagogical focus on self-direction and self-motivation.
February 2019 - January 2020
Tutor, Oxford Learning
I currently tutor Grades 1-12 in math, literacy, and the sciences at Oxford Learning. Oxford's learning model is based on self-motivation, inquiry, and building on foundational knowledge.
September - December 2018
Lab Instructor, Mount Saint Vincent University
I taught two lab sections of Introductory Biology and managed two teaching assistants as a part-time faculty member of Mount Saint Vincent University.
Senior Teaching Assistant, Diversity of Birds, University of Toronto
I was responsible for giving lab lectures, grading, and assisting students in the Diversity of Birds course (300 level).
Teaching Assistant, Organisms in the Environment, University of Toronto
I was responsible for managing the population ecology software labs and marking. I also gave a guest lecture on turtle ecology.
Teaching Assistant, Diversity of Birds, University of Toronto
I was responsible for assisting students in lab and in the field.
Teaching Assistant, Evolution and Adaptation, University of Toronto
I gave lab lectures, marked students' work, and supervised labs. I won the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for this position.
2015 - 2016
Mad Scientist, Mad Science
I taught after-school and lunchtime elementary classes on general science, by using fun experiments and hands-on activities.
March 4 2022
Organizer, Ecological Science Communication Conference 2022
I co-organized the inaugural Ecological Science Communication Conference with Suchinta Arif.
"The Secret Underground Life of Turtle Eggs". Woodstock Field Naturalist Club. December 6 2021. Invited speaker.
Invited Conference Workshop
Arif, S*, Massey, M. D.* "Translating marine science into effective scientific outreach." Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network Annual Training Meeting. Nov 2, 2021. [Invited 1.5hr workshop presentation]. *Co-presented
Panelist in "Scholarships Workshop", organized by Dr. Julia Riley. Canadian Herpetological Society. August 18th, 2021. [Invited panelist].
Massey, M. D., Arif, S., Albury, C., Cluney, T. "Making Room for BIPOC Scholars in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology". Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research. Feb. 18, 2021. [Invited plenary talk]
Massey, M. D., Arif, S., Albury, C., and Cluney, T. "Elevating BIPOC Scholars in EEB". FISH Seminar Talk, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. Feb. 12. 2021. [Talk]
Massey, M. and Hutchings, J. A. "Lessons from an Inconstant World: Studying Thermal Variability". FISH Seminar Talk, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. Nov. 8. 2019. [Talk]
Massey, M. Lloyd, A. W., and Hutchings, J. A. "A review of thermal fluctuations in the laboratory." Canadian Society of Zoologists Meeting, Windsor, ON, May 18 2019.
Massey, M., and Hutchings, J. A. “An empirical test of the scale transition theory of thermal performance in the Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus)”. Lett Symposium, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. Apr 5, 2019. [Poster]
Massey, M, Rollinson, N. “Climate Change and Snapping Turtles.” Sigma Xi Society Lecture Series, Toronto Public Library, Toronto, ON. Oct 11 2017. (Invited speaker).
Massey, M., Brooks, R.J., Rollinson, N. “The Effects of Climate Change on Sex Determination and Growing Time in a Northern Population of Snapping Turtles”. Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Meeting, Victoria, BC. 9 May 2017.
Massey, M., Brooks, R.J., Rollinson, N*. “Long-term monitoring of hatchling sex ratios in a species with temperature-dependent sex determination during a period of rapid climate change.” Wildlife 70 Symposium, Trent University, Peterborough, ON. 3 May 2017. *Presented by Njal Rollinson.
Massey, M., Brooks, R.J., Rollinson, N. “The Effects of Climate Change on Sex Determination and Timing of Developmental Events in a Northern Population of Snapping Turtles”. Atwood Colloquium, University of Toronto. Toronto, ON, Canada. 9 Apr. 2017. (Invited speaker)
Massey, M., Rollinson, N., Brooks, R. J. “Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination in a Northern Population of Snapping Turtles.” Learning Unlimited Oxford, Woodstock, ON, Canada. 29 Mar. 2017. (Invited speaker).
Massey, M., Brooks, R. J., Rollinson, N. “Modeling the effects of climate change on temperature-dependent sex determination in the Common Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina.” Canadian Herpetological Society Conference. Toronto Zoo, Toronto. 15 Sept. 2015.
Presentations and Workshops
I develop presentations, workshops, and other educational media for the public and students.
Massey, M. "Dinosaurs, Turtles, Fishes, and a Roadmap in STEM". Dalhousie University, SuperNOVA ITS for Girls Program. September 25 2021. (Invited speaker).
Massey, M. "Career Paths in Biology". Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, Toronto, ON, June 10 2021. (Invited speaker).
I was invited by Science Assistant Curriculum Leader Paul Weight to speak to high school science students about career paths in biology, with a focus on my own trajectory.
Massey, M. “The Story of How I Tried Out a Bunch of Stuff and Found Out What Worked.” Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Undergraduate Panel Presentation, University of Toronto. Nov 28 2017. (Invited speaker.)
Massey, M. “The Embryonic Thermal Environment in Oviparous Reptiles.” Organisms in the Environment (BIO375) Guest Lecture, University of Toronto. Nov 22 2017. (Invited speaker.)
Massey, M. “Fix and Release.” Canadian Association for Girls in Science. Oct 28 2017. (A pre-screening of the nature documentary Fix and Release, with a talk by the director and CBC filmmaker Scott Dobson, and Ontario Turtle Trauma Centre Manager Donnell Gasbarrini.)
Massey, M. “Science Literacy Week: Climate Change and Snapping Turtles.” Toronto Public Library. 19 Sept 2017. (Invited speaker.)
Massey, M., and Astudillo-Clavijo, V. “Scientific Illustration”. Canadian Association for Girls in Science, Royal Ontario Museum. 27 May 2017. (Invited speaker.)
Massey, M. “Snapping Turtles: Conservation and Nesting”. Beacon Elementary School, St. Catharine. 23 Nov. 2016. (Invited speaker.)
Massey, M. “Climate Change and Sex Ratios in Snapping Turtles”. Ingersoll District Nature Club, Ingersoll. 13 Sept 2016. (Invited speaker.)
Featured in the Woodstock Sentinel Review on Sept. 12, 2016. Available at: http://www.woodstocksentinelreview.com/2016/09/12/climate-change-could-spell-doom-for-turtle-population-thanks-to-temperature-controlled-sex-determination
Massey, M. “Dinosaurs and the Earliest Birds”. Beverely Central Elementary School, Troy. 1 Apr. 2015. (Invited speaker.)
Massey, M. 2016. Consolidating grief and criticism after Bowie’s Passing. In The Newspaper, University of Toronto.
School and Community Involvement
June 2021-May 2022
President, Biology Organization of Graduate Students
I work to represent the interests of Biology graduate students, acting as a liaision between faculty/staff and students. I help facilitate the operations of BOGS, including social events, and disseminate news to keep the department connected. I co-led a special project for this year, developing a repository of succesful NSERC and NSGS applications to be used as a resource for students.
Vice President, Biology Organization of Graduate Students
I assist other BOGS reps in achieving their goals (social events, annual conference, financial, etc.) and act as a liasion to the Committee of the Whole in Biology with President Loay Jabre. Major accomplishments this year include (1) successfully creating graduate pay reform, to minimize errors in graduate stipend pay, and (2) pushing to increase minimum stipends by $4000.
January 2020 - May 2020
Team Captain, Seadogs Inner Tube Water Polo
I was the captain of the Seadogs (Dalhousie Biology and Oceanography) intramural inner tube water polo team for the Winter semester.
2019 - 2020
Lett Symposium Coordinator, Biology Organization of Graduate Students, Dalhousie University
I am responsible for coordinating the annual Biology Lett Symposium, a celebration of graduate student work. I am co-organizing the symposium with Chad Simmons.
2017 - 2018
Undergraduate Mentor, University of Toronto
I was a panelist for talks assisting undergraduates with applying to graduate school, applying to NSERC, and navigating a career in science. I also mentored and co-authored a paper with undergraduate student (now M. Sc. student) Carter Rouleau on turtle hatching.
2017 - 2018
Social Coordinator, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Students Association, University of Toronto
I was the social coordinator for our department, and created events such as the yearly Halloween party, trivia nights, yoga, and other social events.
Volunteer, Ontario Turtle Trauma Centre
I worked with the Ontario Turtle Trauma center to help feed and maintain recovering turtle housing.
2013 - 2014
Redpath Museum Club Illustrator and Event Planner
I illustrated media such as the Redpath Museum Club logo, lab manual illustrations, and the Natural History Minor T-Shirt design. I also organized movie nights for the club.