Diversity in Space

Meet Margaret Ikape

Margaret Ikape is a PhD candidate in the department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto. She was born in Nigeria and completed her undergraduate degree in Physics and Astronomy before obtaining a Masters degree in the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Her current research focuses on understanding the nature of the early universe using simulated data.

Meet Eric Choi

In this feature, we interview Eric Choi, director of business development for Canada/U.S. government at GHGSat. He shares his journey leading to his career, inspiration for space exploration, and cultural identity. Choi has worked on several space projects, including the Canadarm2 on the International Space Station and RADARSAT-1 Earth-observation satellite.

Meet Dr. Patrick Hill

Dr. Patrick Hill is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Alberta who is passionate about planetary geology and understanding planetary surface processes. His current research explores advanced curation methods for astromaterials. He did his PhD in Geology and Planetary Science & Exploration at Western University, where he focused on impact cratering, meteorites, and the origin of the Moon. During his degree, he also took on numerous roles in student organizations, including as Pride Commissioner for the council advocating for LGBTQIA+ graduate students, and was an active member of his university’s outreach program.

Meet Catheryn Ryan

Catheryn, a PhD student in Geology and Planetary Science at University of Western Ontario, shares their journey to their career studying microbial habitability of Mars-analogue volcanic environments. They also discuss the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in leadership positions and share their hobbies of sewing, knitting, and rock climbing. In order to build a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ community in the Space sector, Catheryn believes that having as many LGBTQ+ people in positions of leadership as possible to act as examples and mentors would make a huge difference.

Meet Dr. Hilding Neilson

Learn about Dr. Hilding Neilson, an assistant professor at the Dunlap Institute, who conducts research on astrophysics and the intersection of science, astronomy, and Indigenous knowledge. He shares his academic journey and his perspectives on being Indigenous in astronomy, as well as his favorite constellation, Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters.
Internal links: Dunlap Institute, astronomy, Indigenous knowledge, colonization, Western science, constellations