Dr. C. J. Mundy [ PhD 2007; MA 2000; BSc 1997] is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Geography and the Centre for Earth Observation Science at the University of Manitoba focusing on Arctic Biological Oceanography.
Growing up in Manitoba's northern nickel mining city, Thompson, he developed a strong appreciation of the outdoors and particularly, the cold continental climate. To him, cold temperatures lead to snow, ice, and inevitably fun, whether building a snow fort, or gliding over the snow and ice with skates, sleds, skis, and snowboards. C.J. also grew up with a fascination of wildlife TV shows which propelled his need to understand how organisms survive and flourish in cold harsh environments.
C.J. points to three opportunities that helped steer him to where he is today. The first was his BSc honours supervisor, Dr. Brenda Hann, who helped introduce him to research and provided him with a foundation in Aquatic Ecology. The second opportunity came in the form of Dr. David Barber, who offered him the opportunity to study snow and sea ice in the Arctic during the final year of his undergraduate degree, and following C. J. went on to do a Master's and PhD with Dr. Barber. The third opportunity came during his Masters' degree when, while participating in the North Water Polynya project in 1998, C.J. met Dr. Michel Gosselin who introduced him to a unique community of algae that grow within the sea ice. C.J. later undertook a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Gosselin's laboratory in Rimouski, Quebec.
To quote C. J. "although there are a lot of highs and lows in an academic career path, the highs vastly outweighed the lows". He particularly enjoys that in an academic career you never stop learning, and that learning can from many sources. He notes that "we learn both from teaching (mentoring) and by being mentored, at all levels of our careers".