Jacob received his BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University in May 2014. He has always enjoyed learning about all forms of life, but has taken a particular interest in botany since completing classes that include Diversity of Life II, Economic Botany, and Developmental Biology. He has gained so much inspiration from the professors in the Biology Department over the years of his study. In the summer of 2012, Jacob partook in a volunteer conservation project in the Limpopo province of South Africa, which involved conducting biodiversity surveys of native plant life within the Masebe nature reserve. He has been a teaching assistant at Dalhousie for a number of biology labs including: Diversity of Life II, Developmental Biology, Economic Botany, and Introduction to Biology for Engineers. Jacob began to volunteer in the Gunawardena lab in December 2013, and has since been developing his knowledge in advanced compound and laser confocal microscopy techniques, while becoming an expert in aseptic tissue culturing. He was very grateful to have been a recipient of the Sarah Lawson research scholarship for the summer of 2014, where he first explored his interest in phenolic compounds and their involvement in lace plant programmed cell death.
Now Jacob is continuing his research in the Gunawardena lab as an MSc student, where he will be investigating the role of specific anthocyanin species in cell death. Jacob has recently been honoured with the Biology Department Teaching Assistant Award for the 2014-2015 academic year, and has also accepted a position as an Executive Member for BOGS (Biology Organization of Graduate Students) for the 2015-2016 term. Jacob is very excited to continue his academic journey at Dalhousie, and to represent the Dalhousie Biology Department in the scientific community.