Basically what we're doing here is, we’re the CSI for fish.
My name is Anna Yao, I'm from Simon Fraser University and I'm part of the cooperative education program here at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
I’m a part of the aquaculture portion of the strategic Salmon Health Initiative, where I prepare samples to be run for their DNA and RNA profiles. So we do a variety of things: we figure out who they are where they came from, what they were eating, and we try to figure out how that will affect future fish populations.
This work is important for Canadians because Canadians eat a lot of fish, and we want that fish to be good fish. It's really amazing to be able to work with such cutting-edge equipment, and with such fantastic scientists who are working on such high-level projects that you wouldn't really get to do in University.
You might learn about it in class, but it's fun to be part of the process and you get emotionally attached to it. When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist. Then when I got a little older, I wanted to be a scientist …and then when I was about to graduate high school, I realized I wanted to be both.
I want to pursue scientific illustration and the work that I'm doing here and helping with their research and understanding it and building a poster to explain their research is helping build my portfolio. I love scientific illustration because basically I’m trying to explain all these intricate processes in a visual way so that people can understand it much more clearly than they would otherwise.
I think the work that I'm doing here has helped me get towards a better understanding of fish and genetics that I can put towards my scientific illustration and I'm excited to do that in the future.