Carin Bondar.

Carin Bondar.

Carin Bondar: Biologist with a twist

Chilliwack's Carin Bondar, 36, as featured in The Chilliwack Progress Forty Under 40.

Dr. Carin Bondar wants to be the female version of David Suzuki.

In a predominantly male industry, the 36-year-old “performing” biologist says it’s time for females to take charge.

Bondar is determined to lead the way.

“When we think of science communicators, we think of David Suzuki, Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Attenborough; there are all these males in this demographic, and I’m just looking to be a female version of that,” said Bondar.

However, the mother of four, is no Amy Farrah Fowler; she goes against the stereotypical nerdy grain.

“I was the girliest girl,” she said.

Bondar never intended on becoming a biologist, but rather a professional ballerina. She started dancing at five years old, and was hired on by a professional dance company in Germany right out of high school. When she went to university a year later, she did so with an arts degree in mind.

And yet, every semester Bondar enrolled in a biology course, for the interest of the subject. By her third year, she decided to major in biology.

“It’s funny how sometimes the most obvious thing is just not obvious to you at the time,” said Bondar who has a masters and PhD in biology.

While she let go of her dancing dreams, she didn’t let go of her pizzaz.

Rather than focus on the mundane of science found in textbooks, Bondar zeroes in on eye-opening tidbits like cross-dressing insects, bromancing baboons, and sibling rivalry amongst sea lions.

Bondar writes a regular blog on her website, as well as one for the David Suzuki Foundation, Huffington Post, and Scientific American. She’s appeared on several television networks promoting science; has published a book, The Nature of Human Nature; and was recently cast as host of a new science TV pilot out of Los Angeles that starts shooting in May.

“I hope to be paving the way for other girls,” she said. “Maybe as women in science get more press, maybe then it will get easier.

“It’s taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears, a lot of nos, getting ignored, a lot of frustrations. But I’ve had the same New Year’s resolution for three years now: Don’t give up, keep going, keep trying, no ifs, ands, or buts. It takes a lot of determination and hard work, but it’s very, very worthwhile.”

 

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