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Rebecca Dalton

Rebecca's Biography

Dr. Rebecca Dalton is a Senior Evaluator in the Ecological Assessment Division of the Science and Risk Assessment Directorate of Environment and Climate Change Canada, where she leads ecological assessments under the Chemicals Management Plan. This work involves leading, planning and coordinating the analysis and synthesis of complex scientific data and the ability to provide high quality science and technology advice for policy development and regulatory decision-making.

Prior to accepting her current position with Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2017, Rebecca completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ecotoxicology at Carleton University. Rebecca obtained a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Biology with a specialization in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University respectively. She completed a H.B.Sc. in Biology with Environmental Science from the University of Western Ontario.

Rebecca’s research has focused on assessing the effects of chemicals and other stressors on aquatic ecosystems such as streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands through laboratory, mesocosm (e.g. artificial pond) and watershed scale studies.

Rebecca is passionate about science and volunteers many hours towards professional service. In addition to publishing her own research in international peer-reviewed journals, Rebecca serves as a peer-reviewer for multiple scientific journals. Rebecca is actively involved with several scientific organizations, most notably with the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. At the provincial level, she has taken on a number of leadership roles including President, Vice-President and Chair of various committees. She has organized over 40 seminar events and is currently a Diversity in Science committee member. Rebecca’s long-term career goals are to be a global expert on the effects of contaminants on freshwater ecosystems and a strong and positive leader in Canadian science.

Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Biology with a specialization in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology (University of Ottawa and Carleton University respectively) and a H.B.Sc. in Biology and Environmental Science (Western University)

Senior Evaluator in Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Ecological Assessment Division

My job has a positive impact on Canada’s environment. I assess the risk that chemicals may pose to the environment. In my past research, I spent a lot of time wading in streams and catching frogs.

I am most proud of my Ph.D. and postdoctoral research. Determination and resilience play a big role in scientific research. I am proud that I was able to push through challenges to successfully complete a range of studies (small-scale laboratory studies to large-scale field studies) that assessed the effects of chemicals on freshwater ecosystems.

My network of support has been invaluable in my career. I was very fortunate to have strong female mentors throughout my graduate studies and postdoctoral research. I also have an amazing family. They have been my biggest cheerleaders and have supported me throughout life’s highs and lows.

Take chances. Reflect on what you really want in life and go for it. Learn to ask for what you want and learn to fail. This is not easy or comfortable (and I am still learning how to take my own advice). Life is too short to not follow your dreams.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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