In a recent podcast with Story Collider, Dr Jessica Brinworth, Assistant Professor with the Department of Anthropology talks about how gardening helped her both address lab waste from single-use plastic, and her own battle with research burnout and imposter syndrome during her doctoral work and first years as junior faculty in academia. 

In this heartfelt and honest narrative Dr. Brinkworth describes how her research interest in immunology met with her sense of responsibility and emerging work in environmental stewardship. She traces the steps of brainstorming ideas with her students and settling in a plan for composting. She discusses how she gained administrative support, and eventually, how other faculty members gathered around the effort and offered their own input to the initiative

The garden, Dr Brinkworth contemplates, made science both more inclusive for many students, revitalized her commitment to research and shifted her perspective on definitions of 'serious' science.   

The episode was co-ordinated by the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Story Collider is a Canadian organization focused on the stories of scientists and how these affect the science they do.