Sara E. Cannon, PhD

Aquatic Conservation Scientist


I’m delighted to share a major (and majorly overdue) update: in August, I successfully completed my PhD! My dissertation is publicly available online here.

It feels surreal to even type those words. I’ve spent the last few months trying to wrap my mind around closing this chapter of my life, while reflecting on what it took for me to get to this point, especially as a high-school dropout and a single parent. I may write more about that journey at some point (spoiler alert: I have thoughts about academic support systems [or lack thereof]), but for now, suffice it to say that it took me almost half of my life to become Dr. Sara Cannon, PhD. I suppose it is unsurprising, given this, that it is taking some time for it to sink in that I actually did it.

In addition to ruminating about how far I’ve come, I’ve also spent the last few months preparing for next steps. I am delighted to share that I am joining the Centre for Indigenous Fisheries, housed within the Institute for Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia, as a postdoctoral research fellow! I am thrilled for the chance to learn from the CIF’s founder, Dr. Andrea Reid, and to work alongside her, the CIF team, and Indigenous knowledge-holders to generate science with and for Indigenous communities.

Over the last year or so, I’ve been working with a First Nation in British Columbia to build relationships and to collaboratively design a project that will address their research priorities for fisheries within their territory. Things are moving forward and I hope to officially start in the next month or so. I am honoured and grateful to have this opportunity, but I think it is important to openly recognize my position as an academic of settler descent within a space meant to centre Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Knowledges. I am committed to meeting my responsibilities as someone who continues to benefits from ongoing settler colonialism, not the least of which is to defer to and support Indigenous leadership. I will remain accountable to Indigenous partners and colleagues, first and foremost.

I will write more once the project is confirmed, and I look forward to sharing another update soon!


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