Graduate Spotlight: Ruqaiya Yousif

Ruqaiya Yousif, grad student spotlight

"It amazes me how geology integrates all other sciences, where every core or outcrop is a puzzle and how we use chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology as pieces of this puzzle to understand its story and how it formed. It all starts with simple questions of why it is here and how it was constructed and altered, then its all up to your imagination and your inner investigator to reveal the possible answers."


Mosul, Iraq

Graduate Research Focus:

My graduate research focuses on utilizing pearl oyster shells living in modern environment to reconstruct paleoceanography, which is mainly carbonate geochemistry and paleoceanography.

Ruqaiya Yousif in the fieldWhy I chose to do graduate studies:

My background is in Mathematics and environmental science. I learned carbonate geology from my mentor while working in ExxonMobil Research in Qatar and loved it. I remember the first time I saw a thin section with lots of fossils and discovered my passion towards geology. I felt the need to pursue this passion and love of science and geology by specializing in it.

Why Queen’s?:

Even though I had other university options, Queen’s University was my first choice, simply because it is a well-known university with exceptional scientific standards, particularly the Geological Sciences and Engineering Department. I have worked with people from the geology department and my mentor graduated from Queen’s and I was always amazed with the scientific level they have and the way they improved my critical thinking.

What do you like to do in your spare time?:Ruqaiya in front of elephants

In my spare time I enjoy being with my family and playing with my 8 year old daughter where she pretends to be a teacher and myself, husband and all her dolls are students.

What’s next for you?:

My main passion is teaching, and I hope to have a career in academia where I can share my knowledge and skills with everyone else and give back to the community.