Undergraduate Spotlight: Serena MacDonald

Undergraduate student spotlight Serena MacDonald

"I often feel as though I have landed myself in the perfect line of study. Since geological science has many disciplines, I believe there’s a place for everyone to find what they’d like to learn more about."

Hometown: Newmarket, Ontario

Program: Geological Science

Current year: 4th

Why I chose Geological Sciences:

Going into university, I knew I wanted to pursue science and I was leaning towards the study of life science. As one of my electives in the first year of my undergrad, I took an introductory geology course (GEOL 104). I found the content and hands on labs both interesting and fun. Turns out, geology is an amazing field of science that incorporates chemistry, physics, environmental science, and even biology- I was hooked! Once I figured out geology could also get me outdoors, I decided to pursue my degree in this field.

The professor(s) or course which has influenced me the most so far:

I have enjoyed aspects of every geology course I have taken in my undergrad, however, the paleontology course (GEOL 337) and structural geology course (GEOL 321) taken in my third year have influenced me the most. From these courses I learned that rocks are like Earths history books as they can record early lifeforms and events. I thoroughly enjoyed both the coursework and field excursions for these courses and hope to continue learning about these topics.

Most memorable Queen’s experience so far:

The fondest memories of my undergraduate career are from my field school courses. I thoroughly enjoyed learning in the field and getting closer to the profs and classmates that I worked with. My favourite field course was the New York state paleontology trip. I not only loved seeing new fossils and rocks, but I also enjoyed spending time with my classmates. Whether it be battling gale force winds or scouring the roadcuts for fossils, we had great fun doing it!

What do you like to do in your spare time?:

I love to be outdoors whether it be hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, or boating. Pre-pandemic I spent a good amount of time travelling (Iceland is currently my favourite) however, now I like taking small daytrips and hiking with friends. I also enjoy volunteering for the department student council, Miller Club, as I get to be creative with planning events and initiatives.

After I graduate, I:

Plan on gaining my GIT status and working for a few years in the exploration and mining industry as an exploration geologist. I hope to, in the near future, pursue a master’s degree potentially in ore petrology or structural geology.  

Serena in the field