Spotlight: Felix Nwaishi

Spotlight: Felix Nawashi

Why did you become a scientist? What drew you to this field?
I grew up in close proximity to nature, which inspired my curiosity to understand the environment around me. I wondered about things like "why the soil have different colours, and what gives soil the capacity to support plant growth? Where does water go after the rain?, and why does the sky have different colours?

What have you been doing in your job most recently?
I have been teaching plants ecology and terrestrial ecology courses at MRU. My teaching is informed by my research in environmental science, which gives me the ability to share my learning experience from environmental research with my students, who are training to become future environmental scientist and practitioners.

What kind of research do you do?
I am an ecosystem scientists, so my research resolves around integrating ecosystem interactions, in order to develop a mechanistic understanding of ecosystem functions, and the response of these key functions to environmental disturbance, which will then inform mitigation planning and policy development. I have a specific interest in wetlands, because wetlands serve a crucial function as the "kidney" of our natural environment. My long term research goal is to be a key player in sustaining wetland ecosystem functions in various environment (e.g. urban, industrial, agriculture and forestry), especial in an era of high degree of anthropogenic disturbance.

What is the coolest thing about your work/research?
There is something new to learn every day, I gain a better understanding of the environment I live in, and I get the opportunity to share this fascinating knowledge with my students through teaching.

What excites you about your work?
The dynamic nature of my work makes it very exciting for me. It takes me outdoor very often and I come back with a lot of knowledge to share with my students, simply telling science like a story (I love stories). What keeps me going everyday is the fact that I am lucky to work with some of the most amazing people you can think about. I love this place!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of a career in science?
Be curious and ready to explore. Thinking outside the box creates an opportunity for the evolution of novel ideas, so go environmental-smart-wild in your imaginations! The world is yours to discover.