Today’s Women in Entomology Q&A features Jessica Linton, a terrestrial and wetland biologist with Natural Resource Solutions Inc.
Q: What are you studying or working on right now?
JL: I am the founder and coordinator of the Ontario Butterfly Species at Risk Recovery and Implementation Team, so a large proportion of my time right now is focused on developing and implementing recovery activities for butterfly species at risk in Ontario. This includes coordinating things like finding and applying for funding, permitting, working with researchers to develop specific research projects, working with land managers to inform habitat restoration and management, and conducting field work. I am currently coordinating the proposed reintroduction of an endangered butterfly (Mottled Duskywing) to Pinery Provincial Park.
Q: What led you to your specific field of study or work?
JL: Since childhood, I have always been fascinated by butterfly biology and ecology. A job as an interpreter at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory and two undergraduate co-op terms in Costa Rica at a butterfly education centre solidified my career direction for me.
Q: When did you first become interested in science and entomology?
JL: It’s been in my blood for as long as I can remember! I spent a lot of my days as a kid just being outside.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your research or work?
JL: I enjoy the flexibility and diversity that working as a consultant in the private sector affords. I bid on many contracts related to species at risk assessment and recovery planning, and work with academic collaborators on research and monitoring projects.
Q: What are your interests outside of academic life or work?
JL: Butterflies definitely cross over to my personal interests, and I enjoy observing and photographing them in the field. My children and I enjoy spending time outdoors, hiking, etc.
Q: What are your future plans or goals?
JL: To continue to build a tailor-made career that feeds my interests and keeps me engaged in my work. I would like to make a meaningful impact on butterfly species at risk recovery in Canada.
Q: Do you have any advice for young students that may be interested in science and/or entomology?
JL: If the job doesn’t exist, find a way to make it happen! Never underestimate the power of your enthusiasm for what you’re passionate about, and make an effort to network and build connections!