Photo of Edmonton by Maggie Fowlie (my mum!)
I am originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and I did my undergraduate degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, graduating in 2007 with a major in linguistics and a minor in philosophy. Before that I studied physics, mathematics, and philosophy at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and Camrose. I always want to know how things work and why things are the way they are. I think I ended up in linguistics because it melds science and humanities and social science. Language is a deep part of what makes us human, and as linguists we try to apply the scientific method and the tools of mathematics to understanding that human capacity.
Besides linguistics, I have a keen interest in music, especially choir. This year I'm singing in two choirs, the Yellow Door Choir and Voisa, a small ensemble that sings music of Georgia. My free time, when I have it, is spent immersing myself in fiction and the outdoors, ideally at the same time.
Photo of Yosemite National Park by Natasha Korotkova
I love travelling, particularly bicycle touring. In 2001-2, my friend Malcolm and I rode a recumbent tandem through Thailand, Laos, Nepal, and Tibet. We taught English to children in Pusan, South Korea after the bike tour. I went on a choir tour with Kokopelli in the summer of 2004, after which I can definitely recommend choir tour as the best way to see South Africa and Namibia.
Our recumbent tandem, somewhere in Thailand
Since summer 2010 I spent quite a bit of time in the Netherlands. I took a two-week beginner Dutch course in 2010 at the Universiteit Utrecht Summer School, biked across the middle of the country, and finally went sailing with my friend Floris and his friends. In the summer of 2011 I did a small bike tour in the Netherlands again, up the coast from Haarlem to Enkhuizen, and rode across the Houtribdijk, a huge dike separating the Markermeer from the IJsselmeer, ending in Lelystad. I've also spent several months in Lyon, France and Hannover, Germany.
I have a great love of backcountry hiking. I have done a number of multi-day hikes in the Canadian Rockies. In spring 2013, Natasha, Chase, and I did a snowy backcountry hike in Yosemite, in which only one of us got lost in the dark and we didn't get eaten by a single bear. More recently we hiked the Sespe Creek trail in the Los Padres National forest in which we didn't get bitten by a single rattlesnake and we came out with nearly as many intact pairs of pants as we went in with.