Fidji Gendron

Dr. Fidji Gendron

Science is awesome and we need you!

Professor, Biology
First Nations University of Canada and the University of Regina

Dr. Fidji Gendron is a Professor at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina, Saskatchewan. She is interested in traditional uses of native plants. She works in partnership with Elders and has developed booklets on plant medicines. These teaching tools help promote native plants recognition and highlight their importance in the Aboriginal culture. Along with Dr. Vincent Ziffle, a chemist also at the First Nations University of Canada, she examines the bioactive chemical components in native plants.

As an academic, what is your favourite part of your job?

I love learning about new things when I teach and during my research projects. I especially enjoy when students ask me questions in class. I tell them I will look for the answer and come back to them about it during the next class. I think I have the best job!

What are you researching and what excites you about it?

We work in collaboration with Elders who share with us traditional knowledge about Saskatchewan native plants. Our role in the lab is to perform a chemical survey of these plants and identify their bioactive compounds.

How do you foster and encourage diversity in your workplace?

It is important for us to work with Aboriginal students and foster their love of science during medicine walks and laboratory work.

What advice would you give to girls or young women who are interested in careers in science or engineering?

Don’t be afraid of science. It’s such an amazing field of work. I had the chance to have great female friends when I was doing my graduate studies, so I have never felt science was not for me. Science is awesome and we need you!