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Julia Huggins

Julia is an earth-systems scientist who studies how the interactions between living and non-living parts of Earth’s environments can shape ecosystems and global climate. She is based in Squamish, BC, Canada, and through her research collaborations she also works at research laboratories in Europe and spends time on open-ocean scientific research vessels around the world.

Julia’s passion for environmental science and education started at a young age when she grew up exploring the mountains of Wyoming and the seacoast of New England. Julia studied biology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, and spent several years researching how symbiotic relationships between trees, mushrooms, and soil microbes drive ecosystem-level processes. This work brought her to remote corners of the world, including New Zealand, Patagonia, and Alaska. Julia completed her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where she studied how chemical processes carried out by tiny microorganisms regulate the health of marine environments. For this research, Julia organized oceanography trips in British Columbia and month-long research expeditions in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico and Chile. Throughout her research career, Julia has combined her love of the outdoors with her work as a science educator. Julia has worked as a naturalist and backcountry guide for more than 10 years throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is also a co-founder of the BOAT non-profit that supports access to outdoor education, and she helps make science fun and engaging as a co-host of the Nerdy About Nature podcast. She believes deeply in the power of fun, accessible, place-based education; sharing the things that inspire her about the natural world is the root of her motivation for research and science outreach.