Professor, Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, ON. Born: British Columbia.
Professor Trevor Charles is the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies at the University of Waterloo’s Department of Biology. He teaches courses in microbiology and molecular genetics, and runs a research lab with a focus on environmental genomics and bacterial-host interactions. Dr. Charles joined the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo in 1998. He previously taught at McGill University as an Assistant Professor.
Honours: Research in Dr. Charles’ lab is funded by research grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Genome Canada; inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006).
Works: Articles published in journals, such as Journal of Bacteriology, Applied andEnvironmental Microbiology, Molecular Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Education: Bachelor of Science, Microbiology, University of British Columbia (1985); PhD, McMaster University (1991); Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington (1991-93).
Favourite book? I cannot choose but one book! Here is a list of some of my favourites from over the years: V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas; Alex Hailey’s Roots; Alice Walker’s The Temple of My Familiar; Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene; John Fowles’ The Magus; Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink; Horace Freeland Judson’s The Eighth Day of Creation; and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.
Favourite quote? “Tout ce qui est vrai pour le Colibacille est vrai pour l’éléphant.” (“What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant.”) – Jacques Monod, Bacterial Geneticist, 1965 Nobel Prize winner, Physiology or Medicine
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? I have always intended to write a novel.
Who inspires you? Creative people in general, especially writers and musicians, inspire me. At the top of my list are writer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and the late jazz pianist, Michel Petrucciani.
Why do you do what you do? I have a passion for knowledge and science, and I enjoy the process of discovery immensely. It is important to love what you spend most of your time doing.