Celebrating Gender
Diversity in STEM

Networking Event

Mark your calendars

Hello, World! Join us for an exclusive night of inspiration, STEMpowerment, and celebrating gender diversity in STEM! We have many empowering women attending as mentors who are role models in their respective fields, from medicine, to education, to engineering. This will be your opportunity to network with them in small casual groups! We will also collectively celebrate our steps and successes in STEM with some activities and casual chats after networking. Join us for this amazing opportunity to speak with real leaders and shakers in STEM! Oh, and the first 35 people to sign up and attend will receive a carefully curated Pulsar gift bag delivered to them – register quickly!

July 29th, 2021

6:30 - 8:30PM EDT

via Zoom


6:30-6:40 PM: Welcome ceremony

6:40-7:00 PM: Keynote talk

7:00-7:10 PM: Screen break

7:10-7:30 PM: Networking session 1

7:30-7:40 PM: Screen break

7:40-8:00 PM: Networking session 2

8:00-8:10 PM: Screen break

8:10-8:30 PM: Networking session 3

8:30-8:40 PM: Closing ceremony

Stick around after the closing ceremony for some casual mingling and a rousing game of STEM-themed Kahoot, with prizes! This portion of the night will be alcohol-friendly.

Meet our Keynote

Melissa Cristina Márquez

Melissa Cristina Márquez is a multi-hyphenate Latina in STEM. Currently a PhD candidate at Curtin University, Márquez is interested in what environmental factors influence the composition and distribution of elasmobranchs using a variety of marine technology. She has become a household name via her Scholastic books (the “Wild Survival” series), freelance environmental issue articles, and TV presenter roles (BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and OceanX). Host of the “ConCiencia Azul” Spanish podcast, Melissa is passionate about making the scientific industry more diverse and inclusive, including making all of her educational content bilingual. With over 40,000 followers on social media, she has been featured in various outlets (BBC Wildlife, Good Morning America, GQ, People Chica, USA Today, etc), a Forbes “30 Under 30” honoree, and listed as one of InStyle’s “BadAss Women for 2021,” Melissa is currently aboard the OceanXplorer in the Atlantic Ocean as a scientific advisor/natural history show presenter.

Network with our mentors

Nadia Amimi

STEM Educator

Nadia Amimi is a biracial, Muslim woman became a Civil Engineer with an MBA and took on both engineering and financial positions early in her career. After further completing a Bachelor of Education, she realized her true passion – guiding and encouraging all students to find a love for math. 21 years later, having taught copious numbers of young women, Nadia prides herself on the success of those pupils, her professional teaching style which includes math aerobics and Mathletics and the many letters she receives from young women realizing their true passions. Her daily Covid-19 on-line live Trivia and unique costume changes garnered national media attention in 2020 by former Canadian Governor General, David Johnston. When she is not teaching fitness classes, training for athletic challenges and experimenting with nutritional recipes, Nadia and her husband enjoy traveling, ethnic foods, and their dog Cumin.

Steffany Bennett

Research Chair

Dr. Steffany Bennett is a lipid biochemist and systems neurobiologist working to identify gender and sex-specific differences in lipid metabolism associated with neurodegenerative disease. She a Full Professor and University Research Chair in Neurolipidomics at the University of Ottawa. She is also the Director of the India Taylor Lipidomics Research Platform, Associate Director of the Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation, Co-Director of the NSERC CREATE Matrix Metabolomics Training Program, and Special Advisor to the President on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Her area of expertise is in the use of high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry as applied to neurolipidomics and to evidence-based personalized precision medicine focusing on how lipid metabolism dictates vulnerability and resilience to genetic determinants of neurodegenerative disease. To achieve this goal, her research incorporates not only a GBA+ approach but also seeks to embed principles of equity diversity and inclusion into all aspects of metabolic research.

Siba Haykal


Dr. Haykal graduated from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine in 2007 as class valedictorian and silver medalist, and subsequently completed her residency training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto in 2016. During her residency, she completed a four-year Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and immunology with a focus on tracheal reconstruction. Dr. Haykal then pursued fellowship training in microsurgical reconstruction at the Albany Medical Centre in Albany New York where she accepted a position of Assistant Professor. Her practice focused on breast, head and neck and extremity reconstruction. Dr. Haykal joined the University Health Network and the Toronto General Hospital in 2018. She is also cross-appointed to the Division of Thoracic Surgery within the University Health Network. Her clinical focus is on complex oncological reconstruction and microsurgical reconstruction of the breast, head and neck and extremity. Her research focuses on tissue-engineered techniques for tracheal reconstruction and the immunology of vascularized composite allotransplantation.

Ziba Jaberansari

Lab Manager

Ziba completed her M.S. degree in StemCell Biology at University of Minnesota with the hope of becoming an impactful scientist in field of stem cell therapy. She has worked in regenerating 3D bio scaffolds in Europe and Germany, completing her PhD in Biology and Life Sciences. She then moved to Ottawa and joined Prof. Andrew Pelling’s lab, which is a world-renowned lab in developing Biomaterials and scaffolds for purposes of regenerative medicine. Currently, she works as a lab operation manager at uOttawa, department physics. Her job includes supervising lab operation, graduate and undergraduate students, design experiment and assist students to troubleshoots their challenge in scientific projects. Ziba has been all around the world, and her ideas and scientific rigor show it!

Thank you!

Thank you to the University of Ottawa’s Science Students’ Association and Students’ Union for all their support.