Ruth Rivkin

Ruth Rivkin wins Excellence in PhD Research Award

Ruth Rivkin, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto Mississauga, has won the Excellence in PhD Research Award from the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution – the highest distinction the society awards to PhD students.

Rivkin, who is completing the final year of her degree, works in the EvoEco Lab of Associate Professor Marc Johnson. She studies interactions between plants, pollinators, and herbivores. Her research focuses on how cities can shape those interactions through changes to the landscape, which can affect population sizes, the way individuals disperse and patterns of evolution. 

“Cities are fascinating because they bring humans and nature into direct contact with one another,” Rivkin says. “Through my research, I try to shed light on biological processes that often go unseen in cities, and I'm hoping to continue this work throughout my career.”

Rivkin is a leader among young scientists studying how cities affect the evolution of life, Johnson says.

“This award signifies that in the study of ecology and evolutionary biology, she is among the top scientists of her generation in Canada.”