Let’s Give a Huge Welcome to Qi !!
The start of September marked the start of a new B-E-A-Utiful friendship with Qi Liu, our new taxonomist coming to us straight out of the University of Alberta. Qi (Pronounced ‘Chee’) brings years of experience in freshwater monitoring and chironomidae identification and is a great addition to our lab this year.We wanted to get to know a little more about Qi, so Kevin broke out his best interview skills to investigate!
Kevin: So Hi Qi ! Welcome to Summerland and Cordillera Consulting. I hear you’re joining our team as a taxonomist. Does that mean you will do my taxes for me? What does a taxonomist do?
Qi: Thanks Kevin! But a taxonomist is not someone who does taxes. A taxonomist is a biologist who specializes in the classification of organisms into groups based on their shared characteristics. So we, as taxonomists identify, describe and put organisms into proper classifications using morphological, behavioral and genetic similarities.
Kevin: You must be super smart to do all that. Where did you go to school?
Qi: I did my undergraduate at the University of Prince Edward Island on the East coast. Then I moved to the prairies to complete my Master of Science at the University of Alberta.
Kevin: Where are you from originally? Can you describe your town for us? Do you have lots of family there?
Qi: I came from Zibo, an interior city in the eastern coastal province of Shandong, China. It’s a mid-sized city in China with a population of over 4 million. It bears semi-dry continental climate with distinct four seasons. In history, it was a major center of silk and light textile production. Nowadays, it’s more of an industrial city with many ceramic manufacturing, petrochemical industry and mining sectors. Map link to Zibo: https://goo.gl/maps/PUNfCYjxfZ62
My parents and grandfather are still living there. I also have an elder sister and her family is living there too. In fact, most of my relatives live there.
Kevin: Mid-Sized!?! 4 Million people!?! Summerland must be quite a change…what’s been the biggest difference between living in China or living in Canada?
Qi: May I say that you’ll never feel alone with 1.4 billion people? Haha, well, because of the over-crowded population, how people get around in China is totally different from in Canada. In China, public transportation is really convenient, even in rural areas. You could almost go anywhere by bus and train. Also electrical bikes are extremely popular among daily commuters. But in Canada, it’s hard to go anywhere without a car, especially in small cities.
Kevin: I’m sure the world wants to know Qi, what had you interested in studying bugs in the first place?
Qi: There are many reasons why bugs are important and deserve to be studied. The main reason I got the opportunity to work on aquatic bugs was that they are useful in environment assessment.
Kevin: If you weren’t studying bugs – what do you think you would be doing?
Qi: I don’t know for sure, but maybe doing biomedical research. That’s what interested me most when I first went to university.
Kevin: Lets get to know the Qi outside of the lab. If you had to watch Star Wars or Star Trek, which one would you pick and why?
Qi: I have never watched either one, so I don’t know how to pick.
Kevin: Sounds like we have some movie nights together in our future then HAHA! What’s your favorite thing to eat?
Qi: Hot pot. I believe it is the most popular dish in China. I have never met any Chinese who doesn’t like hot pot. Hot pot to Chinese is kind of like BBQ to Canadians. It would be interesting if Canadians could adopt hot pot so that you could do BBQ in the summer and hot pot in the winter.
Kevin: Do you play any sports ?
Qi: I used to play soccer and table tennis when I was a child. But now I mainly play basketball and love watching NBA.
Kevin: What would you like to do with your career in the future?
Qi: I don’t plan too far, but I feel whatever I do in the future, I can’t live without bugs. One popular quote among entomologists is that “once you start you’ll find you can’t stop”. Although the main reason I first started to work on bugs was they are useful in bio-assessment, they are just fascinating and you’ll just wanna keep studying them for the sake of the bugs themselves.
Kevin: What is your favorite thing about Summerland so far?
Qi: Friendly people. People in small communities are much nicer than in big cities. Whenever I walk on the street, people say hi to me.
Kevin: Would you rather visit Europe or the Caribbean?
Qi: It kind of depends on the purpose and length of the trip. If I only have a few days and just wanna relax, I will choose Caribbean. But If I have much longer time and wanna explore different culture, wonderful food and historical sights, I would definitely choose to visit Europe.
Kevin: Would you rather listen to an Audio book or Music while you work?
Qi: I like to listen to music while I study or work. I feel music could relax me and make me more productive.
Kevin: Ok Qi … This is the most important question I have for you, and I saved it for last. What is your favorite flavor of cake? We like to eat lots of cake here – at least once a month for someone’s birthday! Sometimes twice!!
Qi: I don’t have any particular preference; I like all the common cake flavors.
Well there you have it! Now you know a little more about Qi! And even better – I get to pick my own favorite cake flavor (Banana) for Qi’s Birthday this year and he said he’ll eat it!
We hope you enjoy it here Qi! Welcome to the Lab!