A Canadian with decidedly Scottish interests, Kirsty Duncan’s decision to complete her PhD at Edinburgh was a no-brainer.
|Degree Course||PhD Geography|
|Year of Graduation||1993|
Your time at the University
As a highland dancer, Gaelic speaker and piper, my dream was always to study in beautiful, historic Scotland, and to attend one of the world’s truly great universities.
I loved my time at Edinburgh, my first-class professors, and my friends, many of whom I am still in touch with today; in fact, I had lunch with my dear friend, Dr. Andy Kerr, Executive Director for the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, just a few weeks ago in the new state-of-the-art building in the High School Yards.
As a Canadian student, I took every job available at the time, including teaching dancing, trampolining and weightlifting. And when I wasn’t buried in the basement of Drummond Street studying or at the gym, I loved volunteering every Friday morning at the Royal Infirmary, or volunteer teaching “tiny tot” gymnastics.
A shocking twenty years later, there is nothing I like more than visiting my treasured Alma Mater, and of-course sharing stories of Edinburgh and Scotland with students and young Canadians.
There is nothing I like more than visiting my treasured Alma Mater, and of-course sharing stories of Edinburgh and Scotland with students and young Canadians.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
Since returning home, I taught at three universities in Canada for sixteen years, consulted to government, and had the honour of serving as a lead author for North America on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was jointly awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore.
During the same time, I spent a decade leading an expedition to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergan, in order to search for the cause of the 1918 Spanish flu virus, which tragically killed upwards of 50 million people.
Today, I have the privilege of serving the community where I was born and raised as a second-term Member of Parliament for Etobicoke North in the Canadian House of Commons.
Make the most of every moment at the University of Edinburgh, take time to dream your greatest dream, and know impossible is nothing.