Meet Shannon Pyke- Calgary born, competitive swimmer, and Biology Research Assistant at Terramera. She has been with Terramera for exactly one year and says her favourite part is working with a unique group of people and learning about their interesting projects. Although she graduated with a degree in microbiology, she says sustainable agriculture has won her over, “I really like this field! I didn’t realize how much crossover there was with microbiology.”
Shannon bounces between several ongoing projects at Terramera including a growth enhancement study on wine grapes and another focused on protecting the diminishing bee population. This project was initiated in collaboration with Hives for Humanity, a non-profit that encourages community through beekeeping, to find an alternative defense against Varroa Mites, an external parasite that attacks honey bees and causes colony collapse disorder. “The products on the market right now are effective but extremely toxic so they kill a lot of bees and can’t be used near beekeepers or honey,” Shannon explains. So, she and her colleagues experiment with different oils and organic compounds to find an effective, safe solution.
Her goal is to help bees continue their vital role in the ecosystem and to contribute to Terramera’s vision of making clean food abundant and affordable saying, “Working for a company with such a strong drive for change and good values is important to me!”