My name is Matija Stanic. I was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia during the time of Yugoslavia. My family and I moved to Canada as refugees in 1996 due to the civil that was taking place in Bosnia at the time. We lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for four years at which time my father got employed in Calgary, so we moved. I make it a habit to visit my extended family still living in the Balkans at least every couple of years.
Even as a child, I have always been fascinated with the natural world. This was what drove me to decide to do a Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of Calgary. My focus during my undergraduate studies gravitated toward botanical sciences, although I never officially specialized in botany. This decision to study plant biology was highly influenced by several amazing professors which I encountered during my studies who opened my eyes to the wonders of plants. Having graduated from the university, I had some time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life as I was teaching piano part time. I soon realized that my thirst for knowledge, specifically relating to biology, had not been quenched by my undergraduate degree so I began talking to professors about graduate studies at the University of Calgary. During this time, I had begun volunteering in a plant science laboratory at the University of Calgary under one of my former professors. Shortly after realizing I enjoyed the research world, I was accepted into my Master of Science at the university specializing in developmental plant genetics. My project focuses on genetic manipulation of canola (Brassica napus) in order to produce a highly branched shoot in hopes of increasing yield per plant. I am currently finishing my master’s thesis and preparing to defend as well as working as a research consultant at an R&D company involved in the cannabis industry. Aside from my work and education, I like to spend my free time reading, playing the piano, and lifting weights.