Aubrey Demchuk

Aubrey Demchuk Staff Bio
School of Environment & Geomatics
School of University Arts & Sciences

BSc, MSc, PhD

1 (888) 953-1133

Instructor, Biology, Applied Environmental Science and Planning

Aubrey started her post-secondary journey with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Genetics at the University of Alberta. Though her lab experience spanned organisms of all sizes—everything from viruses to humans—she developed a particularly strong foundation in microbiology by identifying the genes that enhance virulence in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli for her honours thesis. She then returned to her hometown of Lethbridge, Alberta, where she worked as a research technician at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (University of Lethbridge). While at the University of Lethbridge, she also completed both her MSc and PhD in neuroscience, developing genetic tools for tracing neural activity in rodents and exploring the hippocampal-cortical interactions involved in spatial memory.

Although she changed disciplines—transitioning from geneticist to neuroscientist—Aubrey's interest in microbiology, genetics and biotechnology didn’t subside. During her time as a graduate student, she was part of the Lethbridge International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) team in both student and advisory capacities. In particular, she helped design and develop a method for packaging DNA into microglial exosomes for use as a targeted stroke therapy, a technology that was subsequently patented. Other iGEM projects that she was involved with included engineering viral capsids as therapeutic delivery vehicles and producing insulin within an edible microalgae strain.

But Aubrey isn’t just a (self-proclaimed) science geek; she also loves mountain biking, hiking and other outdoor adventures. So, in 2021, she migrated to the West Kootenays for the mountain lifestyle. She says, “I feel lucky to have found a career at Selkirk College. It offers the quality instruction of a larger institution but with more intimate class sizes, passionate students and unparalleled access to field sites for both study and recreation."