Brent Sinclair is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Western University

Coming to Grips with Biology

Professor Brent Sinclair’s endless curiosity inspires his Western University students.


Brent Sinclair is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Western University. We asked everything from why he chose his field of study to what’s on his playlist in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.

What inspired you to become a scientist?
When I started University in Auckland, New Zealand, I was torn between English literature, Philosophy, and Biology.  Timetabling that programme is really tricky, and eventually someone pointed out that maybe the fact that I got great marks in Biology, but only OK marks in English and Philosophy meant that I should be a biologist. I developed passion slowly, helped by my high school Biology teacher, David Blaker, and a connection he made for me with a retired zoologist, Prof. John Morton.

What advice would you give young researchers?
Work hard, publish your results, and learn from everybody. And keep in touch with people – your network starts here!

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Tricky. The part of my job that gives me most pleasure is training graduate students, so every student who graduates and gets a job related to science is an achievement of which I am hugely proud.

What do you read?
Mainly literary fiction, but right now Romeo Dallaire’s Shake Hands with the Devil, in preparation for a trip to Rwanda.

What’s on your iPod?
Mostly nowadays I listen to podcasts about current events, history, economics and science.

If you could meet any historical figure who would it be and why?
AR Wallace – an adventurer, and a pioneering evolutionary thinker.

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?
Organic market gardener.

What do you like to do for fun?
Travel. Run. Climb mountains. See wildlife. Run up mountains near wildlife while in exotic places?