Barbara Sherwood Lollar

Family-Friendly Discoveries

Our planet offers endless opportunities for exploration. But just as important for this professor is maintaining a sense of community.


Barbara Sherwood Lollar is a University Professor in Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto and a CRC Tier I Chair in Isotopes of the Earth and Environment. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. We asked her everything from what she is reading to what advice she would give to young researchers 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 do you like most about being a scientist?
The excitement and sheer thrill of discovery of new parts of this world and forging a new understanding of our world and its workings – the joy of discovery never grows stale.

What advice would you give young researchers?
Continue to question, have faith in your instincts, and keep pushing the limits of what you can achieve and discover.

What are you reading right now?
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

What do you like to do for fun?
Read, spend time with my family, and especially, read and discover with my family!

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?
Whatever it would be would have to be about community – the lifelong example of the women in my family inspired all of us to try and give back to the community.

Aside from things for your survival, what item would you most want to have with you on a deserted island?
My family (lucky them!)

Interested in learning more about Prof. Sherwood Lollar’s work? Read our blog post on uncovering the mysteries of a subterranean zoo.