Meet our Executive Team 


Karen lithgow

phd student / biochemistry and microbiology / president, co-founder

Karen is in her 4th year of her PhD thesis research, which focuses upon investigating how the causative agent of syphilis, Treponema pallidum, interacts with the cells that line human blood vessels. Outside of the lab Karen enjoys exploring Vancouver Island by water, trail, and snow. 

Karen is thrilled to be involved in the Women in Science initiative at UVic and hopes to develop resources that will recognize outstanding female accomplishments within STEM fields and improve female retention in academia.



phd student / biology / Vice President, director of events

As a 3rd-year Ph.D. candidate in the department of Biology, Chloe is investigating regenerative therapies for rare, genetic disease through gene editing in stem cells. When taking a break from cell culture, Chloe enjoys solving puzzles, traveling, and playing team sports.

UVic Women in Science supports female scientists during their pursuit of STEM-related careers. Chloe is delighted to be involved in engaging these individuals through workshops, guest speakers, social events and more.


Hannah Charnock

UNDERGRADUATE student / chemistry / Co-Founder, Community Outreach

Hannah recently graduated with a BSc in Chemistry (Co-op). Her academic interests have been tied up in the analytical chemistry world behind the beer, wine, coffee and spirits industries and she is currently working in her field. Outside of school and work, she shoots & develops 35mm film and loves to spend time bike-camping!

Since the beginning, UWIS has been a platform to recognize and celebrate female-identifying scientists in our community. After acting as Co-President with Co-Founder, Karen Lithgow for just over one and a half years, Hannah is now connecting industry with academia to curate job opportunities and outreach events for UWIS members.

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MSC / biology / director of Grants & funding

Nova is in the second year of her MSc in the Department of Biology. In the Page Laboratory, Nova studies foregut evolution in marine snails, and how developmental systems can evolve to prevent catastrophic effects due to phenotypic changes in animals with a complex lifecycle. Outside of school (if such a thing exists), Nova enjoys kickboxing and reading, listening or watching anything to do with the True Crime genre (SSDGM). From the moment Nova heard about UVic WIS, she knew that she needed to be involved with and help such an important movement. Even though gender disparities are not always obvious, major strides still need to be made to fight for gender equality, on campus and off.

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rhea ashmead

MSC student / biology / director of communications

Rhea is a first year MSc student in the department of Biology at UVic. Her research focuses on improving drug delivery to the brain for the treatment of MPS IIIB, which is a neuropathic lysosomal storage disorder. Outside the lab, Rhea enjoys gardening, trail running, and playing the piano. She joined UVic WiS as a way to connect with and advocate for female scientists at UVic.