As a senior research assistant in the botany and a member of the Arctic Flora of Canada and Alaska project, Paul Sokoloff’s work boils down to cataloguing plant and lichen biodiversity in the Arctic and beyond. On any given day, he may be in a faraway place doing field work, in the museum’s herbarium studying specimens, or taking part in outreach activities on behalf of the museum. In the quest for science, he’s had his clothes stolen in southern Labrador, flipped over a canoe full of samples in New Brunswick’s Jacquet River, and hiked to the top of McGill Mountain on Ellesmere Island while wearing rubber boots.
Paul first came to the Canadian Museum of Nature as a master’s student under the supervision of Research Scientist Lynn Gillespie (he determined that the Fernald’s milkvetch is not a plant species of its own). Two days after submitting his thesis, he was on a plane bound for Victoria Island in the Western Canadian Arctic as a museum field assistant and he hasn’t looked back since. Since then, Paul has embarked on nine Arctic expeditions with the museum, and has participated in multiple biological expeditions at the Mars Desert Research Station.