Unique Scientist: Danielle Herman

Meet ruminant nutrition consultant Danielle Herman (She/Her) from Canada!

What kind of scientist are you?
I currently work as a ruminant nutrition consultant, focusing on mediating metabolic disorders in lactating animals.

What made you want to become a scientist?
Scientific research has always been fun for me. Even as a kid I would spend my spare time studying and making reports on animals I found interesting. I wanted something challenging for a career and science has given me that. My highest grades were rarely in science classes, instead I excelled in literature and philosophy.

What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
I have battled with my mental health for some time now. It almost kept me from completing my degree, and has been a hindrance on many aspects of my life. I know that mental illness in any field isn’t unique, but the stigma associated with it is still prominent. I try my best to be an ally for others who may be struggling and to be open about my own experiences. It can be uncomfortable to talk about, but I feel that it is so important to keep the dialogue going.

“Science has something for everyone, but there needs to be the opportunity to discover that.”

Danielle Herman

What’s something cool you do outside of work?
I paint animal skulls and bones. It started as a hobby, but I’ve actually sold a few pieces now. I like working with bone as a canvas because I feel like I’m giving the animal new “life”. Most of my time is spent doting on my pets–Piper a Felis catus (cat), and Lazarus a Nhandu tripepii spider–as well as my fiance who is currently studying medicine at the University of Toronto.

If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
I think that there needs to be more science outreach programs for kids and teens, as there are so many fields that are underrepresented or misunderstood. Science has something for everyone, but there needs to be the opportunity to discover that.

Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now?
First and foremost my parents, for supporting me in whatever I chose and teaching me the value of hard work. My grade 7 science teacher Colin Lenox formally introduced me to science and inspired me to pursue it as a career. Drs. Mutsvangwa, Penner and Christensen at the U of S (University of Saskatchewan) for introducing me to the wonderful field of ruminant nutrition, letting me work in their labs, and being patient with me whenever I was falling to pieces.

“I know that mental illness in any field isn’t unique, but the stigma associated with it is still prominent.”

Danielle Herman

Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
I used a round saw for the first time this week and left the scene with all my fingers and toes attached.

#WomenInSTEM, #WomenInAg

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