Meet the Editors: Dr. Melania Cristescu and Dr. Graham Scoles, Genome
October 14, 2014
Dr. Cristescu is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Ecological Genomics. Her research interests include: the nature and scale of recombination and mutation rate variation across genomes, the genetics of aquatic invasions, and speciation in ancient lakes. Her primary research organism is Daphnia. Dr. Cristescu joins Dr. Graham Scoles and replaces Dr. Art Hilliker, who is stepping down after seven years of leading Genome and serving the genetics and genomics communities.
To better get to know the new co-editors of Genome, we took the opportunity to ask a few questions. beginning with the newly appointed Dr. Melania Cristescu.
Q: How did you choose science as a career?
A: As a child I spent many summer vacations fishing with my father, examining aquatic habitats in the Danube Delta or exploring trails and caves of the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania. At about the same time, the documentaries of Jacques Cousteau, the French oceanographer and explorer had a strong influence on me. Later on, the books of the Romanian biologist and speleologist, Stefan Negrea, about the caves of the world and the biological treasures they hide influenced my decision to study biology. During graduate school, I had the chance to work with inspiring supervisors that helped me consolidate my career plan.
Q: What is your area of research?
A: I study ecological genetics and genomics. I am interested in speciation patterns in ancient lakes, the genetics of aquatic invasions, and mutation rates.
Q: What are some of the most exciting things happening in your field right now?
A: The genomics revolution has been very fulfilling to witness. Its applications touch many aspects of our lives.
Q: What are your hopes for the journal?
A: My goal is to support the journal on the long-term mission of covering broad areas of genetics. At the same time, I aim to encourage submissions that cover emerging genomics topics such as evolutionary genomics, ecological genomics, toxicogenomics, and population genomics. I would like to engage the editorial board as well as our reviewers in building reputation, impact, visibility, and quality.
Q: Do you have any advice for young researchers looking to publish their work?
A: I would advise young researchers that work on their first publications to be receptive to guidance and constructive criticism while maintaining ingenuity, broad vision and clarity. The goal is to rich the audience, to influence, inspire and transform. For this reason, the writing process is not a solitary endeavor. The audience remains in the perspective of the writer and the process becomes a journey and a deep dialog.
Q: How do you spend your free time when not in the Lab?
A: I like spending time with my children, skating, skiing, hiking, sampling ponds or simply listening to their stories.
Melania joins co-editor Graham Scoles at the helm of Genome. Dr. Scoles is a Professor of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. His research interests are primarily in the area of the application of molecular biology to plant breeding. Most of his research has been performed with cereals. Secondary interests are in all aspects of plant cytogenetics, particularly the application of modern techniques to understand chromosome evolution, structure and behaviour. Dr. Scoles was an Associate Editor of Genome for 20 years before becoming the Co-Editor in 2013.
In a recent Q&A with Dr. Scoles he talked a bit about the challenges of being a journal Editor, which include ensuring rapid review times, finding willing reviewers and encouraging submission to Genome versus another journal. He aims to define a clear role for Genome and persuade Canadians and others to see it as a place for their papers.
“With so much happening in genomics with so many species I believe there is still a role for the journal,” he says, “While built primarily on a strong plant genetics/cytogenetics base I hope we can expand beyond that.”
Genome, is one of the 16 NRC Research Press journals, published by Canadian Science Publishing.