Laurence Mouttham

Laurence Mouttham ’04

PhD candidate Cornell University
MSc University of Guelph
BSc University of Guelph

Laurence started in Elmwood in Grade 10, and graduated in the class of 2004. She is currently working on her PhD from Cornell University at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. She also runs her own business, Level Up Nerd Apparel, which sells crochet patterns, handmade hats and accessories.

We chatted recently with Laurence about how her experiences at Elmwood have impacted her since.

Do you have a fondest memory of being a student at Elmwood?

The thing I remember best about Elmwood is the camaraderie between the girls. It’s a very close-knit system, which I don’t think is something you find in other schools. I was born in France and moved to Canada in 1998, when I was in Grade 7. I noticed a huge difference between being in a big public school in France and then coming to Elmwood. It was a big change, but it worked out really well for me.

What was your favourite subject?

Biology was my favourite subject by far, and my IB Biology supervisor in Grade 11/12 had a huge impact on me. She had such enthusiasm for science and so much knowledge; she was professional, but also bonded with us so closely.

Can you tell us about your university path, and how Elmwood affected it?

Elmwood affected my university experience very positively, because the International Baccalaureate Programme prepared me so well for university classes. IB really helps with advanced thinking and goes beyond just the basic required knowledge in a subject.

I started my undergraduate degree in Ottawa, but transferred to the University of Guelph when I decided to go to veterinary school. During that time, I started working at the Toronto Zoo as a seasonal zookeeper, where I was exposed to the world of wildlife preservation. At the same time, I was taking classes in reproduction and physiology, which led me to continue to do my Masters at Guelph in collaboration with the national zoo.

I’m currently doing my PhD in a collaboration between Cornell University and the Smithsonian National Zoo, studying Zoology and Wildlife Conservation. I’m now based in Washington D.C., working on the cryopreservation of ovaries in wild species.

Do you keep in touch with anyone from Elmwood?

Yes, I do—my best friend from Elmwood is actually going to be one of my bridesmaids at my wedding!

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