Dr. Nathalie Nguyen-Quoc Ouellette, astrophysicist and Deputy Director of the at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory, has been recognized as one of the “Emerging Leaders of 2023” by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). This prestigious honour celebrates her exceptional contributions to astrophysics in Canada and her outstanding leadership as a woman in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Congratulations, Nathalie!
Dr. Ouellette’s research expertise focuses on the formation and evolution of galaxies. Her dedication to science education and outreach has been evident throughout her professional career, as she actively engages in various projects to raise public awareness of astronomy in Canada. As the coordinator of communications, education, and scientific outreach at Queen’s University’s McDonald Institute, she developed innovative educational programs in astroparticle physics, providing pathways to understanding complex scientific concepts. Dr. Ouellette’s commitment to making space science accessible to all has led her to give numerous interviews and visit Canadian and international classrooms, astronomy clubs, and museums.
Beyond science communication, she also is a strong advocate for securing funding for scientific research, championing the cause within provincial and federal governments and beyond. Under her leadership, iREx has witnessed a remarkable surge in student enrolment, and the institute has been awarded renewed funding of $10 million over the next decade from the Trottier Family Foundation. This success underscores her exceptional leadership skills and her capacity to drive meaningful progress within the scientific community. In recognition of her innovative contributions, she was awarded the Université de Montréal 2021 Rector’s Award in the “Initiative” category.
Additionally, Dr. Ouellette serves as the Deputy Director of the Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets and holds the role of sole Canadian Outreach Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope. Her recognition in WXN’s list of “Emerging Leaders of 2023” is a testament to her professional contributions and shows that she is a leading voice for astrophysics and scientific outreach in Canada and an inspiring role model for future scientists.