In the days leading up to the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews has been celebrating the work of some of its own scientists.

The centre is profiling several of its female scientists on its Facebook site this weekend.  

In the past, marine science seemed like more of a male dominated field, according to Amber Garber, a research scientist at Huntsman.

"I remember the first international aquaculture meeting that I went to, I didn't feel there were a lot of women there," said Garber.

Amber Garber

Research scientist Amber Garber said when she first began to go to international aquaculture conferences, it was quite male dominated. Things have now changed. (Submitted by Amber Garber)

But times are changing. Now when she goes to meetings, Garber, who specialises in quantitative genetics, sees the difference. "There are a lot of women," she said.

Research scientist Claire Goodwin said in the past, it could be rare to see women in leadership roles in her field. But over the years, she too has noticed a change, which was especially evident during a recent research cruise in Greenland. 

"The chief scientist on the cruise was a woman, all the watch leaders were women, and the biologists were women," she said. "So that was a very female dominated cruise."

Cynthia Callahan said it's inspiring to work among so many other women in leadership roles. The Aquarium Manager at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre said it's important to keep reminding young girls who visit that careers in science are possible.

 Part of that, Callahan said, comes from seeing other women in those roles. 

"It's always inspiring for us to see people of our own gender doing something that we might want to grow up to do," she said. "It lets us know right away that you can do something if you set your mind to it."

Goodwin agreed, adding, "really, there aren't specific careers that are for boys or for girls."  

These days, Callahan said about 8 out of 10 of the resumes she gets for summer work, come from female students. "We're really seeing women be represented in our field of science," she said.

While there have been gains for women in the world of science, Garber said there is still progress to be made, especially when it comes to pay equity.

"It's still an issue," she said, noting she hasn't noticed it as much as other colleagues may have.