Whistler, BC

Q&A #16 – Judith Toronchuk (24 Apr 2023)

In Blogs, CSCA 50 Qs by Rebecca DielschneiderLeave a Comment

For the past 50 years, the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation has facilitated discussions about science and Christian faith in Canada. As part of our 50th-anniversary celebrations, we asked 50 CSCA members to comment on their personal connections to science, scripture, and Canadian scenery. We will share these contributions throughout 2023 in the hope that you will find them engaging and encouraging.

CSCA member of the week: Judith Toronchuk, retired associate professor of Psychology and Biology at Trinity Western University, Langley, BC

1. Why did you choose your scientific discipline?

As a teen, my first job was as assistant to the local veterinarian where I found working with animals fascinating. Animal behaviour became my favourite topic when I majored in biology at Rutgers. At that time I also had the opportunity to work for a prominent ethologist at Princeton training owls for his research program, and with his encouragement, I also published an article on the auditory system of caiman. Moving then to McGill in Canada, I worked in the zoology department on the auditory system of bats, and then in physiological psychology on tree shrews. During my post-doc at Max-Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, I continued research on neural mechanisms of hearing in monkeys.

2. What is one of your favourite Bible verses and why?

One passage that has meant a lot to me over many years is

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” 

—Isaiah 49:15, 16

I am comforted to know that my God will never forget me nor forget to care for me because he loves me. This verse also reminds us that God’s fullness includes a feminine nurturant aspect. As a mother of three, I am well aware that a mother can not physically forget her nursing baby.

3. Which Canadian city or landscape do you love exploring and why?

Probably my favourite place to explore in Canada has been the area around Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in BC. I don’t ski, but I have loved hiking in this area.

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