Emily double majored at Trent University in Physical Geography (specializing in Geomorphology) and Physics. During her summers, she worked at the University of Guelph under a NSERC Undergraduate Research Award. It was here where Emily first became interested in planetary science while working with the APXS (Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer) team, the only Canadian instrument on the Mars Rover Curiosity. It is also active on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
She was able to study the elemental compositions of rocks and soils on the surface of Mars and even got to send it commands and contribute to science meetings on where the rover would go. Emily did this for three summers and loved every moment of it. At only 20 years of age, she could not believe she was working on a NASA mission.