LLeaP Lecturer Dr. Ashley Thompson

Dr. Ashley Thompson is an instructor in the Neuroscience department at Carleton University. She teaches Introduction to Neurological disease and the Honours workshop for fourth year students. Ashley completed her PhD in Neuroscience at Carleton focusing on Parkinson’s disease (PD). Her doctoral research used substances that naturally occur in the brain to alter the environment of the regions known to be vulnerable in PD, in order to protect those neurons from degeneration and death.

Ashley is also a member of the Society for Neuroscience (Ottawa chapter), a volunteer organization that seeks to promote the study of neuroscience to youth through a variety of outreach initiatives. Ashley is the coordinator of one such event, the Ottawa Regional Brain Bee, a neuroscience trivia competition for high school students that offers a paid summer internship in a neuroscience lab at Carleton as its top prize.

Dr. Thompson has lectured several times for the Lifelong Learning Program (formerly Learning in Retirement). Read what participants have said they enjoyed most about Ashley’s “Introduction to Neurological Disease” lecture series:

  • Dr. Thompson is a knowledgeable, concise, and enthusiastic lecturer. She had my attention for every minute of her two hour lectures. Her ability to present each topic with reference to previous lectures allowed me to see the “big picture” of the brain. I have learned so much and understood all of her lectures although I never took a biology class in my life. She is a very special lecturer and person. In my academic and business life, I have not seen many teachers, professors, lecturers, and speakers of her ability. Thank you!
  • I got answers to questions about neurological diseases that will be helpful in supporting friends who are affected by them.   I appreciated that the first lectures were devoted to general brain function rather than simply particular diseases. It made the later material, about the particular diseases, more understandable. This was a choice of the lecturer and I think it worked well.
  • Ashley is passionate about discussing neuroscience – and it shows. Her energy is infectious and her knowledge of the subject very deep. She is an excellent teacher and able to translate very complex information into layman’s terms.
  • Dr. Thompson has a wonderful ability to distill a very complex subject into something that the class can understand. It is clear her subject knowledge is vast, but she knows when to stop.  She is also very entertaining, making us look forward to each class.
  • Ashley is very passionate about this series and her passion was infectious throughout the 6 week lectures. She had an excellent way of explaining complex illustrations of the brain into plain and simple language. I liked how Ashley invited questions and/or comments throughout the lecture. She was very positive and upbeat and made the lectures something I looked forward to attending. I would definitely sign up for any other series that she lectures, Ashley is very smart and she had a wonderful way of making her students feel smart too.
  • I loved every minute of this lecture series. Ashley is so well-prepared. The content flowed without a hitch and the slides were a perfect accompaniment. I have absolutely no background in Neurology but her pace (and ‘refreshers’) kept me in step. I now see Neurology everywhere in life. It makes sense of so many things I had previously wondered about. Because of Ashley, I am a convert.
  • Ashley is a great lecturer. She brings her knowledge and passion to the classroom and uses humour in her lectures. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her.
  • The quality and scope of the material was excellent. Ashley was very competent and personable. Also, she displayed a great sense of humor. She is very knowledgeable and an excellent communicator. I would recommend her at any time with pleasure.
  • Ashley is an engaging teacher. Very dynamic and well-organized. She conveyed great enthusiasm for her subject and her material was very well presented.
  • The quantity of material was excellent. There was a lot, but it was well explained and well handled. The level was excellent.
  • Dr. Thompson was an excellent lecturer and provided an interesting, well-paced series. The material was presented in a logical, detailed and professional manner. The slides and recommended Ted talks enhanced and clarified the material. I really appreciated the approach from high level, to molecular level to cellular level; for me, it is the approach in which I learn the best. I would love to learn about other neurological diseases.  Thank you Dr. Thompson!
  • Ashley’s passion for this topic was contagious. The lecture series were well structured and informative. The presenter had a natural ability to balance the need to present material as well as engage with the class. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Dr. Ashley Thompson was so enthusiastic that even heavy material like brain structures were interesting and amusing. Fantastic lecturer, excellent material, well presented, informative.
  • This was new material for me and Dr. Thompson presented it very well simplifying scientific concepts for the lay person. She is engaging, enthusiastic and keeps her audience interested.