Christa was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and received a BSc degree in chemistry from Dalhousie University. Her MSc degree was completed in 2003 under the supervision of Prof. Sharon Roscoe at Acadia University, where she studied the adsorption of proteins on metallic surfaces using electrochemical methods. In 2007, she completed a PhD at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Prof. Jacek Lipkowski on a project which involved using electrochemistry and infrared spectroscopy to probe the interaction of cholera toxin with a model biological membrane supported on an electrode surface. In 2007, Christa moved to Evanston, Illinois, to take up an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University under the supervision of Prof. Richard P. Van Duyne, in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago. This project used surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to analyze colorants in historical textiles and paintings. In 2009, Christa joined the Chemistry department at Saint Mary’s University as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. Christa was named the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry and Materials in 2016.