Emeriti

Addicott, John, Ph.D. (Michigan)

Environmental Biology & Ecology; Systematics & Evolution; Plant Biology

Bayley, Suzanne, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University)

Ecology

Biogeochemistry, ecology and management of wetlands and lakes. Interaction between hydrology and nutrient cycling in northern and prairie wetlands and lakes. Use of wetlands for wastewater treatment. Effects of fire and climate change in wetlands and streams. Alternative tropic states in shallow lakes. Fieldwork locations: Boreal Alberta, parkland region of Alberta, and Rocky Mountain Parks.

Bell, John (Cornell)

Molecular Biology & Genetics

Investigation of genes involved in wing development (vg and others) in Drosophila; tRNA genes and suppression, yeast and Drosophila. 

Belosevic, Mike, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor

My primary research interests are comparative immunology and environmental parasitology, and my long term research goals are to: (1) Characterize regulation of macrophage hematopoiesis and antimicrobial mechanisms in mammals and fish; (2) Describe and analyze the mechanisms of innate immunity in prokaryotic and eukaryotic infectious diseases; and (3) Develop and use detection and remediation strategies for xenobiotics and pathogens in environmental samples. 

Boutin, Stan, Ph.D.

I am a mammalian ecologist who studies the regulating influence of bottom up and top down forces in boreal systems.  I focus on dominant ecological phenomena that create wide variation in food resources (conifer mast seeding) and predation pressure (snowshoe hare-lynx cycle).  I link fundamental research to contemporary issues like climate change and human land-use.  My long-term objective is to make significant advances in our fundamental understanding of how ecological variation affects phenotypic plasticity, evolution and population dynamics.  My applied research works to provide the information and tools necessary to make ecologically-informed land-use decisions.

Campbell, Shelagh, Ph.D.

Molecular Biology & Genetics

Animal development is a fascinating biological process that requires precisely choreographed cell divisions and cell movements followed by terminal cell differentiation during embryogenesis to form adults with properly specified tissues and organs. Conserved regulatory mechanisms called cell cycle checkpoints are used to spatially and temporally coordinate these distinct aspects of development.  

Cass, David, Ph.D. (Oklahoma University)

Physiology, Cell & Developmental Biology; Plant Biology

Have developed rapid techniques for sperm cell and embryo sac isolation in maize. Currently developing new procedure for in vitro fertilization and embryogenesis in several lines of maize. Reproductive biology and fertilization mechanisms of other flowering plants.

Chang, John, Ph.D.

Comparative molecular endocrinology, with emphasis on post-receptor signal transaction pathways mediating the actions of peptide hormones and neurotransmitters in fishes. Current focus is on the second messenger systems involved in gonadotropin-releasing hormone stimulation of gonadotropin and growth hormone release from cultured dispersed pituitary cells of the goldfish, as well as the receptor subtypes and mechanisms mediating biogenic amine actions on the release of these two pituitary hormones. 

Cossins, Edwin, Ph.D. (London)

Microbiology & Biotechnology; Molecular Biology & Genetics; Physiology & Cell Biology; Plant Biology

Investigations of one-carbon metabolism and the biosynthesis of folate derivatives in plant and fungal species. Studies of folate-dependent enzymes. Cloning of folylpolyglutamate synthetase genes and use of Neurospora mutants to examine their expression. 

Currah, Randolph, Ph.D. (University of Alberta)

Ecology; Systematics & Evolution

Systematics, ecology and evolution of mutualistic and pathogenic relationships involving fungi and other organisms. Current research involves: 1. mycorrhizas of boreal timber species, arctic, alpine and subalpine plant communities, heath plants, temperate and tropical orchids; 2. keratinophilic fungi (primarily Onygenales and related anamorphs) associated with vertebrate animals and their habitations; 3. fossil fungi associated with plant remains from the Eocene; 4. monographic studies of Dikaryomycota of northwestern North America. 

Fedorak, Phillip, Ph.D. (University of Alberta)

Microbiology and Biotechnology

Anaerobic microbiology of oil sands waste waters. Biodegradation and analyses of naphthenic acids. Aerobic microbial degradation of hydrocarbons, sulfur- and nitrogen-heterocycles. 

Foght, Julia, Ph.D. (University of Alberta)

Genomics

Metagenomics of hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities, especially under anaerobic conditions; biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons, particularly under adverse environmental conditions in fuel-contaminated Antarctic soils, cold groundwater and subsurface soils; fundamental studies on mechanisms of hydrocarbon transport across bacterial membranes, and the use of whole cell biocatalysts for biological upgrading of petroleum and refined products; isolation and characterization of cold-adapted bacterial communities that live underneath glaciers.  

Frost, Laura, Ph.D. (University of Alberta)

Microbiology and Biotechnology; Molecular Biology and Genetics

Signaling mechanisms that initiate plasmid transfer: the role of the conjugative pilus in conjugation and phage infection; the events that lead to nicking at OriT on the plasmid DNA. Antisense RNA and RNA stability; regulation of transfer gene expression by F- and host-encoded factors during entry and exit from stationary phase and during extracytoplasmic stress.

Gallin, Warren, Ph.D.

Genomics; Bioinformatics

Comparative molecular studies of physiologically functional molecules, focused on voltage-gated potassium channels and metabotropic serotonin receptors.

We have created a database of potassium channels http://vkcdb.biology.ualberta.ca/ that is generally useful for structure/function analyses, and have used that data for a machine learning analysis of how the sequence of channels affects the voltage sensitivity of channel opening. We are also isolating channel homologues from a variety of marine invertebrate phyla. Sequences of these channels differ substantially form the more well characterized vertebrate and model organism channels, and many of them have unusual electrophysiological properties that help to illuminate the general mechanisms of voltage sensitivity. We are using GFP-tagged serotonin receptors to screen combinatorial libraries of small molecules synthesized on solid beads. In first pass screens we have identified compounds whose binding is subtype-specific and species-specific. We are currently evaluating the pharmacological activity of these compounds on an in vivo model system, designing a second round of library synthesis to improve selectivity and affinity, and tagging more receptors to increase the breadth of the screen. We are applying bioinformatic analyses to the data that we obtain in all of our projects. In particular, we are implementing machine learning approaches to decompose the complex relationship between protein sequence and the details of protein function. We are also beginning to apply chemoinformatics methods and machine learning to development of a quantitative structure/function model of receptor/ligand interactions for the serotonin receptors.

Gamon, John, Ph.D.

Dr. Gamon studies the "breathing of the planet" - the exchanges of carbon and water vapour between the biosphere and the atmosphere that affect ecosystem productivity and help regulate our atmosphere and climate. Of particular interest are the effects of disturbance (fires, succession, weather events and climate change) on these basic processes. Additional research questions involve the detection of plant physiology, ecosystem function, species composition, and biodiversity using non-contact sampling methods. Much of this work is done with optical monitoring (remote sensing and automated field methods), and entails the development of new monitoring methods and related informatics tools.

To encourage wider usage of these methods, Dr. Gamon co-founded SpecNet, (Spectral Network), a network of collaborating sites and investigators using optical sampling methods (particularly spectral reflectance) to studying ecological questions. He conducts fieldwork in a range of ecosystems from the Arctic to the Tropics. 

Good, Allen, Ph.D.

My group is interested in understanding how plants adapt to a variety of different environmental stresses, such as flooding, drought or nutrient deficiency. Our approach involves using a combination of classical genetic tools, and the modern tools of molecular biology and genomics. Our main focus is on the role of specific aminotransferases and genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis in nitrogen use efficiency and signalling in plants.

Hannon, Susan, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)

Ecology

Population and behavioral ecology of northern birds and conservation biology. Research involves examining the impact of forest fragmentation on breeding and wintering bird populations; population ecology of black-capped chickadees; reproductive biology and life history patterns in ptarmigan and other birds; dispersal patterns in birds. 

Hickman, Michael, Ph.D. (Bristol)

Environmental Biology & Ecology; Systematics & Evolution, Plant Biology

Palaeolimnological and palynological studies of lakes in Alberta and the central Cordillera of British Columbia. Specifically, research involves elucidating the late Quaternary history of selected lakes, and determining effects of inferred Holocene climate change upon these lakes and their communities through use of microfossils (pollen, diatoms, chrysophyte stomatocyst), pigments and geochemistry. Relationships between modern surficial sedimentary diatom and chrysophyte stomatocyst assemblages and measured environmental parameters are being investigated using multivariate approaches. Ecology of microphytobenthic algal communities. 

Hoddinott, John, Ph.D. (University of Alberta)

Ecology; Physiology, Cell & Developmental Biology; Plant Biology

Current research is investigating the role of elevated carbon dioxide and ultra-violet B levels on the growth and development of boreal forest conifer species. The influence of those treatments on photosynthesis and frost hardiness is given particular emphasis. 

Hodgetts, Ross, Ph.D. (Yale)

Molecular Biology & Genetics

Molecular genetic analysis of hormone action and innate immunity in the fruit fly, Drosophila; mechanisms of transposon mutagenesis in Drosophila. 

Holmes, J.C., Ph.D. (Rice)

Ecology; Systematics & Evolution

Ecology of intestinal helminths with a focus on: 1. niche diversification, 2. specificity and exchange of parasites, and 3. influence of parasites on host behavior and host population dynamics. 

Jensen, Susan (University of Alberta)

Molecular Biology & Genetics

Genetic and biochemical investigation of the production of antibiotics by the organism Streptomyces clavuligerus. 

Kaufman, Reuben, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)

Physiology, Cell & Developmental Biology

Physiology, pharmacology and endocrinology of ixodid ticks. Projects include: 1. The endocrinology of voraxin, the ixodid tick 'engorgement factor ', 2. Endocrinology of salivary gland development and degeneration during the feeding cycle, 3. Control of vitellogenesis, 4. Actions of hormones on salivary glands and reproductive system, and 5. Pharmacology of fluid secretion in salivary glands. 

Locke, John, Ph.D.

My research interests are focused on the genetic and molecular analysis of chromosome and chromatin structure in Drosophila melanogaster. Through examining and understanding mutations associated with gene position effects, my work will help elucidate the role that chromosome and chromatin structure plays in regulating gene expression. I am currently concentrating on the cubitus interruptus (ci) locus on Drosophila chromosome 4 and its unusual position effects. I am also involved in the large scale physical mapping of chromosome 4. 

Mackay, Bill, Ph.D. (Case-Western Reserve)

Ecology; Physiology, Cell & Developmental Biology

Physiological ecology of fish, particularly the role of abiotic and biotic factors in controlling feeding, growth, metabolism, and reproduction. Habitat requirements of fish, particularly in winter. 

Malhotra, Sudarshan, D.Phil., D.Sc. (Oxford)

Physiology & Cell Biology

Neural cell biology pertaining to the central nervous system (CNS), particularly the characterization of astrocytes and the regulation of their proliferation and transformation into reactive astrocytes. The latter appear in the CNS following injury or in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple schlerosis. The emphasis is on the relationship of the cytoskeleton to changes in cell shape, cytoplasmic organization, differentiation, and extracellular matrix. 

McDermid, Heather, Ph.D.

Mouse models of neural tube defects and reduced fertility

Neural tube defects (NTDs), including anencephaly and spina bifida, are the second most common birth defect in humans, with a frequency of approximately 1/1000 births. NTDs are caused by the failure of the neural tube to close during early development of the brain and spinal cord. Closure failure in the part of the neural tube that forms the brain results in anencephaly (called exencephaly in mice). The brain forms completely abnormally and the cranium is absent, resulting in death at birth.

We are studying the gene Cecr2, which when mutated causes exencephaly in mice (Banting et al, 2005). We study two different mutations of Cecr2, a deletion mutation causing exencephaly in 100% of mutants, and a gene trap mutation causing exencephaly in ~54% of mutants. In the latter strain, the surviving mutants show reduced fertility in both males and females (Thompson et al, 2012). The defect also depends on the mouse strain: the gene trap mutation on a BALB/c mouse strain shows exencepahly in ~54% of embryos, but this same mutation on the FVB/N mouse strain shows relatively normal brain development in all embryos (Banting et al, 2005, Dawe et al, 2011). We have mapped to mouse chromosome 19 genes that modify Cecr2-induced exencephaly, partially leading to the strain difference in susceptibility (Davidson et al, 2007, Kooistra et al, 2012). Exploration of Cecr2 and it’s major modifiers will add to our understanding of both neural tube defects and the mechanisms of normal neurulation.

Merrill, Evelyn, Ph.D.

Research focuses on large mammals with emphasis on foraging and nutritional ecology of ungulates, plant-herbivore interactions, and landscape modifications on wildlife populations. Current interest lies in modeling predator-prey interactions and disease spread and transmission in heterogeneous landscapes. 

Mitchell, Bev, Ph.D. (New Brunswick)

Physiology & Cell Biology

Functional and comparative aspects of insect-host plant relationships, investigated from a chemosensory perspective. Neurobiology of chemosensory coding. Current research is focused on chysomelid beetles of the genus Leptinotarsa and their solanaceous food plants, and on central processing of taste input in the suboesophageal ganglion of flies. 

Murie, Jan, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State)

Ecology; Systematics & Evolution

Behavioral ecology of sciurid rodents, primarily ground squirrels, specifically: social behavior and use of space, including territoriality; the role of kinship and familiarity in organizing social relationships; influences on vigilance, alarm-calling, and other aspects of anti-predator behavior; scent communication among ground squirrels; mating systems and the influence of demographic and environmental factors on mating strategies of males and females. 

Nash, D., Ph.D (Cambridge)

Molecular Biology & Genetics; Physiology & Cell Biology

We are identifying, and characterizing at the genetic and molecular level, genes in purine biosynthesis in the fruit-fly. The system allows us to study the integrated regulation of a set of related genes during animal development. Being universally important, the pathway affords evolutionary comparisons with all other groups of organisms. 

Nargang, Frank, Ph.D

Molecular and Cellular Genetics

Project 1: The biogenesis of fully functional mitochondria involves the expression of both nuclear and mitochondrial genes. While the contribution of the mitochondrial genome is important for the function of the oxidative phosphorylation system, the vast majority of mitochondrial proteins are encoded by the nucleus and translated on cytosolic ribosomes. To reach their destination, these proteins must be correctly targeted to mitochondria and sorted to the correct mitochondrial subcompartment. We are investigating the structure and function of the proteins in a complex found on the outer surface of the mitochondrial outer membrane that is responsible for the import of proteins into mitochondria. This complex recognizes proteins specifically destined for the mitochondria and initiates the process of importing them into the organelle. My laboratory utilizes genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry to investigate the mechanisms by which this is achieved.

Project 2: When the oxidative phosphorylation system of mitochondria is impaired by inhibitors or mutations affecting the process, the compromised mitochondria send signals to the nucleus which affect the regulation of several nuclear genes. The nature of these signals and the pathway by which they are transmitted are completely unknown. We are investigating the process by studying the regulation of the alternative oxidase of Neurospora crassa. This enzyme is only synthesized in strains that have inefficient oxidative phosphorylation. Preliminary results suggest that a signal transduction pathway beginning in the functionally compromised mitochondria induces the transcription of the alternative oxidase. We are attempting to elucidate the components of the pathway using genetic and molecular biological techniques. 

Page, William, Ph.D. (British Columbia)

Microbiology & Biotechnology

My research concentrates on the physiology of Azotobacter including iron-regulated gene expression and nutritional control of cell activities. Applied work includes the production and biodegradation of poly-b-hydroxybutyrate copolymers, a family of natural plastics. 

Palmer, Richard, Ph.D (University of Washington)

Marine Biology

Comparative and experimental studies of biological asymmetries, developmental plasticity, and evolution, mainly using marine invertebrates. 

Paszkowski, Cynthia, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Ecology & Evolution

Ecology and behaviour of birds, freshwater fishes and amphibians, especially foraging behaviour, habitat use, inter- and intra-specific competition, and direct and indirect effects of predation. 

Pickard, Michael, Ph.D. (Liverpool)

Microbiology & Biotechnology

Applied microbiology: microbial enzymes and metabolites. Continuous enzyme production; cell and enzyme immobilization; enzyme heterogeneity. Fungal mutagenesis and strain improvement. Applications of peroxidases. Bioremediation and polycylic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation. 

Reha-Krantz, Linda (University of Alberta)

Molecular Biology & Genetics

DNA polymerase function and DNA replication are studied using yeast as a model system for in vivo studies and the bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase as a model for in vitro studies. Expertise in DNA polymerase function is being applied to the development of new DNA sequencing methods. Genetic, biochemical and molecular biological techniques are used. 

Roland, Jens, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)

Ecology

Research in my lab focuses on population ecology and dynamics of insects in a spatial or landscape perspective. Projects examine both the large-scale pattern of population change, and the mechanism by which landscape alters the processes which drive those dynamics. 

Roy, Kenneth, Ph.D. (British Columbia)

Microbiology & Biotechnology; Molecular Biology & Genetics

Analysis of gene structure and function in prokaryotes, with special emphasis on the linear plasmids, small and giant forms, found in the genus Streptomyces . Development of methodology to isolate and to characterize linear plasmids. Analysis of genome structures by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Structure and function of small RNA molecules. 

Russell, Michael, Ph.D. (Edinburgh)

Molecular Biology & Genetics; Physiology & Cell Biology

The identification and function of genes involved in regeneration of imaginal discs in Drosophila. Genetic basis of pattern formation in development. 

Samuel, William, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Ecology

Influence of parasites on distribution and abundance of large mammals with emphasis on winter ticks on moose populations. 

St. Louis, Vincent, Ph.D.

Ecology and Evolution

My overall research program focuses on understanding the natural biogeochemical cycling of elements in the environment, and the human disruptions of these cycles. For the past 30 years, I have been a collaborator in whole-ecosystem experimentation at the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario, examining the environmental impacts of acid rain, reservoir creation, and mercury emissions. Since 2004, we have also been determining why some high and sub Arctic marine animals and freshwater fishes contain concentrations of methylated mercury (the organic and toxic forms of mercury) high enough to cause exposure risks to northern peoples consuming them as traditional foods. Most recently, we have been focusing our research efforts on determining how accelerated climate change in polar regions is altering terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem productivity, greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, N2O) emissions from landscapes, water quality, and contaminant loadings and biomagnification. We have also begun a project examining the relationship between ecosystem function and biodiversity in natural and restored prairie pothole wetlands.  

Stacey, Norman, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)

Physiology, Cell & Developmental Biology

Interactions among hormones, pheromones, and reproductive behaviors in fish. Our finding that many fish use released hormones (steroids and prostaglandins) as potent and specific sex pheromones makes possible a wide range of studies on pheromone evolution and function. A long term interest is to describe the nature and distribution of hormonal pheromones among the cypriniform fishes, especially the southeast Asian cyprinids (carps, minnows), to develop a broad understanding of species specificity, and how hormonal pheromones function in signaling and reproductive isolation. More specific goals are to understand the physiological mechanisms underlying endocrine and behavioral responses to hormonal pheromones, and how these responses are influenced by the receiver's endocrine status. 

Stemke, Gerald, Ph.D. (Illinois)

Microbiology & Biotechnology; Molecular Biology & Genetics

Mycoplasmology, veterinary mycoplasmology. Ureaplasma enzymes; recombinant DNA application to mycoplasmology; mRNA sequence/analysis, physical mapping, PCR diagnosis, phylogeny of mollicutes. 

Stockey, Ruth, Ph.D. (Ohio State University)

Plant Biology

Whole plant biology of fossil plants and their use in phylogenetic analysis. Evolution of ferns, gymnosperms, and aquatic angiosperms. Phylogenetic trends in the Coniferales. Fossil record of monocots. Reproductive biology of the Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae, including fossil conifers. Anatomy and morphology of vascular plants. Cretaceous and Tertiary plants: ferns, gymnosperms, angiosperms. Plant/fungal interactions in the fossil record/fossil mycorrhizae. Paleocarpology. 

Strobeck, Curtis, Ph.D. (University of Chicago)

Ecology; Molecular Biology & Genetics, Systematics & Evolution

My research is focused on the use of DNA sequence variation to infer the genetic structure within, and the phylogenetic relationships between, natural populations and the application of molecular techniques to wildlife forensics. Species currently being studied in my laboratory include a variety of ungulates (bison, elk, caribou, and bighorn sheep), bears, trout, and ground squirrels. Techniques being used include DNA sequencing and cloning, DNA fingerprinting, and PCR. 

Taylor, Greg, Ph.D.

Plant Physiology and Functional Genomics

My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms plants use to tolerate abiotic stresses in the soil environment, such as metal toxicity and nutrient deficiency. We currently have three overlapping research directions: (1) adaptation of plants to acidic soils, focusing on the primary growth-limiting factors aluminum toxicity and phosphate deficiency; (2) regulation of trace element, particularly cadmium, accumulation and transport in plants; and (3) functional characterization of P1B-type heavy-metal ATPase transporters in Brachypodium distachyon.

We use techniques of cell and molecular biology, comparative genomics, bioinformatics, and whole-plant physiology to study how model systems (Arabidopsis, Brachypodium, yeast) and agronomically important crops (wheat, canola, rice) respond to abiotic stress at the molecular, cellular, and whole-plant levels. 

Tonn, William, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Ecology

My research, and that of my students, focuses on the ecology of fishes and the organisms with which they interact, in boreal and arctic lakes and streams, addressing the general question: what factors of the northern environment affect the ecology of fishes at the individual, population and community levels? Laboratory and field experiments are combined with broad-scale comparisons in studies of community organization, population dynamics and life history. I am also often approached by industry or government regarding other, applied projects focusing on boreal/arctic lakes and streams. 

Wang, Larry, Ph.D. (Cornell University)

Physiology, Cell & Developmental Biology

The physiology of cold: 1. Ecology, physiology and biochemistry of mammalian hibernation, 2. Physiology of hypothermia, including the establishment of animal models for prolonged survival under profoundly depressed body temperature, and 3. Mechanisms of improved cold tolerance in animals and men, including the modulation of maximum heat production in cold by nutritional and pharmacological manipulations and the strategies for prevention of accidental hypothermia in man. 

Wilson, Mark (University of Toronto)

Systemics & Evolution

Vertebrate paleontology with emphasis on morphology, phylogeny, paleoecology, and taphonomy of fishes. Current research projects include anatomical and phylogenetic studies of Paleocene and Late Cretaceous marine and freshwater teleosts, studies of temporal variation in the morphology of fishes preserved in varved lake sediments of Eocene age, analysis of taphonomic evidence for cause of death and preservation in fossil fishes, and morphological and phylogenetic studies of Silurian and Devonian jawless fishes and early jawed fishes such as acanthodians and early relatives of sharks.