Keith Tierney

I am interested in the health of ecological and agricultural animals. My lab uses both model and non-model organisms, and is actively engaged in relating changes at the molecular level to behavioral responses. Model organisms include zebrafish, rainbow trout, mouse and duck. We are known for our work in behaviors of fitness relevance. A major goal is to translate our findings for application in risk assessment and regulation.


PhD, Simon Fraser University, 2007
MBA, University of British Columbia, 2002
MSc, Simon Fraser University, 2001
BSc, Simon Fraser University, 1996


R.H. Boutilier New Investigator Award, Canadian Society of Zoologist, 2015
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2007

Selected Publications

Gilbert MJH, Zerulla TC, Tierney KB (2014) Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model for the study of aging and exercise: physical ability and trainability decreases with age. Experimental Gerontology 50C: 106–113

DuVal MG, Gilbert MJH, Watson DE, Zerulla TC, Tierney KB, Allison WT (2014) Growth Differentiation Factor 6 as a putative risk factor in neuromuscular degeneration. PLOS ONE 9(2) e89183

Shamchuk AL, Tierney KB (2012) Phenotyping stimulus evoked responses in larval zebrafish. Behaviour 149(2012): 1177–1203

Tierney KB (2011) Review: Behavioural assessments of neurotoxic effects and neurodegeneration in zebrafish. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 1812(3): 81–389

Shamchuk A, Tierney KB (2013) Chapter 27: The importance of olfactory and motor endpoints for zebrafish models of neurodegenerative disease. Animal models for the study of human disease. Conn PM, ed. Academic Press/Elsevier. Pgs. 651–678. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-415894-8.00027-0

Current Projects

A comparative toxicity assessment of diluted bitumen (dilbit) to conventional crude oils
Principal Investigator
funded by Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions.

Investigation of the speciation, toxicity, and fate of OSPW organic fractions during advanced oxidation and other treatment processes towards achieving a future possible safe release of treated OSPW
funded by Alberta Innovates, Energy and Environment Solutions

The biology of fish olfaction: amino acids and Gα proteins
Principal Investigator
funded by NSERC