Interested in how stress can change our DNA? Well you have clicked on the right place. Stress comes in many molecules and conformations and it is these elements that we strive to explore and explain. The model can change but the question remains; what is stress good for?
The fall honours oral comprehensive exams are domne. Honours students Leah MacLean, Gillian Johnstone, Alexia Hawkey-Noble and Jessica Fahey intellectually dazzled Acadia faculty with their summer research achievements. Leah has been looking at differential gene regulation in zebra fish in response to environmental stress. In collaboration with Dr. Mark Mallory, Gillian has been exploring stress biomarkers and proteases in birds. Alexia has been looking at microbial distribution in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) at the Kentville research station and Jessica is exploring Campylobacter species with CFIA collaborators.
The Bon Portage 2016 Field course was a huge success with Dr. Allison Walker and me as coordinators. Check out the gallery for photos and the Bon Portage theme song. A huge effort was made by the professors and students, cooks and island caretakers.
The aquaponics facility at Acadia is up and running. Current research topics student, Makenzie Branch, will be exploring the diversity and abundance of microbial species in the different tanks that make up the aquaponics faciltiy. Taylor Luck is continuing as a research assistant for the fall. For a personalized tour of the aquaponics facility please contact me.
And more good news on the funding front. Three industry driven research projects in which I am PI have been awarded generous Innovacorp research vouchers.
We are continuing our work with striped bass with Dr. Trevor Avery's group. Fishing trips have started with varying levels of success.
Other ongoing projects in my lab include exploring gene and protein changes in response to parasitic manipulation of Manduca sexta by the parasitic wasp, Cotesia congregata (with Dr. Shelley Adamo at Dalhousie University).
And of course we continue to explore novel parasites in fish with collaborators Eric Leis from Iowa and Dr. David Cone in Nova Scotia. Paper on this has just been accepted.
Planning is also ongoing for our stress in white-tailed deer project for the fall. Will be working with the Department of Natural Resources to get samples and demographic data. Brandon Nilson has been hired as a COOP student for this project and is currently defining our sampling template across the province,
In addition I am always exploring novel teaching methods and how to make the world of molecular biology and protein chemistry as fascinating to students as it is to me :-)
More exciting news to follow. Never a dull moment in this 'stressful' world :-)
If you are interested in learning more about our lab or setting up collaborations please contact me.