Search

Graduate Students

Biology


Lambert Baiden Lambert Baiden
Supervisor: Dr. Aunraag Shrivastav and Dr. Sara Good

Biography:

I am an international graduate student. I have completed my bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory sciences at University of Ghana. I am doing my masters in Bioscience, Technology and Public Policy at the Department of Biology. I am studying cell signaling pathways linked to the onset and progression of human cancer which includes Bioinformatics analysis.

I work under the supervision of Dr. Anuraag Shrivastav and Dr. Sara Good. Under their supervision, I will develop the skills and reputation I need to launch into a lifelong path of intellectual discovery and professional success. I want to contribute my laboratory skills along with bioinformatics skills to their projects.  The University of Winnipeg gives great opportunities as there is a smaller ratio of students to supervisors, which provides maximum interactions with professors. I have the opportunity to work in a laboratory setting more often to increase my research experience and laboratory skills which will increase my capabilities in my field of study. I am a graduate research assistant and a teaching assistant, which gives me the opportunity to improve my communication, professional and laboratory skills. If you are truly passionate about research and ready to solve some of the toughest scientific problems facing the world today, then you are welcome to apply to the University of Winnipeg.


Martine Balcaen Martine Balcaen
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Westwood

Biography:

I started my MSc in 2016 after completing my BSc in Environmental Science at the University of Calgary and being left with a keen interest in entomology. My work studies the dispersal and distribution of adult mosquitoes on a landscape scale by way of conducting mark-release-recapture experiments and GIS spatial analysis. I am doing this research with Dr. Richard Westwood in collaboration with the City of Winnipeg Insect Control Branch. I am a two-time recipient of the Manitoba Graduate Scholarship. I have also received a Donna Young Teaching Award from the Department of Biology at UofW and a Graduate Award from the Entomological Society of Manitoba. Since I started my graduate studies, I have taken an interest in science education and have taught or assisted in the teaching of many courses (Cells and Cellular Processes, Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity, Human Anatomy and Physiology, General Entomology, Environmental Biology, Foundations of Life, Forest Ecosystems - Field Course).


Apurva Bhardwaj Apurva Bhardwaj
Supervisor: Dr. S. Varma Shrivastav

Biography:

I graduated with a degree in Biotechnology from Thapar University (India) and am currently in the second year of my MSc in Bioscience, Technology and Public Policy. I work under the supervision of Dr. Shailly Varma Shrivastav. My current research project is to understand the biology of IGFBP3 (my key protein) in progression of Head and Neck Cancer. IGFBP-3 is an important protein that belongs to the IGF family. IGFBP-3, in HNSCC, regulates the action of growth factor called IGF. I am interested in studying the roles of IGFBP-3 in order to understand the cell biology of IGFBP-3 and its role in the onset and progression of head and neck cancers. The overreaching goal of my research is to determine if IGFBP-3 can be used as a diagnostic or prognostic marker for early detection and screening of HNSCC and to stratify the patient population to design individual-targeted therapies for improving treatment outcome.

I am a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/queen-elizabeth-ii-diamond-jubilee- scholarship-program.htmlas as well as the University of Winnipeg Graduate Scholarship (UWGSS) https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/uw-fgs-awards/the-university-of-winnipeg-graduate-studies-awards-scholarships.html

Since the start of my MSc program, I have been volunteering for Let’s Talk Science (LTS) and I have received the Volunteer of the Year 2017 Award.


Jamie Card Jamie Card
Supervisor: Dr. Caleb Hasler

Biography: I graduated with a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences with distinction from the University of Alberta, majoring in Conservation Biology. I am currently studying the effects of catch-and-release angling on understudied fish species and in understudied conditions, working under the supervision of Dr. Caleb Hasler. I will be looking at stress physiology, behavioural impairment and injury in Freshwater Drum during spring and summer angling and in Yellow Perch during the winter through ice-angling. Freshwater Drum is a species of fish that has never before been studied in this fashion, and the effects of ice-angling are heavily underrepresented in the catch-and-release angling literature. I decided to pursue my MSc in Bioscience at the University of Winnipeg because Dr. Hasler’s research on fish biology and aquatic conservation is the area of conservation biology that I am most passionate about. As a result, I hope to pursue a career as a fisheries biologist with a focus on anthropogenic effects on aquatic ecosystems and the conservation of aquatic habitat for freshwater fish species.  So far I have been instructing laboratories for Cells and Cellular Processes (Biol-1115-3) and am looking forward to teaching labs for other courses in the Department of Biology.


Rebecca Carter Rebecca Carter
Supervisor: Dr. Susan Lingle

Biography:

I received my BSc degree in Biology (Honours) from right here at the University of Winnipeg. I began working in Dr. Susan Lingle’s behavioural ecology lab for my Honours thesis and continued on in the lab for my MSc in Bioscience. I’m currently studying potential ecological and behavioural mechanisms that may facilitate or prevent hybridization between mule deer and white-tailed deer. Our lab conducts research on an amazing field site in the prairie grassland of southern Alberta that offers behavioural observations of undisturbed animals. The University of Winnipeg offers a range of unique research experiences such as this, and the feeling of community the small faculty provides is why I chose to remain for my MSc. I am the recipient of the University of Winnipeg Graduate Studies Scholarship – UWGSS (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html).


Nicole Dorville Nicole Dorville
Supervisor: Dr. Craig Willis

Biography: I am a very long-distance import from Singapore! I also studied in Melbourne, Australia at Deakin University, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Hons) with a major in Wildlife and Conservation Biology. My research interests include human-wildlife interactions and disease ecology. I am from Dr. Craig Willis' bat lab which mainly focuses on conservation physiology and white-nose syndrome, a bat-specific fungal disease which has been devastating North-American hibernating bats for the last decade. My thesis is 2-part: 1) testing two potential treatments for the disease, and 2) studying the differences in disease susceptibility between two species of bats that contract the disease (one deals with it better than the other). I have been a grateful two-time recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship and the Presidents Scholarship for World Leaders. I am also the graduate student coordinator of the Let's Talk Science outreach program at the U of W. Despite what people say about the flat and dreary nature of the prairies, I have visited many beautiful and friendly communities across rural Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario across the 4 seasons. These experiences have only helped grow my love for field work and science outreach with youth in remote areas.


Alwyn Go Alwyn Go
Supervisor: Dr. Alberto Civetta

Biography:

I obtained my BSc. In Biochemistry (Hons.) at the University of Winnipeg in 2018 and am currently pursuing my MSc. under the supervision of Dr. Alberto Civetta. I work with fruit flies and am interested in understanding the genetic basis of speciation by taking advantage of the unidirectional hybrid male sterility (HMS) exhibited in the Drosophila pseudoobscura subspecies pair. HMS in the subspecies pair is due to incompatibilities between D. p. bogotana X-chromosome and D. p. pseudoobscura autosomes. A gene, Ovd, is found within the X-chromosome and has a major contribution to HMS. My project aims to identify interaction networks of Ovd using RNA-sequencing and transcriptomics.

I like making puns on the fly and enjoy the resulting groans from my lab mates.


Gurman Grewal Gurman Grewal
Supervisor: Dr. Alberto Civetta

Biography:

I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Winnipeg. For my MSc, I am working under the supervision of Dr. Alberto Civetta. The lab’s primary focus is on evolutionary genetics of reproductive traits and my work is focused on sperm competition in Drosophila. Drosophila females can mate with multiple males which creates opportunities for competition among ejaculates of different males in the female reproductive tract. It is my aim to determine the genetic basis for this competition within and between species to establish a link between sexual selection and speciation. During my MSc I have been awarded the CGS-M NSERC scholarship (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/tri-council-scholarships-and-awards.html).


Maureen Hanlon Maureen Hanlon
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Westwood

Biography:

I graduated with a BSc from the University of Winnipeg. Working with Dr. Richard Westwood in the Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research, I study pest resilience and carbon sequestration in the city's urban forest. I attended an urban forestry trade school in 2009, and I’m glad for the opportunity to link my academic learning to my practical knowledge of urban forest management. 


Justis Henault Justis Henault
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Westwood

Biography:

I have a BSc Biology (Honours) Degree from the University of Winnipeg. My MSc research focuses on the habitat interactions of the endangered Poweshiek Skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek) butterfly. This butterfly is endemic to the tall grass prairie in Manitoba and the US and its population has declined due to habitat conversion to human agriculture. I study adult and larval behaviour of this butterfly to increase the understanding of its biology which will allow us to better manage habitat to maintain host plant quality in prairies where it still exists. My work also helps guide recent reintroduction efforts of this butterfly into natural habitats it once occupied. My work will contribute to the long-term successful survival of this butterfly species. I am supervised by Dr. Richard Westwood. This research has enabled collaboration with experts working on conserving endangered butterflies in Canada and the United States. It also allowed me to participate in international conferences and to work directly with government agencies and NGO’s to ensure recovery strategy of this species. I am a recipient of the Research Manitoba Graduate Scholarship (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/research/news/2018/12/research-manitoba-2019-grant-and-awards-competition.html) , Manitoba Graduate Scholarship (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html) and Graduate Studies Travel Grant Award (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html). I chose the University of Winnipeg for interaction with professors and research opportunities with real world applications to benefit the quality of the environment.


Abinash Kumar Abinash Kumar
Supervisor: Dr. Anuraag Shrivastav

Biography:

I received my Integrated M.Sc. degree in Mathematical Sciences from the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.

I work under the supervision of Dr. Anuraag Shrivastav who works on cell signaling mechanisms and their relation to Cancer Cells. My work collides with the study of Mathematical Modelling of such relations which gives the predictions of further processes which normally are hard to achieve experimentally. I try to understand various co-relations and the activities in cellular level and explain them using differential equations.

I received the prestigious INSPIRE fellowship during my Integrated M.Sc. I am also a recipient of the Bioscience Graduate Award.

During my tenure, I grew an interest towards Bioscience. I always wanted my work in mathematics to be seen socially and since Biomathematics is a rising field currently, I found Biology as the perfect platform to apply my skills. I am hoping to continue my study in this field in the future.


Anthony Leong Anthony Leong
Supervisor: Dr. Susan Lingle

Biography: Hi folks, my name is Anthony Leong. I’m from Redondo Beach, California and I obtained my BA in Psychology from Reed College in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I completed a thesis project in my final year.  

My current thesis project here at UW looks at how human mothers and women respond to infant cries.  My supervisor, Dr. Susan Lingle, found in her research that deer mothers show characteristic maternal responses to infant cries of other species, including humans.  The study I’m working on will measure physiological and emotional responses of human participants to human and non-human cries. We hope to learn about the evolutionary relationship, and possible continuity, between humans and other mammals.

In 2018, I received a travel grant to attend and present my research at the Prairie University Biology Symposium in Calgary (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html). I enjoyed the conference and loved visiting Calgary. I hope to attend again in 2019.

To prospective students: the University of Winnipeg Grad Studies department is a wonderfully small, tight-knit community.  I have been fortunate to make some great friends here, people who are all uniquely committed to their research and science at large.  If that sounds like your kind of community, check out the Bioscience program.


Alejandro Luchoni Alejandro Luchoni
Supervisor: Dr. Athar Ata

Biography: My name is Alejandro Luchoni and I graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2017 with my Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Currently, I am in the second year of my Master of Science in Bioscience, Technology and Public Policy. I am working under the supervision of Dr. Athar Ata and performing phytochemical studies on medicinally important plants. Our goal is to isolate natural products which could behave as a-glucosidase inhibitors for the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus. Our research is sponsored by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council and in 2017 and 2018 I received the Bioscience Graduate Student Scholarship. Throughout my undergrad, I was able to develop strong relationships with many professors in both the chemistry and biology departments. These connections were integral in allowing me to pursue my passion of contributing to healthcare related research at the University of Winnipeg. 


Theresa Mackey Theresa Mackey
Supervisor: Dr. Caleb Hasler

Biography:

I graduated with my BSc degree in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. My research at the University of Winnipeg is supervised by Dr. Caleb Hasler and focuses on aspects of thermal acclimation in aquatic fish species, specifically Brook Trout. In more detail, I am looking at the effect of global climate change (rising water temperatures) on fish physiology including details such as changes in gene expression. Additionally, my study focuses on the synergistic effect of the rising temperatures and acute stress events, such as catch and release fishing, on the ability of these fish to metabolically recover after such events. By combining these lab methods, we hope to get a holistic understanding of how the changing water temperatures and acute stress events will impact Brook Trout physiology long term as global climate change continues to be ongoing. I am a recipient of two awards: The President's Scholarship for World Leaders (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html) and the University of Winnipeg Graduate Studies Scholarship  - UWGSS (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html). I decided to move from the US and come to UW because of the interesting research being done in the Biology Department and the constant support and encouragement that I continue to receive from the Graduate Studies Department and Biology Department faculty. 


Kristina Muise Kristina Muise
Supervisor: Dr. Craig Willis

Biography: I recently started my M.Sc in September of 2018 after completing a B.Sc (Honours) in 2014 (also at the University of Winnipeg). I work under the supervision of Dr. Craig Willis and will be studying a captive colony of big brown bats housed at the university. My project will examine the effect of ambient conditions and huddling behaviour on the hibernation physiology of bats. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I am fortunate to have been awarded multiple scholarships and grants.  Most recently, I received the University of Winnipeg Graduate Student Travel Grant (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html) and The Wildlife Society Student Travel Grant (Manitoba Chapter) which allowed me to travel to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to present my research at the North American Symposium on Bat Research. Overall, my education at the University of Winnipeg will allow me to have a foundation in research, which I can build on with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, and eventually a Ph.D.


Marie-Josee Nadeau Marie-Josee Nadeau
Supervisor: Dr. Renee Douville

Biography:

I received my BSc in Biochemistry with Honors from the University of Winnipeg in 2017.  For my BSc honours project, I studied the neurotoxicity of Endogenous Retrovirus-K (ERVK) Envelope proteins under the supervision of Dr. Renée Douville. I started my MSc this September with funding I received from the University of Winnipeg Graduate Student Scholarship (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html) and am continuing to study the genomic parasite ERVK with Dr. Renée Douville. My project centers on studying the ERVK integrase (IN) enzyme, which is responsible for integrating viral DNA in a host chromosome in the retroviral life cycle, by making cuts to DNA strands. My research focuses on how ERVK IN can contribute to DNA damage and subvert immune surveillance in the human central nervous system. As ERVK is known to upregulated in the brains of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), this may provide deeper insight into the molecular workings of motor neuron death seen in this disease.  As a Métis scholar, I strive to be a role model for women in science through my passion for neuroscience research and dedication to care-focused community outreach.


Nishat Rahman Nishat Rahman
Supervisor: Dr. Renee Douville

Biography:

I am an international graduate student in Bioscience, Technology and Public Policy at the University of Winnipeg. I have completed my Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Science in BGC Trust University in Bangladesh. My MSc research at UofW incorporates my pharmaceutical and bio-informatics skills for drug design by analyzing phytomedicinal compounds and evaluating their pharmacological effects on the human body. I work in Dr. Renée Douville’s lab.  As an international student, I am a recipient of the President's Scholarship for World Leaders and the Manitoba Graduate Scholarship - MGS (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html). I am also a Graduate Student Instructor in the first year undergraduate Biology Program. 


Dean Reddick Dean Reddick
Supervisor: Dr. Anuraag Shrivastav

Biography:

I graduated from University of Winnipeg with my BSc in Biochemistry and I am currently a Bioscience graduate student. For my grad studies research I work under the supervision of Dr. Anuraag Shrivastav. In our lab we combine laboratory techniques, which involve gene and protein expression analysis, with bioinformatic tools to determine which factors are influencing the growth, development and proliferation rates of Estrogen Receptor positive breast cancer cells. While working here I have received several prestigious awards including the Manitoba Graduate Scholarship –MGS (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/awards-and-scholarships.html, the Research Manitoba Master’s Studentship scholarship (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/research/news/2018/12/research-manitoba-2019-grant-and-awards-competition.html) and the Fredrick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship awarded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/graduate-studies/funding/tri-council-scholarships-and-awards.html). Over the course of my undergrad studies I developed a desire to be involved in the field of bioscience research and I was able to establish a good relationship with my current supervisor Dr. Shrivastav. After speaking with him about his research in the field of breast cancer I was hooked and knew that I had to apply to become a member of his research team.


Cora Romanow Cora Romanow
Supervisor: Dr. Susan Lingle

Biography:

I graduated with a BSc from the University of Winnipeg. I majored in biology (Hons) and minored in mathematics. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to participate in and even lead several research projects designed by Dr. Susan Lingle. I am continuing under the supervision of Dr. Susan Lingle for my MSc research to study the mating tactics of female white-tailed deer and mule deer. Specifically, I am investigating whether female deer play a more active role in courtship than the current dogma seems to suggest. The opportunity to continue conducting non-invasive field research on wild animals was a major deciding factor in my choice to remain at the University of Winnipeg for my graduate degree.


Matthew Russell Matthew Russell
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Westwood

Biography:

I completed my Bachelors of Science at the University of Alberta, specializing in evolutionary biology.  During my undergraduate degree I completed my honors thesis studying the effect of semiochemicals on a parasitoid wasp complex around ash leaf-cone roller. My research at the University of Winnipeg, supervised by Dr. Richard Westwood focuses on management of Dutch elm disease (DED) in the urban forest. My research aims to identifying infected elm trees harbouring a large majority of the beetle vector population spreading DED. Successful prioritized removal of these “super-shedder” trees before the beetles disperse in the early fall to overwinter will potentially reduce the spread and incidence of DED in Winnipeg. Surveys of disease progression, disease symptoms and vector population along with spatial analysis will identify these “super-shedder” trees.

I have received the SERG international graduate student award supporting students researching related topics to SERG-I areas of interest, such as forest pest management.

I decided to complete my Masters at the University of Winnipeg because throughout my undergraduate degree I had a passion for entomological research. Furthermore the project at the U of W provides relevant research analysing one of the most influential insect-born diseases in Canada.


Kelsey Saboraki Kelsey Saboraki
Supervisor: Dr. Susan Lingle

Biography:

I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of Winnipeg. During my Honours thesis, I studied population genetics of bearded seals under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Petersen from the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Since then I have switched from studying aquatic mammals to studying terrestrial ones.  After spending a couple of summers at the McIntyre Ranch in Alberta conducting playback experiments with mule deer I knew I wanted to continue working with deer. I am currently working under the supervision of Dr. Susan Lingle, investigating behavioural transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in mule deer and white-tailed deer. CWD is a fatal prion disease similar to mad cow disease except that it is readily transmitted between deer or between deer and the environment. Rates of CWD are higher in mule deer than in white-tailed deer and in males than in females. As such, the goal of my MSc is to determine if mule deer and males are at higher risk of contracting CWD because they engage in higher rates of animal-animal or environment-animal contact. I received funding for this project from a Biodiversity Grant from the Alberta Conservation Association.


Alyssa Stulberg Alyssa Stulberg
Supervisor: Dr. Craig Willis

Biography:

I recently graduated from the University of Regina where I received a BSc Honours in Biology and a Certificate in German. I am interested in a wide range of topics related to wildlife, but for my MSc I am predominantly focusing on wildlife disease ecology.  Under the supervision of Dr. Craig Willis I am investigating potential methods to inhibit the growth of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus causing white-nose syndrome, in environments where bats hibernate. White-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats across North America, and we hope environmental treatments will create habitats in which bat populations can persist throughout the spread of the disease. We are working in collaboration with Bat Conservation International, Lockhaven University, Northern Arizona University, and the US Forest Service. I am a grateful recipient of the CGS-M scholarship through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Pursuing my MSc in Bioscience at U of W will allow me to do some of my favourite things: meet great people, travel to beautiful places, grow as a scientist, and contribute to important conservation issues.


Samantha Tinkler Samantha Tinkler
Supervisor: Dr. Paul Holloway

Biography: I graduated with my BSc degree in Biology from the University of Winnipeg.

My research is on the pesticidal properties of secondary metabolites of a fungal endophyte found within the Douglas fir tree (Pseudotsuga menziesii). The fermentation, extraction, and testing of this metabolite on Spruce Budworm (Choristoneura sp.) is done under the supervision of Dr. Paul Holloway. The analysis and identification of the active compounds is done under the supervision of Dr. Athar Ata.

I am a recipient of the EMILI Master of Science award.


Connor Watson-Savage Connor Watson-Savage
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Westwood

Biography:

I completed my BSc. with honors at Dalhousie University, Halifax, and a minor in Early Modern Studies at the University of King’s College, Halifax, in 2018. There, I received the 2017 Margaret & Elwin Malone Memorial Scholarship, and currently I am a recipient of the Mitacs Accelerate Program (2018-2019). I came to Manitoba in 2018 because of the unbridled research opportunities it presents for naturalists. I am now completing a MSc. at the University of Winnipeg on the endangered Poweshiek Skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek). This small butterfly is a tallgrass prairie-obligate which is restricted to several sites in Manitoba & Michigan; less than 1% of its historic range. Estimates of their abundance suggest there are less than 500 adult Poweshieks left in the world. My research is on optimizing the existing ex-situ conservation methods for the species and the implications of climate change on the species, with a focus upon larval-rearing under the supervision of Dr. Richard Westwood of UWinnipeg and Stephen Petersen of Assiniboine Park Zoo.