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Graduates of Our Program

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


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 as well as the University of Winnipeg Graduate Scholarship (UWGSS).

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.

Gurman Grewal Gurman Grewal
Supervisor: Dr. Alberto Civetta


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.

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.

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 and the University of Winnipeg Graduate Studies Scholarship  - UWGSS. 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.

Dean Reddick Dean Reddick
Supervisor: Dr. Anuraag Shrivastav


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, the Research Manitoba Master’s Studentship scholarship and the Fredrick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship awarded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research. 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.

Kelsey Saboraki Kelsey Saboraki
Supervisor: Dr. Susan Lingle


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.