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Our Research

Department of Biology

Biology Seminar Series: Research Innovation in Sudbury

Fall 2021 seminar series schedule to be announced in September.

L'horaire des série de conférences de l'automne 2021 sera annoncé en septembre.

Name Date Title
Beckett, Peter 2020-Sep

Regreening Science Transforms the Sudbury Landscape for Community Benefits

Campbell, Lewis

Exploring the ecology, impact, and management of two deadly but diverse wildlife diseases

Garroway, Colin


2021-Jan Patterns and causes of genetic diversity gradients in North American vertebrates
Gunn, John 2020-Sep

Recovery and Rejuvenation of Sudbury's Lake Trout Lakes

Gagnon, Jeffrey 2020-Nov

A Gutsy Approach to the Treatment of Metabolic Diseases: Gut Microbes and Gut Hormones

Graduate Students from LU 2020-Dec

Bite-Sized Bio-Seminars by LU Graduate Students

Litzgus, Jackie 2020-Nov

The Solutions Should Not Cause More Problems: Evidence-based Science to Inform Recovery of Species at Risk

Mykytczuk, Nadia 2020-Oct

Innovation in Biomining and Bioremediation

Parissenti, Amadeo 2020-Oct

New Approaches To Monitor and Improve the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy in Cancer Patients (LU Only Access)

Pearson, David 2020-Oct

Challenges on the Way to Hudson Bay

Pitcher, Trevor



The Evolutionary Ecology of Alternative Reproductive Tactics in Chinook Salmon

Popp, Jesse 2020-Nov

Defying Convention: Perspectives from an Indigenous LU Graduate on a Path to Transform Science

Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht


Zoo Conservation Science: Challenges and Opportunities

Soroye, Peter


Climate change and land use change impacts on pollinators


St. Clair, Colleen



Correlates of conflict vs. coexistence with urban coyotes


Swanson, Heidi


How are Northern Ecosystems Connected to Each Other? Ask the Fish!

Welch Jr., Kenneth 


The exceptional flexibility of an extreme dietary specialist: the ruby-throated hummingbird

Watkinson, Autumn


Restoration of Sagebrush Grasslands for Greater Sage Grouse Habitat




Researchers and Research Centers

The Biology Department’s faculty conduct a wide range of research including habitat restoration, wildlife ecology, and human health and disease. Below you can navigate to our faculty profile pages and the various research centers housed or affiliated with our department.



Dr Peter Ryser

Director: Dr Peter Ryser
(705) 675-1151 ext. 2353


Dr. Sabah Nasserulla

Curator (vascular plants): Dr. Sabah Nasserulla
(705) 675-1151 ext. 3058

Dr. Peter J. Beckett

Curator (non-vascular plants): Dr. Peter J. Beckett
(705) 675-1151 ext. 2259


Laurentian’s Herbarium (international code SLU) was created in the early 1960s by Dr. Yvan Carrier, s.j., and Dr. Wyn Y. Watson, the first chairs of the University's Department of Biology. In 1964, Captain Edmund A. Turnau joined the Department. He contributed an extensive collection of Malayan ferns and made significant local collections. Over the past 40 years, under the curatorship of Prof. Keith Winterhalder, the herbarium has expanded to more than 20,000 specimens through collections from the Great-Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest, Boreal Shield, James Bay Lowland and High Arctic ecozones, by various biology students and professors. The worldwide flora, including that of Australia, Europe and South America, is also represented by faculty collections.

The herbarium has received many gifts, including the collections of Gerard Gardner (Northern Quebec and Labrador), Dieter Ropke (Northwestern Ontario), and R.S.W. Bobette (Ontario and North America). Specimens have been exchanged with herbaria from Queen’s University, Carleton University, the National Herbarium in Ottawa, the Université de Sherbrooke, the Regional Museum of natural Science in Torino, Italy, and the Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland. The Herbarium regularly lends specimens and provides information to researchers, and has participated in the "Rare Vascular Plants of Ontario" project and the "Flora of Manitoulin Island." The herbarium is currently participating in a project to create a database of specimens from northern Ontario located in the herbaria of Laurentian University, Nipissing University, Algoma University College, Lakehead University, Lake Superior State University, the Great Lakes Forestry Centre, the Ontario Forest Research Institute, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Moose Cree First Nation.

Botanists, students and naturalists interested in using or contributing to the Herbarium are invited to contact Dr. Peter Ryser.

What is an herbarium? An herbarium is a collection of dry, pressed plant specimens. They are grouped according to taxonomic similarities in airtight cabinets. Each specimen is identified to the species level and annotated with information about where and when it was obtained and who collected it. Typically, local plants will be most well represented, but herbaria can also contain a wide range of species from around the world.

What is an herbarium used for? The herbarium documents biodiversity, and information contained in it can help us map current distributions of plants and compare them to past distributions. As such, we can get a better understanding of what our landscape looked like before intensive human settlement, how activities such as climate change have altered plant communities, and finally, identify “hot spots” for conservation.

Who uses an herbarium? The three main purposes of an herbarium are scientific research, teaching and public education.