You are now in the main content area

Our Research

Biology Seminar Series: Research Innovation in Sudbury

This year is a special year for our Biology Seminar Series. Our panel of invited speakers will be delivering 40 minute, accesible talks about their research breakthroughs. From restoring damaged ecosystems to novel cancer diagnostics, we have an exciting series planned!

Seminars are Fridays from 12pm-1pm

All are welcome!


Winter 2021 Agenda

Jan 22
Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde, Laurentian University
Zoo Conservation Science - Challenges and Opportunities
Jan 29
Colin Garroway, University of Manitoba
Patterns and causes of genetic diversity gradients in North American vetebrates
Feb 05
Trevor Pitcher, University of Windsor
The Evolutionary Ecology of Alternative Reproductive Tactics in Chinook Salmon
Feb 12
Peter Soroye, University of Ottawa
Climate change and land use change impacts on pollinators
Feb 26

Colleen Cassady St. Clair, University of Alberta
Correlates of conflict vs. coexistence with urban coyotes

Mar 05 Autumn Watkins, University of Bristish Columbia
Restoration of Sagebrush Grasslands for Greater Sage Grouse Habitat

Fall 2020 Agenda

Sep 18    
John Gunn, Laurentian University
Recovery and Rejuvenation of Sudbury's Lake Trout Lakes
Sep 25
Peter Beckett, Laurentian University
Regreening Science Transforms the Sudbury Landscape for Community Benefits
Oct 02
David Pearson, Vale Living with Lakes Centre, Laurentian University
Challenges on the way to Hudson Bay

Oct 08

Nadia Mykytczuk, Vale Living with Lakes Centre, Laurentian University
Innovation in Biomining and Bioremediation
Oct 23
Amadeo Parissenti, Northern Ontario School of Medicine
New Approaches to Monitor and Improve the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy in Cancer Patients
Oct 30

Heidi Swanson, University of Waterloo; 2020 LU Watershed Lecturer
How are Northern Ecosystems Connected to Each Other? Ask the Fish!

Nov 06
Jackie Litzgus, Laurentian University
The Solutions Should Not Cause More Problems: Evidence-based Science to Inform Recovery of Species at Risk
Nov 13
Jeffrey Gagnon, Laurentian University
A Gutsy Approach to the Treatment of Metabolic Diseases: Gut Microbes and Gut Hormones
Nov 20
Jesse Popp, University of Guelph
Defying Convention: Perspectives from an Indigenous LU Graduate on a Path to Transform Science
Dec 04
Graduate Student, Laurentian University
Bite-Sized Bio-Seminars


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.


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



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

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.