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Graduate Programs

Department of Biology

Overview

We offer two programs of study leading to a degree of Master of Science in Biology or a doctorate (PhD) in Boreal Ecology. The Department's well-equipped laboratories and field stations allow research at all levels of biological organization, from molecular to ecosystem.

MSc in Biology

The Department of Biology offers a program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Biology, designed to prepare students for careers in research, government, and industry. The Department of Biology offers the M.Sc. degree by a combination of thesis and course work.  The program is available to both full-time and part-time students. Research can be conducted within the areas of aquatic and terrestrial ecology, botany, plant and animal physiology, microbiology, neuroscience, or zoology. Specializations are available in animal ecology, soil biology, plant ecology and revegetation, plant, animal and biomedical physiology, wildlife management, animal behaviour, environmental radioactivity and toxicology, systematics, entomology, limnology and fisheries biology, microbial physiology and applied microbiology, neuroscienc, virology, cytogenetics, and molecular genetics.

 

MSc Coordinator:

Dr Mery Martinez Garcia
biologymsc@laurentian.ca

For program details (admission requirements, degree options and regulations, and courses), please visit Laurentian University's Biology M.Sc. web pages.

 

Financial Aid

Graduate Teaching Assistantships/Fellowships (GTA/GF) are available to full-time students who meet a minimum average of 75%. Students in the M.Sc. Program are provided with a combined Graduate Teaching Assistantship/Fellowship (GTA/GF) of $8958 per annum for 2018-19 ($4484 is the salary portion paid on a bi-weekly bsis and the graduate fellowship is payable in one instalment of $4474 into the student's Laurentian University account), and the amount can vary from year to year.

Duties involve a maximum of 10 hours of teaching, laboratory preparation or marking per week during the eight-month academic year. Each student is guaranteed a minimum of $15,000 per year for a two-year period, with the difference being made up by the Supervisor or from other sources (scholarships, bursaries, etc.). It is expected that course work and research will be completed within this time frame. More information about financial aid is available through the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Full faculty members

Alarie, Yves: Invertebrate systematics

Basiliko, Nathan: Environmental microbiology; ecosystem ecology; soils

Beckett, Peter: Restoration ecology; wetlands

Gagnon, Jeffrey: Obesity and metabolic disease

Gunn, John: Fisheries ecology and management

Lesbarrères, David: Evolutionary ecology; herpetology

Litzgus, Jackie: Ecology and conservation of reptiles at risk

Mallory, Frank: Wildlife management & behavioural & biomedical ecology

Martinez-Garcia, Mery: Animal physiology in changing environments

Nkongolo, Kabwe: Human and plant genetics

Robitaille, Jean-François: Behavioural ecology of Mustelids

Ryser, Peter: Ecology of wetland plants; root ecology; heavy metal stress

Saleh, Mazen: Molecular biophysics; bacterial environmental interactions

Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht: Applied evolutionary ecology

 

Cross-appointed faculty

Belzile, Nelson: Analytical & environmental chemistry; geochemistry & limnology

Boreham, Douglas (NOSM)

Gauthier, Eric: Molecular and cellular control of cell survival

Johnson, Julia

Kovala, Tom: Signal transduction and regulation of angiogenesis

Kumar, Aseem: Molecular signalling pathways

Lafrenie, Robert: Breast cancer indicators; natural cancer control products

Lannér, Carita: DNA replication in etiology of cancer

Larivière, Céline: Cellular and molecular neural and muscular systems

Le, Hoang-Thanh

MacLean, David (NOSM)

McElhaney, Janet

Merritt, Thomas: Genomics and bioinformatics (Drosophila and environmental)

Moise, Alexander (NOSM)

Mykytczuk, Nadia: Environmental microbiology

Nokhbeh, Reza: Bacteriophage biology, therapeutics and diagnostics

Omri, Abdel:  Lipid-based drug and vaccine delivery systems

Parissenti, Amadeo: Tumour biology

Ramcharan, Charles: Lake food webs

Ross, Gregory: Nervous system disorders; brain disease

Roy-Leveillée (Pascale School of Northern and Community Studies)

Simard, Alain (NOSM)

Tai, T.C.: Gene dysregulation; hypertension

Tharmalingam, Sujeenthar (NOSM)

Thome, Christopher (NOSM)

Yang, Guangdong

 

Adjunct faculty

Bhavsar, Satyendra

Bowman, Jeff: Spatial population ecology

Bräuer, Suzanna

Brown, Glen: Animal ecology, wildlife conservation and management

Buckner, Carly

Côté, Gilbert

Dotta, Blake

Echaubard, Pierre

Edwards, Brie

Edwards, Darryl

Garner, Trenton

Hamr, Josef

James, April

Johnston, Thomas

Jones, Trevor

Keller, Wendel: Effects of multiple stressors on northern aquatic ecosystems

Khidas, Kamal

Kim, Nam-Soo

Mastromonaco, Gabriela: Developmental biology; reproductive biotechnology

Pitcher, Trevor

Popp, Jesse

Renshaw, Gillian

Riley, Julia

Schock, Danna

Tanentzap, Andrew

Venier, Lisa

Watmough, Shaun

PhD in Boreal Ecology

Boreal ecology is defined as the study of all aquatic and terrestrial aspects (genetic, physiological, morphological, behavioural, and ecological) of boreal ecosystems at micro- and macro-habitat scales, with emphasis on stressed systems, impacts of disturbance, restoration, and species sustainability and conservation. The Ph.D. Program in Boreal Ecology will provide academic and research opportunities for exceptional students and will prepare them for careers in academia, resource-based industries, and environmental enterprises in the private and public sectors.

 

PhD Coordinator:

Peter Ryser
pryser@laurentian.ca

For information on program details, degree requirements, and courses, please visit the Laurentian University's Boreal Ecology Ph.D. Program web pages.

 

The Ph.D. Program in Boreal Ecology has three fields of focus:

Stressed Aquatic Ecosystems

This field deals with research associated with freshwater aquatic systems in the Precambrian Shield and the Hudson Bay Lowlands. It builds upon the excellent research record and data bases developed through the collaborative work of the Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit, a partnership between Laurentian University, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of the Environment, the City of Greater Sudbury, and the mining industry. As Sudbury has in excess of 300 lakes within the city boundaries and Northern Ontario has many thousands of freshwater lakes, rivers and wetlands, the opportunity to specialize in ths area is unlimited. Research topics in this focal area include inorganic metal loading, acid precipitation, global warming, and studies of biotic systems at all trophic levels from prokaryotes to vertebrates.

 

Sustainable Terrestrial Ecosystems

This field deals with terrestrial ecosystems in the Precambrian Shield and the Hudson Bay Lowlands. It builds on the research record and data bases developed through collaborative work between Laurentian University, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and the forestry, mining, ecotourism, and trapping industries. Research topics in this area include the sustainability of woodland caribou populations, biodiversity of aquatic beetles, reintroduction of elk into Ontario, ecology of parasites in boreal birds and mammals, ecology of insects associated with shrubs and trees, forestry and pine marten management, and the impact of both natural and anthropogenic disturbances on boreal ecosystems, and studies on the impact of global warming on terrestrial floristic and faunal communities.

 

Conservation and Restoration Ecology

This field focuses on disturbed ecosystems within the Precambrian Shield and the Hudson Bay Lowlands. It builds on the internationally recognized research that spearheaded regreening of the Sudbury region, through collaboration by Laurentian University, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the City of Greater Sudbury, and the mining industry. Recent visits and collaborations by Scandinavian and Russian researchers emphasized the global aspects of this field. As Northern Ontario provides access to many mining sites and stressed urban ecosystems, there are unique opportunities for those specializing in this field. Research in this focal area includes studies on acid mine drainage, radionuclide contamination, impacts of heavy metals and pH, soil biology, revegetation and recolonization of damaged industrial lands, identification of acid/metal tolerant species, conservation of vertebrates in aquatic habitats, and the modelling of vegetation recovery.

 

Financial Aid

Qualified full-time Ph.D. students will be provided with a combined Graduate Teaching Assistantship/Graduate Fellowship of $13,126 (the 2018-19 value, of which $6651 is the salary portion paid on a bi-weekly bsis and the graduate fellowship is payable in one instalment of $6475 into the student's Laurentian University account), and the amount can vary each year. Each student will be guaranteed a minimum of $18,000 per year for a maximum of 4 years, derived from graduate teaching assistantships, stipends from supervisors, and external or internal awards (scholarships, bursaries, etc.). More information about financial aid is available through the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Core faculty members

Alarie, Yves: Invertebrate systematics

Basiliko, Nathan: Environmental microbiology; ecosystem ecology; soils

Belzile, Nelson: Analytical & environmental chemistry; geochemistry & limnology

Gunn, John: Fisheries ecology and management

Lesbarrères, David: Evolutionary ecology; herpetology

Litzgus, Jackie: Ecology and conservation of reptiles at risk

Mallory, Frank: Wildlife management & behavioural & biomedical ecology

Martinez-Garcia, Mery: Animal physiology in changing environments

Merritt, Thomas: Genomics and bioinformatics (Drosophila and environmental)

Nkongolo, Kabwe: Human and plant genetics

Omri, Abdel:  Lipid-based drug and vaccine delivery systems

Ramcharan, Charles: Lake food webs

Ryser, Peter: Ecology of wetland plants; root ecology; heavy metal stress

Saleh, Mazen: Molecular biophysics; bacterial environmental interactions

Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht: Applied evolutionary ecology

Spiers, Graeme: Soil and water chemistry and biology

 

Cross-appointed Faculty

Mykytczuk, Nadia: Applied and environmental microbiology

 

Adjunct Faculty

Hamr, Josef: Wildlife ecology, zoology

Johnston, Thomas: reproductive & trophic ecologies of fishe