Research conducted by faculty in the Department of Biology, and associated Adjunct faculty covers a wide spectrum of topics. Broadly speaking, however, faculty in the Department of Biology can be grouped into four major research clusters, based on self-identified cross interest (See Research Network diagram). These clusters are loosely labeled as “Animal Physiology”, “Cell and Molecular Biology”, “Ecology and Evolution” and “Plant Stress Biology”, though there is significant inter-connectedness. An overarching theme is the exploration of how organisms respond and adapt to changing environments.
Research in animal physiology is focused on understanding how animals work at all levels of organisation, from molecules through mitochondria and cells, to whole organism function and performance. Our animal physiologists are world leaders in the study of thermal biology, exercise and migration. We focus on a range of organisms, from snails, insects and fish to birds and mammals, addressing questions related to environment and evolution.
Faculty and Adjunct Faculty Listing
Research:Current research focuses on the physiology of endurance flight and stopover refueling in migratory birds and bats.
Facilities:Advanced Facility for Avian Research ( AFAR), Field Laboratory for Integrative Ecological Research (FLIER)
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x 81204
Research:Studies focus on the physiological response of muscle to intense exercise, as a model to understanding metabolic regulation and potential limitations to swimming performance in fish.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x 83869
Research:Assessment of insecticide resistance development in field populations, biochemical measures of insect metabolism, screening of insecticidal activity of plant extract.
Phone:(519) 457-1470 x 281
Research:Insect thermal biology; Insect-yeast interactions; Polar biology; Arctic spiders; Applied thermal biology; Sterile insect releases; Overwinter biology; Functional genomics.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x 83138
A variety of model systems including Schizosaccharomyces, Arabidopsis, Drosophila, Xenopus, zebrafish, mice and cell culture have provided faculty members, their graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Cell Biology and Genetics research group, the unique opportunity to do cutting edge research in areas of basic biological and biomedical sciences. These efforts have led to significant discoveries related to the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling cytokinesis, early development, morphogenesis, cancer progression, aging, neurological disorders, and the evolution of genes and genomes. In addition, our extensive collaborations with experts both within and outside the Western community has contributed to making the Cell Biology and Genetics research group an exciting and dynamic place to conduct highly innovative and interactive research.
Faculty and Adjunct Faculty Listing
Research:Regulation of Soybean Storage Protein Genes - A Genetics Approach
Research: Studies the changes in brain metabolism and antioxidant defence that occur with age.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x81578
Research:Researches Extracellular Matrix (ECM), which are proteins required for proper cell adhesion to detrmine their role in cell fate.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x84704
Research:Identification of Factors Regulating Soybean Seed Quality
Phone:(519) 457-1470 (670)
Research:Researches novel targets in the lepidopteran nervous system for development of pest specific insecticides
Phone:(519) 457-1470 (277)
Research:Uses copy number genotyping to track developmental dynamics of de novo mutagenesis
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x81337
Research:Uses the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe to increase our understanding of how eukaryotic cells assemble and regulate complex genetic networks.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x80975
Research:Uses tissue culture cells to research cell-cell signaling events that pattern the developing vertebrate embryo.
Research:Identification and characterization of new genes related to nutritional quality, and development of new platform technologies for dry bean improvement.
Phone:(519) 457-1470 (311)
Research:Analysis of the regulation of transgene expression in plants
Phone:(519) 457-1470 (270)
Research:Studies the molecular basis of the Drosophila melanogaster body plan required for positioning and determining the identity of the various body parts
Research:Identifion of genes required for social response and to map the neuronal circuitry of social behavior in flies
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x80084
Research:Researches genetic and epigenetic factors associated with complex diseases and phenotypes with a focus on neurogenomics.
Research:Studies genome architecture, genetic diversity, and the evolutionary forces that fashion genes and chromosomes.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x86482
Research:Studies improving nutrient acquisition and conservation in plants: Genetics and genomics of plant adaptation to low N and P in the model legume Lotus japonicus.
Phone:(519) 457-1470 (273)
Research:Studies plum pox virus resistance and corn trait modification via molecular biology
Phone:(519) 457-1470 (230)
Research:Studies the biological activity and functions of animal and plant lectins
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x88900
Our ecology and evolution group uses state-of-the-art laboratory, field and quantitative approaches to test hypotheses about adaptation, behaviour, conservation of biodiversity and responses to disturbance and environmental change. We do high-impact research at scales ranging from individuals to populations, communities and ecosystems, and integrate across disciplines to study a wide taxonomic diversity of organisms.
Faculty and Adjunct Faculty Listing
Research:Focuses on developing novel statistical methods for the analysis of data from ecological studies.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x88205
Research:Field oriented research program using the latest approaches to the measurement of environmental processes. Studies speciated trace metals in the environment such as mercury and arsenic.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x8922
Research:Research focuses on water movement within watersheds, nutrient recycling, phytoplankton ecology and physiology with emphasis on Cyanobacteria.
Research:Studies the biology of bats including their morphology, social organization and foraging behaviour.
Research:Explores how plants and microorganisms interact to regulate nutrient cycling in natural systems.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x81548
Research:Studies the interface between applied animal ecology/conservation and Biogeochemistry with particular emphasis on the development and use of naturally occurring stable isotopes.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x81203
Research: Investigates factors that affect the genetic diversity, and spatial genetic structure, of populations.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x80471
Research:Studies the evolution, biogeography, biodiversity, and systematics of ascomycetous yeasts.
Research:Researches how to mitigate the impacts of environmental change and maintain ecosystem function in soil systems.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x82284
Research:Seeks to understand how evolutionary processes such as parasite-mediated selection interact with ecological processes such as seasonal migration, natal dispersal, mate choice and immune development to shape patterns of genetic variation within and among songbird populations.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x81206
Research:Studies how hormones and the brain respond to environmental cues to coordinate behaviour, primarily in songbirds
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x82066
Research:Uses physiological and molecular approaches to understand the mechanisms controlling the reproductive biology in insect species.
Research:Studies the genetics of complex traits using the model system of Drosophila.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x85596
Research:Research integrates evolutionary theory and empirical studies to study the adaptive timing behaviour of migratory birds and fish.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x80116
Research:Examines questions at the interface of evolution, ecology, and genomics by predominately working with fish including bluegill, bullhead, guppy, and salmon.
Research:Evaluates low risk management of insects, weeds and diseases in field grown vegetables.
Research:Studies cognition and the avian brain in food-storing birds, brood parasites, and long distance migrants.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x84659
Research:Studies the biological basis of insect social behaviour; how it evolves, how it is maintained and why some species are social while others are not.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x86570
Research:Explores the relationships between phylogeny and function - evolution and ecology - in the fungi.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x88647
Research:Reseaches the ecology of phytoplankton in oceans as they are important in the global cycles of carbon and nitrogen.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x83899
Research:Studies the many dimensions of predator-induced fear, from population- and ecosystem-level consequences, to impacts on health and development.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x88317
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x85356
Research in plant stress physiology is focused on understanding how plants respond to various biotic and abiotic stresses at the molecular, biochemical and physiological levels. The research conducted by our plant biologists is based on organisms ranging from phytoplankton to higher plants, at the cellular, metabolic, organismal, population and ecosystem levels, using state of the art analytical facilities, including the Biotron Facility for Experimental Climate Change Research.
Faculty and Adjunct Faculty Listing
Research:Studies how plants use phytochemicals to interact with other organisms or defend themselves against environmental factors such as wounding and pathogen attack.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x86477
Research:Studies disease resistance in soybeans and seed quality characateristics
Phone:(519) 457-1470 (280)
Research:Developing environmentally sound pest control strategies against spider mites
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x86776
Research:Studies Genomics of plant-pest interaction and Arabidopsis developmental genetics
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x86898
Research:Designining oilseeds for tomorrow's markets
Phone:(519) 457-1470 (638)
Research:Research goal is the complete physiological, biochemical and molecular characterization of Chlamydomonas sp. UWO 241 with respect to the structure and function of its novel photosynthetic apparatus.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x86488
Research:Studies regulatory events in plants using the arogenate dehydratase family (ADTs) in Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x86485
Research:Two research directions: Plant hsp90 chaperone complex and its role in signal transduction and brassinosteroid-mediated stress responses.
Research:Studying the the biochemical and physiological mechanisms that permit potentially toxic metal tolerance which may provide valuable information regarding the use of plants to restore contaminated areas.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x86487
Research:Investigating the role of the mitochondrion in a time-nested set of responses to environmental change from stress-sensing to adaptation.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x81336
Research:Genomics and proteomics of photosynthetic stress tolerance and acclimation evaluated through studies of the regulatory aspects of photosynthesis, respiration, photosynthetic carbon metabolism, and carbon partitioning utilizing methodology applied in Genomics/Proteomics and photobiology/biochemistry research.
Research:Development of a Soybean mosaic virus-based vector for functional genomics and molecular farming in legume plants
Phone:(519) 457-1470 (313)
Research:Research focuses on physiological responses to high temperatures, drought stress and changes in CO2 concentration, with the goal of determining the mechanisms underpinning plant responses to global change at molecular and biochemical scales and the implications of these responses for the larger community and ecosystem scales.
Phone:(519) 661-2111 x88734