Titan Arum “Magnus” about to bloom

The corm of Magnus, the largest Titan arum in the Biology Greenhouse, recently produced a developing flower bud.  The flower bud was 83 cm on April 5th.  Based on past performance, we expect a full display of the flower around April 18 or 19th (around Good Friday!).  We’ll have the Biology Greenhouse open for extended hours next week- that information will be posted soon.  Magnus last bloomed on May 31, 2015.

Teaching-Track Assistant Professor position available

Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Teaching-Track Assistant Professor in Molecular Biology and Cellular Physiology

The Department of Biology at McMaster is seeking outstanding candidates to fill a Teaching-Track faculty position at the Assistant Professor level.  The preferred start date for the appointment is July 1, 2019. The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. degree in Biology, Life Sciences or a related discipline, possess excellent communication skills and a demonstrated ability in developing and implementing modern/innovative pedagogical techniques in the classroom. These should include effective and engaging teaching to large classes.  Evidence of leadership skills, and a demonstrated ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse communities and cultures is also required.

The successful candidate will be expected to spend approximately 80% of their time teaching courses and will have the opportunity to engage in pedagogical research within – and outside of – the Department of Biology.  Teaching will be primarily in the areas of molecular and cellular biology, and physiology, in courses that are important in Biology programs/specializations including Molecular Biology and Genetics, Physiology, Biology and Psychology, and Neuroscience.    The remaining 20% of time will be spent on committee assignments and participating in events and other service tasks within the Department including both student recruitment and outreach.

The Department of Biology has a current complement of 33 faculty members, ~90 graduate students, and ~900 undergraduate students in 9 programs.  Over 1600 students complete the first year Cellular and Molecular Biology course offering by the Biology Department. The Department’s strong commitment to teaching, training, research and the desire to continue to innovate at the undergraduate and graduate levels have been widely recognized.  Significantly, McMaster University is globally renowned for its innovation in higher education and was ranked 5th in Biology in Canada in the annual Maclean’s University ranking. In addition, McMaster University has consistently been ranked as the most research-intensive university in Canada.

McMaster University is a globally renowned institution of higher learning and a research community committed to advancing human and societal health and well-being. Our focus on collaboratively exchanging ideas and approaches makes us uniquely positioned to pioneer groundbreaking solutions to real-world problems leading to a Brighter World.  The Faculty of Science works to create global impact by advancing scientific discovery and knowledge, and promoting greater understanding. Our innovative, interdisciplinary approach generates new methods and insights, results, and lasting change.

McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and, within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement. In keeping with its Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, McMaster University strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity among faculty and staff that reflects the diversity of our student body. The successful candidate will be committed to inclusion and excellence and the Department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their teaching and/or service, to the diversity of the academic community. Women, persons with disabilities, First Nations, Metis and Inuit persons, members of racialized communities and LGBTQ-identified persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

Faculty members at McMaster University enjoy numerous personal and professional benefits. University employees are offered an excellent benefits package that includes, but is not limited to, extended health care benefits, dental care, group life, long term disability, worldwide travel assistance, and a retirement plan.  Progressive policies are in place to assist faculty members who become parents or who need to care for family members. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

To apply for this position, applicants should send a letter of application, full CV, a statement of teaching, a diversity statement and the names of at least three references (with postal and email addresses).  The teaching statement must address and reflect the candidate’s interest and plans in pedagogy.  The diversity statement describes your commitment to and demonstrated experience advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in post-secondary education, community-based or other professional settings.
Complete applications must be made online at www.workingatmcmaster.ca/careers (Faculty Positions, Job ID 24841 to the attention of:  The Chair, Department of Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4K1
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

To comply with the Government of Canada’s reporting requirements, the University is obliged to gather information about applicants’ status as either Permanent Residents of Canada or Canadian citizens. Applicants need not identify their country of origin or current citizenship; however, all applications must include one of the following statements:  Yes, I am a citizen or permanent resident of Canada / No, I am not a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Job applicants requiring accommodation to participate in the hiring process should contact the Human Resources Service Centre at 905-525-9140 ext. 222-HR (22247) to communicate accommodation needs.

Oliver Wearing awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

The Department of Biology is pleased to announce that Oliver Wearing (a Ph.D. student in Graham Scott’s lab) has been awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. Vanier CGS is one of the most prestigious scholarships available to Ph.D. students in Canada. The scholarships are extremely competitive, and are awarded to students that have demonstrated the highest levels of academic excellence, research potential, and leadership. Congratulations Oliver!

Interview Here

Turtle virus discovery by Morgan Piczak

McMaster turtle researcher Morgan Piczak, who came upon both the local turtles, says it is imperative to control the outbreak because the snapping turtle population is fragile, as are so many other species in Cootes Paradise.


Full Story Here

Douglas Davidson gifts his extensive collection of art to the McMaster Museum of Art

Douglas Davidson, professor emeritus of biology, recently gifted his extensive collection of art to the McMaster Museum of Art…


Story Here

Biology Student wins award at OBD

On March 24th and 25th, a group of fourth year undergraduate Biology students travelled to Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo for the annual Ontario Biology Day. This two day conference brings together Biology students from all Ontario universities to present their fourth year thesis project research to other students, professors and members of the community. Sarah Sandor is currently conducting her fourth year thesis project under the supervision of Dr. Jianping (JP) Xu in the Department of Biology. Her project involves examining the global phylogeography of mushrooms within the matsutake mushroom species complex. Matsutake are edible mushrooms found throughout temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. These organisms have high economic value in Japan, where they are commonly consumed, and play an important role in maintaining the health of ecosystems. Through analyzing specimens collected from around the world, Sarah conducted a multi-locus genotype analysis based on sequences of genes from the mitochondrial genome. This project is contributing to our understanding of the global diversity and evolutionary history of these species.

Sarah was awarded second place for the oral presentation she gave at the conference in the Ecology and Evolution division. 

Sarah will start her MSc thesis research in JP’s lab in May 2018.

CTV interview with Dr Jacobs on genetically-modified animals

The lingering concerns surrounding genetically-modified animals


CTV interview with Dr jacobs HERE

2017 International Environmental Award presented to Dr. Karen Kidd

Recipharm, a Swedish pharmaceutical development and manufacturing firm, has announced that its 2017 International Environmental Award will be presented to Karen Kidd, McMaster’s  Jarislowsky Chair in Environment and Health, and  Professor in Biology, and Geography & Earth Sciences. Dr. Kidd is being recognised for her field biology experiments that have revealed the impacts of human made chemicals, such as synthetic estrogen, on fish biology.

Lars Backsell, Chairman of the Board of Recipharm said: “We are delighted to present the 2017 award to Karen Kidd. Her research will no doubt be essential in building commitment towards environmental matters and provides valuable guidance for future actions in order to decrease or avoid the negative effects of chemical contamination.”  

The prize ceremony will take place in Stockholm in September 2018.

Cootes Paradise watershed study

Biology’s Dr. Graham Scott is raising some red flags about the impact of contaminants in the Cootes Paradise watershed in a McMaster University study.


Story Here

Biology Greenhouse Open House and Plant Sale

–When: FRIDAY Dec. 8, 10AM-2PM

–Location: Biology Greenhouse (between Hamilton Hall & Refectory)

–Cost: Make a donation to the greenhouse & take away a plant!

–Optional January pickup for your plant(s)

See our extensive plant collection!