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!

Stephanie Jones has just been awarded the top ‘Graduate Research Prize’ by CCUBC

Stephanie Jones, a Vanier Scholar and senior Ph.D. student in Dr. Marie Elliot’s lab in the Department of Biology, has just been awarded the top ‘Graduate Research Prize’ by the ‘Canadian Council of University Biology Chairs’ (CCUBC). This award is given in recognition of publishing the best and most innovative refereed journal article (based on graduate research), this year in Canada. The honour will be officially conferred tomorrow (Nov 16th), during the CCUBC’s annual meeting.

Stephanie’s eLife paper (https://elifesciences.org/articles/21738) turned the field of microbial development on its head, when she reported a completely new mechanism of bacterial growth, development and communication. Her findings were all the more remarkable considering that the bacterium she studies (Streptomyces), has been the subject of developmental investigations for 70+ years. Stephanie’s eLife paper has received extensive attention, including being highlighted in the journals Nature and Nature Reviews Microbiology.

Taru Vasanthan – valedictorian for the Faculties of Engineering and Sciences

Congratulations to Taru Vasanthan, PhD student in Dr. Jon Stone’s lab, who was chosen as valedictorian for the Faculties of Engineering and Sciences’ Fall Convocation Ceremony on Friday, November 17th at 9:30 a.m. at the FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly called Hamilton Place).