Principle Investigator
Graham R. Scott

scottg2 [at] mcmaster [dot] ca (scottg2@mcmaster.ca)

Graham is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2 in Comparative and Environmental Physiology) in the Department of Biology at McMaster University, and is a member of the McMaster Centre for Climate Change.

He attended McMaster University as an undergraduate student (1997-2002), where he began his research career during his thesis with Chris Wood. He completed an M.Sc. (2002-2004) with Trish Schulte and then a Ph.D. (2004-2009) with Bill Milsom at the University of British Columbia. He was a postdoctoral fellow with Ian Johnston at the University of St Andrews in Scotland (2010-2011) before returning to McMaster.

Graham is broadly interested in the comparative and evolutionary physiology of animals. He has a strong interest in integrating across levels of biological organization - from genome to organism - and his lab employs a diverse set of molecular, cellular, histological, physiological, and behavioural techniques. Research in the lab is complemented by field work to help understand how physiological systems work under real-world conditions.
Postdoctoral Fellows
Neal Dawson (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2014-present)

neal.dawson [at] gmail [dot] com (neal.dawson@gmail.com)

Neal joined the lab after doing a Ph.D. with Ken Storey at Carleton University. He is broadly interested in how animals survive low oxygen environments, particularly in how enzymatic changes in key metabolic pathways can facilitate life under these harsh conditions. His work in the Scott lab (in collaboration with Kevin McCracken at the University of Miami) is examining the mechanisms of high-altitude adaptation in highland ducks from the Andes, with a focus on how muscle phenotype and mitochondrial physiology are adjusted to cope with hypoxia and cold.
Andy Turko (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018-present)

ajturko [at] gmail [dot] com (ajturko@gmail.com)

Andy joined the lab after doing a Ph.D. with Pat Wright at the University of Guelph. He is broadly interested in why (and how) some fishes can survive in extreme environments, while others are sensitive to environmental challenges. After studying some incredibly resilient killifishes for his PhD work, Andy began work in the Scott lab on a collaborative project with Trevor Pitcher (University of Windsor), Sigal Balshine (McMaster University), and Kyla Greenham (Toronto Zoo). His project is focussing on the physiology of a sensitive and endangered Ontario fish, the redside dace, in an effort to improve conservation outcomes for the species.
Graduate Students
Brittney Borowiec (Ph.D. program, 2013-present)

borowibg [at] mcmaster [dot] ca (borowibg@mcmaster.ca)

Brittney returned to the lab as a masters student after doing a B.Sc. thesis in the lab (2012-2013) on the effects of intermittent hypoxia on fish, and has since transferred to a Ph.D. Her Ph.D. thesis is examining the mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of killifish to intermittent hypoxia.
Catherine Ivy (Ph.D. program, 2013-present)

ivycm [at] mcmaster [dot] ca (ivycm@mcmaster.ca)

Catie has a B.Sc. from the University of Guelph, where she did her thesis with Nick Bernier. After studying a variety of organisms throughout her undergrad, she became interested in comparative physiology and the unique adaptations of animals that live in extreme environments. Her Ph.D. thesis is examining respiratory adaptations to high-altitude in deer mice, with a focus on control of breathing in hypoxia.
Samantha Lau (M.Sc. program, 2018-present)

lausc [at] mcmaster [dot] ca (lausc@mcmaster.ca)

Samantha started her M.Sc. in the lab in September 2018, after completing her B.Sc. in Marine and Freshwater Biology at the University of Guelph, where she did a project investigating the effects of thermal stress on feeding behaviours in the Northern sea star. She is broadly interested in the impacts of anthropogenic stressors in aquatic environments, and her M.Sc. thesis is examining the interactive effects of hypoxia and wastewater exposure on fish physiology and health.
Oliver Wearing (Ph.D. program, 2015-present)

wearingo [at] mcmaster [dot] ca (wearingo@mcmaster.ca)

Oliver joined the lab as a M.Sc. student after doing his undergrad degree at the University of Manchester, and has transferred to the Ph.D. program. He has a broad interest in comparative cardiovascular physiology, which began during his thesis with Holly Shiels and other previous work with Dane Crossley at the University of North Texas. His thesis is examining circulatory adaptations to high-altitude hypoxia in deer mice.
Claire West (M.Sc. program, 2018-present)

westc6 [at] mcmaster [dot] ca (westc6@mcmaster.ca)

Claire completed her B.Sc. at Mount Allison University, where she did her thesis with Suzie Currie and first became interested in comparative physiology. Her M.Sc. project is examining whether changes in lung structure and function underlie high-altitude adaptation in deer mice.
Undergraduate Students
Laura Halliday (B.Sc. program, 2018-present)

Laura is in the Molecular Biology and Genetics program at McMaster, and is doing her B.Sc. thesis on the evolution of development of muscle phenotype in deer mice native to high altitude.
Renata Husnudinov (B.Sc. program, 2018-present)

Renata is in the Physiology Specialization of the Biology undergraduate program at McMaster. She is currently a volunteer in the lab and is involved in several projects on the mechanisms of high-altitude adaptation in deer mice.
Folasade Ologundudu (B.Sc. program, 2018-present)

Sade is in the Biology and Environmental Sciences program at McMaster, and is doing her B.Sc. thesis on the physiological implications of altitudinal range shifts in deer mice.
Mae Van Der Kamp (B.Sc. program, 2018-present)

Mae is in the Molecular Biology and Genetics program at McMaster. Her B.Sc. thesis is examining the mechanisms underlying how estuarine killifish cope with chronic hypoxia, with a focus on the adjustments in digestive physiology that help fish sustain nutrient uptake.
Former Lab Members
Sarah Dyalsingh
B.Sc. thesis and volunteer
2016-2018

High-altitude adaptation and lung morphology in deer mice

Current position:
TBD
Mary Greaves
B.Sc. thesis
2017-2018

Development of breathing and the hypoxic ventilatory response in high-altitude deer mice

Current position:
Teacher Education Program
Queen's University
Reem Hashem
B.Sc. thesis
2017-2018

Mechanisms of thermal adaptation in pumpkinseed sunfish

Current position:
TBD
Adhora Mir
B.Sc. thesis
2017-2018

Impacts of haemoglobin gene evolution on muscle phenotype in high-altitude deer mice

Current position:
Medical school
McMaster University
Sarah Muir
B.Sc. thesis and volunteer
2016-2018

Hypoxia signalling and muscle phenotype in high-altitude deer mice

Current position:
B.Sc. student
McMaster University
Nicole Pranckevicius
M.Sc. and B.Sc. theses
2014-2017

Cell physiology of the adrenal medulla in high-altitude deer mice

Current position:
Technician
University of Glasgow
Sherry Du
M.Sc. and B.Sc. theses
2012-2017

Effects of hypoxia and wastewater effluent on respiration and mitochondrial physiology in fish

Current position:
Research Technologist
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Canada Centre for Inland Waters
Sajeni Mahalingam
Ph.D. thesis
2013-2017

High-altitude adaptation and mitochondrial physiology in deer mice

Current position:
Instructional Assistant
McMaster University
Naman Shanishchara
B.Sc. thesis
2017

Effects of developmental hypoxia on muscle phenotype in high-altitude deer mice

Current position:
Masters of Management of Applied Sciences program
University of Western Ontario
Emily Bellicoso
B.Sc. thesis and NSERC USRA summer student
2015-2017

Hypoxia signalling and high-altitude adaptation in deer mice

Current position:
Medical school
University of Toronto
Elizabeth Sangster
B.Sc. thesis
2016-2017

Development of breathing and the hypoxic ventilatory response in high-altitude deer mice

Current position:
TBD
Jasmine Choi
B.Sc. thesis and summer student
2015-2017

Effects of hypoxia and wastewater effluent on the respiratory physiology of bluegill sunfish

Current position:
Physiotherapy M.Sc. program
McMaster University
Kevin Tate
Postdoctoral Fellow
2014-2016

Cardiorespiratory mechanisms of thermogenic performance in high-altitude deer mice

Current position:
Assistant Professor
Texas Lutheran University
Sulayman Lyons
B.Sc. thesis
2015-2016

The physiology and histological phenotype of respiratory muscle (diaphragm) in high-altitude deer mice

Current position:
Ph.D. student
McMaster University
Gabriele Nandal
B.Sc. thesis and summer student
2015-2016

Flight muscle phenotype in Andean ducks from high altitudes

Current position:
M.Sc. student
University of Toronto
Fariborz Khajali
Visiting Professor
2014-2015

Mitochondrial physiology of bass and sunfish

Current position:
Professor
Shahrekord University, Iran
Maryam Vaseghi-Shanjani
B.Sc. summer student and volunteer
2015-2016

Effects of wastewater effluent on the respiratory physiology of bluegill sunfish and round goby

Current position:
M.Sc. student
McMaster University
Kevin Guo
B.Sc. thesis
2014-2015

Cardiac physiology and mitochondrial function in high-altitude deer mice

Current position:
Medical school
University of Ottawa
Eugene Choi
Technician
2014-2015

CO2/pH regulation during hypoxia in fish

Current position:
Doctor of Pharmacy program
University of Toronto
Kyle Crans
M.Sc. thesis
2012-2014

Mechanisms, evolution, and phenotypic plasticity of hypoxia tolerance among bass and sunfish (family Centrarchidae)

Current position:
Fisheries Biologist
Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Research Council
Julie-Anne Mendoza
B.Sc. volunteer
2014

Enzyme activities in air breathing and water breathing catfish from the Amazon

Current position:
Junior News Associate
Canada News Wire
Danielle Gillette
B.Sc. thesis
2013-2014

A comparison of muscle plasticity in response to intermittent and constant hypoxia in killifish

Current position:
Medical school
University College Cork
Ireland
Paras Patel
B.Sc. thesis and NSERC USRA summer student
2012-2014

High-altitude adaptation and the phenotype of skeletal and cardiac muscle in deer mice

Current position:
Law school
University of Toronto
Alex Young
B.Sc. thesis
2013-2014

The effects of temperature on hypoxia tolerance in bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish

Current position:
MSc in Biomedical Communications Program
University of Toronto
Kim Darcy
B.Sc. thesis and lab volunteer
2011-2013

A comparison of the effects of intermittent and constant hypoxia on energy metabolism in killifish

Current position:
Nursing degree program
McMaster University
Todd Elogio
B.Sc. thesis
2012-2013

High-altitude adaptation and muscle phenotype in deer mice

Current position:
Post-Graduate Medical Education
University of Western Ontario

Mikaela Lui
B.Sc. thesis and NSERC USRA summer student
2012-2013

High-altitude adaptation and oxygen transport capacity in deer mice

Current position:
Physiotherapist
Grand River Hospital

Meghan Schnurr
B.Sc. thesis and summer student
2011-2012

The effects of embryonic temperature on energy metabolism in zebrafish

Current position:
Environmental Scientist
Wek’eezhii Land and Water Board
Yellowknife, NWT

Yi (Kyle) Yin
B.Sc. thesis
2011-2012

The effects of temperature stress on embryonic development in zebrafish

Current position:
Technical Research Assistant
Clinical Genomics Centre
Mount Sinai Hospital
Active Collaborators
Nyamba Batbayar (University of Oklahoma)
Charles Bishop (Bangor University)
Pat Butler (University of Birmingham)
Zac Cheviron (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Ben Evans (McMaster University)
Peter Frappell (University of Tasmania)
Todd Gillis (University of Guelph)
Lucy Hawkes (University of Exeter)
Grant McClelland (McMaster University)
Kevin McCracken (University of Miami)
Bill Milsom (University of British Columbia)
Jay Storz (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Pat Wright (University of Guelph)