Welcome to the Department of Biology
We take great pride in both our teaching and our research endeavours. Our Department is home to faculty and researchers with research interests in ecology, environmental biology, physiology, microbiology, cellular biology and molecular biology. Our scientific facilities include an aquatics facility, a field station in the Cypress Hills, the Environmental Quality Analysis Laboratory (EQAL), and the recently established Institute of Environmental Change and Society (IECS). IECS provides world-class infrastructure and research expertise in environmental sciences via state-of-the-art microscopy, proteomics and genomics facilities. Additionally, we frequently collaborate with researchers at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory and several other scientific organizations in Southern Saskatchewan.
Our department offers high quality undergraduate and graduate programs. The undergraduate programs have strong hands-on components as many courses include laboratories developed and overseen by four full-time laboratory instructors. Junior and senior students also benefit from small classes (10 – 30 students). We have an active honours program, a co-op program and many opportunities for students to participate in research projects. Accessible, modern research facilities put our PhD and MSc students at the forefront in their fields. Our graduate students benefit from working in a close-knit, supportive environment that encourages innovative science.
How to study winter bat ecology
Brandon Klüg’s video finished second by public voting and was a runner-up in the NSERC Science Action competition, a contest highlighting NSERC-funded research through social media. His research focuses on ecology of bats overwintering in the Canadian prairies and you can watch it here.
Reducing antibiotic resistant bacteria in waste water
Wastewater could be an important source of antibiotic resistant genes so Dr. Yost is looking for ways to measure and prevent the release of antibiotic resistance genes by wastewater treatment plants. Dr. Yost was recently awarded an NSERC Strategic Project Grant to fund this important research. Read more about Dr. Yost's important work in this Leader Post article.
Photo: U of R Photography
Biology Graduate Student represents at Genome Canada Conference
Congratulations to MSc student Carly Graham who was one of only 30 students across Canada selected by Genome Canada to attend and present her poster at the Genomics: the Power and the Promise conference in Ottawa.
This Genome Canada award paid all expenses for this trip and Carly was one of two Saskatchewan students chosen.
Carly is pictured at the left in front of her poster in Ottawa. Way to go Carly!
Finlay K., Vogt R. J., Bogard M., Wissel B., Tutolo B, Simpson G., and P. Leavitt. 2015. Decrease in CO2 efflux from northern hardwater lakes with increasing atmospheric warming. Nature 519: 215-218 doi10.1038/nature14172.
Klüg, B. J. and R. M. Brigham. 2015. Changes to metabolism and cell physiology that enable mammalian hibernation. Springer Science Reviews. DOI 10.1007/s40362-015-0030-x.
Goring S, Dawson A, Simpson GL, Ram K, Graham RW, Grimm EC, Williams, J.W. (2015) neotoma: A Programmatic Interface to the Neotoma Paleoecological Database. *Open Quaternary* 1, Art. 2. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/oq.abLudlow, S.M., R.M. Brigham and S.K. Davis. 2015. Oil and gas development has mixed effects on the density and reproductive success of grassland songbirds. Condor 117: 64-75.
Vogt, R.J., S. Sharma, and P.R. Leavitt. 2015. Multi-decadal regulation of algal abundance and water quality in a large continental reservoir by climatic, hydrologic and trophic processes. J. Great Lakes Res. doi/10.1016/j.jglr.2014.11.007.
Manzon, R.G., Holmes, J.A., Youson, J.H. 2015. Metamorphsois. In: Lampreys: Biology, Conservation and Control. Ed. M.F. Docker. Fish and Fisheries Series. Springer.
Reyer, C.P.O., Brouwers, N., Rammig, A., Brook, B.W., Epila, J., Grant, R.F., Holmgren, M., Langerwisch, F., Leuzinger, S., Lucht, W., Medlyn, B., Pfeifer, M., Steinkamp, J., Vanderwel, M.C., Verbeek, H., Villela, D.M. 2015. Forest resilience and tipping points: approaches and challenges. Journal of Ecology 103: 5-15.
Steve Juggins, Gavin L Simpson, and Richard J Telford. 2015. Taxon selection using statistical learning techniques to improve transfer function prediction. The Holocene Vol 25, Issue 1, pages 130-136. doi:10.1177/0959683614556388.
David Kopriva, Andrea Lavoie, Anastasye Kisheev, Josef Buttigieg. 2014. Synchrotron mapping of the carotid artery plaque--A pilot study. J Vasc. Surgery 60:5:1402.
Braun D., I.D. Phillips and B. Wissel. 2014. Analysis of 13C in lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) fin and muscle tissue: an application of three arithmetic lipid correction models. J. Appl. Ichtyol. 30: 1174-1180.
Coomes, D., Flores, O., Holdaway, R., Jucker T., Lines, E.R., Vanderwel, M.C. 2014. Wood productivity response to climate change will depend critically on forest composition and structure. Global Change Biology 20: 3632-3645.
Eme, J., Mueller, C.A., Manzon, R.G., Rogers, C.M., Boreham, D.R., Wilson, J.Y. 2014. Critical windows in embryonic development: Shifting incubation temperatures alter heart rate and oxygen consumption of Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) embryos and hatchlings. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A. 179:71-81.
Truax, B., Gagnon, D., Fortier, J. and Lambert, F. 2014. Biomass and volume yield in mature hybrid poplar plantations on temperate abandoned farmland. Forests 5:3107-3130 (doi: 10.3390/f5123107).
C. S. Chan, X. Song, S. J. S. Qazi, D. Setiaputra, C. K. Yip, T.-C. Chao, and R. J. Turner, 2014. Unusual pairing between assistants: Interaction of the twin-arginine system-specific chaperone DmsD with the chaperonin GroEL. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
N. Hansmeier, T.-C. Chao, J. B. Herbstman, L. R. Goldman, F. R. Witter, and R. U. Halden, 2014 Elucidating the Molecular Basis of Adverse Health Effects from Exposure to Anthropogenic Polyfluorinated Compounds Using Toxicoproteomic Approaches. J. Proteome Res.
Clayden, M.G., K.A. Kidd, J. Chételat, Hall, B.D., and E. Garcia. 2014. Environmental, geographic and trophic influences on methylmercury concentrations in macroinvertebrates from lakes and wetlands across Canada. Ecotoxicology. 23:273-284. DOI 10.1007/s10646-013-1171-9.
Smith, M.J., Palmer, P.I., Purves, D.W., Vanderwel, M.C., Lyutsarev, V., Calderhead, B., Joppa, L.N., Bishop, C.M., Emmott, S. 2014. Changing how Earth System Modelling is done to provide more useful information for decision making, science and society. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 95: 1453-1464.
Seddon, A., Mackay, A., Baker, A., and 66 others. 2014. Looking forward through the past. Identification of fifty priority research questions in palaeoecology. Journal of Ecology 102(1), 256–267.
Moorhouse, H.L., S. McGowan, M.D. Jones, S.A. Brayshaw, P. Barker, E.Y. Haworth, and P.R. Leavitt. 2014. Contrasting effects of nutrients and climate on algal communities in lakes in the Windermere catchment since the late 19th century. Freshwat. Biol. 59: 2605–2620.
C. Kupitz, S. Basu, I. Grotjohann, R. Fromme, N. A. Zatsepin, K. N. Rendek, M. S. Hunter, R. L. Shoeman, T. A. White, D. Wang, D. James, J.-H. Yang, D. E. Cobb, B. Reeder, R. G. Sierra, H. Liu, A. Barty, A. L. Aquila, D. Deponte, R. A. Kirian, S. Bari, J. J. Bergkamp, K. R. Beyerlein, M. J. Bogan, C. Caleman, T.-C. Chao, C. E. Conrad, K. M. Davis, H. Fleckenstein, L. Galli, S. P. Hau-Riege, S. Kassemeyer, H. Laksmono, M. Liang, L. Lomb, S. Marchesini, A. V. Martin, M. Messerschmidt, D. Milathianaki, K. Nass, A. Ros, S. Roy-Chowdhury, K. Schmidt, M. Seibert, J. Steinbrener, F. Stellato, L. Yan, C. Yoon, T. A. Moore, A. L. Moore, Y. Pushkar, G. J. Williams, S. Boutet, R. B. Doak, U. Weierstall, M. Frank, H. N. Chapman, J. C. H. Spence, and P. Fromme, 2014. Serial time-resolved crystallography of photosystem II using a femtosecond X-ray laser. Nature, vol. 513, no. 7517, pp. 261–265
S. Bhattacharya, T.-C. Chao, N. Ariyasinghe, Y. Ruiz, D. Lake, R. Ros, and A. Ros, 2014. Selective trapping of single mammalian breast cancer cells by insulator-based dielectrophoresis. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, vol. 406, no. 7, pp. 1855–1865
Perry, B.J., Yost, C.K. 2014. Construction of a mariner-based transposon vector for use in insertion sequence mutagenesis in selected members of the Rhizobiaceae. BMC Microbiology. 14:298.
Curtis, C.J., Simpson, G.L., Battarbee, R.W., & Maberley S. 2014. Challenges in Defining Critical Loads for Nitrogen in UK Lakes. In Sutton, M.A., Mason, K.E., Sheppard, L.J., Sverdrup, H., Haeuber, R., & Hicks, W.K. (Eds) Nitrogen Deposition, Critical Loads and Biodiversity. Springer, Dordrecht.
Anas M.U.M., K.A. Scott, and B. Wissel. 2014. Zooplankton communities are good indicators of potential impacts of Athabasca oil-sand operations on downwind boreal lakes. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 71: 719-732.
Neudorf, K.D., Vanderlinde, E.M., Tambalo, D.D., Yost, C.K. 2014. A previously uncharacterized tetratricopeptide repeat containing protein is involved in cell envelope function in Rhizobium leguminosarum. Microbiology. [epub ahead of print] doi: 1099/mic.0.082420-0.
Hall, B.D., J.L. Doucette, L.M. Bates, A. Bugajski, S. Niyogi, and Somers, C. 2014. Differential trends in mercury accumulation in Double Crested Cormorant populations of Canadian Prairie. Ecotoxicology. 23:419-428. DOI: 10.1007/s10646-014-1207-9.
Clare, E.L., W.O. Symondson, H. Broders, F-H. Fabianek, E. Fraser, A. Mackenzie, A. Boughen, R. Hamilton, C. Willis, F. Martinez, A. Menzies, K. Norquay, M. Brigham, J. Poissant, J. Rintoul, R. Barclay and J. Reimer. 2014. The diet of Myotis lucifugus across Canada: assessing habitat quality and dietary variability. Molecular Ecology 23: 3618-3632.
Mitz, C., Thome, C., Cybulskia, M., Laframboisea, L., Somers, C., Manzon, R.G., Wilson, J.W., Boreham, D.R. 2014. A self-contained, controlled hatchery system for rearing Lake Whitefish embryos for experimental aquaculture. North American Journal of Aquaculture. 76:179-184.
Rabalais N.N., Cai W-J., Carstenses J., Conley D.J., Fry B., Hu Z., Quiñones-Rivera Z.J., Rosenberg R., Slomp C.J., Turner R.E., Voss M., B. Wissel, and Zhang J. 2014. Eutrophication-driven deoxygenation in the coastal ocean. Oceanography 27: 172-183.
Starks E., R.N. Cooper, P.R. Leavitt and B. Wissel. 2014. Effects of drought and pluvial periods on fish and zooplankton communities in prairie lakes: deterministic vs. stochastic effects. Global Change Biol. 20: 1032-1042.
Rahube, T.O., Viana, L.S., Koraimann, G., Yost, C.K. 2014. Characterization and comparative analysis of antibiotic resistance plasmids isolated from a wastewater treatment plant. Frontiers in Microbiology 5: 558.
Manzon, L.A., Youson, J.H., Holzer, G., Staiano, L., Laudet, V., Manzon, R.G. 2014. Thyroid hormone and retinoid X receptor function and expression during sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) metamorphosis. General and Comparative Endocrinology 204:211-222.
Tambalo, D.D., Vanderlinde, E.M., Robinson, S., Halmillawewa, A., Hynes, M.F., Yost, C.K. 2014. Legume seed exudates and Physcomitrella patens extracts influence swarming behavior in Rhizobium leguminosarum. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 60: 15-24.
Vanderlinde, E.M., Hynes, M.F. Yost, C.K. 2014. Homoserine catabolism by Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 requires a plasmid-borne gene cluster that also affects competitiveness for nodulation. Environmental Microbiology 16(S1): 205-217.
Heisler, L.M., C.M. Somers, T.I. Wellicome, and R.G. Poulin. 2014. Rodent populations on the northern Great Plains respond to weather variation at a landscape scale. Journal of Mammalogy 95: 82-90.
Manzon, L.A., Youson, J.H., Holzer, G., Staiano, L., Laudet, V., Manzon, R. G. 2014. Thyroid hormone and retinoid X receptor function and expression during sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) metamorphosis. General and Comparative Endocrinology 204:211-222.
Mitz, C., Thome, C., Cybulskia, M., Laframboisea, L., Somers, C., Manzon, R. G., Wilson, J.W., Boreham, D.R. 2014. A self-contained, controlled hatchery system for rearing Lake Whitefish embryos for experimental aquaculture. North American Journal of Aquaculture. 76:179-184.
Rintoul, J.L.P. and R.M. Brigham. 2014. The influence of reproductive condition and concurrent environmental factors on torpor and foraging patterns in female Eptesicus fuscus. In press J. Comparative Physiol. B.
Ludlow, S.M., R.M. Brigham and S.K. Davis. 2014. Breeding ecology of a grassland songbird community in south-east Alberta. In press. Wilson J. Ornithology.