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.
TA application deadline for Fall 2014 is July 15th
Please see the Employment Opportunities page for links to the application forms.
CFI grants for two Biology Department faculty members
Assistant professor, Dr. Josef Buttigieg, has been awarded $79,808 by CFI for the Oxygen Stress Research Laboratory to study neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, stroke and spinal cord injury. That funding is being matched by the Saskatchewan Innovation and Science Fund.
Assistant professor, Dr. Andrew Cameron, was awarded $75,501 by CFI to study the genetic mechanisms that control bacterial diseases. That funding is also being matched by the Saskatchewan Innovation and Science Fund.
BUGS Renames Scholarships
At their recent annual scholarship fundraiser, the BUGS executive announced they are renaming their student scholarships the "Terry Ross Award for Excellence in Junior Biology” and the "Terry Ross Award for Excellence in Senior Biology”. BUGS awards these scholarships annually; see
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.
Cameron ADS, Kröger C, Quinn HJ, Scally IK, Daly AJ, Kary SC, and Dorman CJ. (2013) Transmission of an Oxygen Availability Signal at the Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium fisPromoter. PLoS One 8: e84382. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084382. PubMed 24358360.
Ludlow K, Buttigieg J. Not so liberating after all: Multiple Sclerosis disease and treatments. Journal Health Science. 2013. Aug. 4: 105-108.
Wu Y, Satkunendrarajah K, Teng Y, Chow DS, Buttigieg J, Fehlings MG. Delayed post-injury administration of riluzole is neuroprotective in preclinical rodent model of spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma. 2013; 30(6):441-52. PMID23517137
Salman S, Buttigieg J, Zhang M, Nurse CA. Chronic exposure of neonatal rat adrenomedullary chromaffin cells to opioids in vitro blunts both hypoxia and hypercapnia chemosensitivity. J Physiol. 2013 Jan 15;591(Pt 2):515-29. PMID: 23148319
Vanderlinde EM, Hynes MF, Yost CK. Homoserine catabolism by Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 requires a plasmid-borne gene cluster that also affects competitiveness for nodulation. Environ Microbiol. 2013 Jun 21. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12196. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23859230.
Boa TT, Rahube TO, Fremaux B, Levett PN, Yost CK. Prevalence of methicillin-resistant staphylococci species isolated from computer keyboards located in secondary and postsecondary schools. J Environ Health. 2013 Jan-Feb;75(6):50-8. PubMed PMID: 23397650.
Tambalo DD, Boa T, Liljebjelke K, Yost CK. Evaluation of two quantitative PCR assays using Bacteroidales and mitochondrial DNA markers for tracking dog fecal contamination in waterbodies. J Microbiol Methods. 2012 Dec;91(3):459-67. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2012.09.029. Epub 2012 Oct 2. PubMed PMID: 23041493.
Tetlock A, Yost CK, Stavrinides J, Manzon RG. Changes in the gut microbiome of the sea lamprey during metamorphosis. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Nov;78(21):7638-44. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01640-12. Epub 2012 Aug 24. PubMed PMID:22923392; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3485723.
Beal, M.A., Glenn, T.C., Lance, S.L, Somers, C.M. Characterization of unstable microsatellites in mice: no evidence for germline mutation induction following gamma-radiation exposure. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 2012. 53:599-607.
Fortney, A.N., Poulin, R.G., Martino, J.A., Parker, D.L., Somers, C.M. Proximity to Hibernacula and Road Type are Key Factors Influencing Potential Road Mortality of Snakes in Southwestern Saskatchewan. Canadian Field Naturalist, 2012. 126:194-203.
Starks E., R.N. Cooper, P.R. Leavitt and B. Wissel (2013) Effects of drought and pluvial periods on fish and zooplankton communities in prairie lakes: deterministic vs. stochastic effects. Global Change Biol. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12359.
Hellmann C., B. Wissel and C. Winkelmann (2013) Omnivores as seasonally important predators in a stream food web. Freshw. Sci. 32: 548-562.
Anas M.U.M., K.A. Scott and B. Wissel (2013) Suitability of absence vs. presence indicator species to characterize acid-stress gradients. Ecol. Indic. 30: 90-99.
Bugaski A., M. Reudnik, J.L. Doucette, B. Wissel and Somers, C.M. (2013) The complexity of cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus: stable isotopes reveal multiple prey sources and frequent feeding site switching. Can. J Fish. Aquat. Sci. 0: 271-279.