Welcome to the Department of Biology

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.

We offer 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.



New Course - Entomology

An introduction to insects. The course will introduce several topics in Entomology, including the evolutionary origins and relationships of the insects and their relatives, morphology, life history strategies, and an introduction to insect diversity, taxonomy and ecology. For more info see this poster.


New Course - Terrestrial Ecosystems

This course will examine factors regulating distribution and functioning of major temperate terrestrial ecosystems, and some tropical ecosystems, as well as their ecosystem processes. Factors: climate, geology, surficial deposits, soils, microorganisms, flora, fauna. Processes: disturbances (fire, wind, anthropic), succession, productivity and biomass, carbon capture and sequestration. For more info see this poster.



The seminar schedule for Winter 2017 is posted.

A calendar view is available.


Biology at Science Rendezvous

Biology displays caught the eye of Leader Post reporter Ashley Martin at Science Rendezvous on Saturday. Read Ashely's article "Weird Science takes over the University of Regina.

Recent Publications

B.J. Klug-Baerwald, L.E. Gower, C.L. Lausen, and R.M. Brigham. 2016. Environmental correlates and energetics of winter flight by bats in southern Alberta, Canada.

Gendron, F., Hancherow, A., and Norton, A. 2016. Exploring and revitalizing Indigenous food networks in Saskatchewan, Canada, as a way to improve food security. Health Promotion International.

Stevenson, M.A., S. McGowan, N.J. Anderson, R.H. Foy, P.R. Leavitt, Y.R. McElearney, D.R. Engstrom and S. Pla-Rabés. 2016. Impacts of forest plantation management on primary production in upland lakes from north-west Ireland. Global Change Biol. 22: doi: 10.1111/gcb.13194.

Heisler L.M., C.M. Somers, and R.G. Poulin. 2016. Owl pellets: an effective alternative to conventional trapping for large-scale studies of small mammal diversity. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7: 96-103.

Glibert, P.M., F.P. Wilkerson, R.C. Dugdale, J.A. Raven, C. Dupont, P.R. Leavitt, A.E. Parker, J.M. Burkholder, and T.M. Kana. 2016. Pluses and minuses of ammonium and nitrate uptake and assimilation by phytoplankton and implications for productivity and community composition, with emphasis on nitrogen-enriched conditions. Limnol. Oceanogr. 61: 165-197. doi:10.1002/lno.10203.

Vanderwel M.C., Zeng H., Caspersen J.P., Kunstler G., Lichstein J.W. 2016. Demographic controls of aboveground forest biomass across North America. Ecology Letters. Doi: 10.1111/ele.12574

Maheaux, H., P.R. Leavitt, and L.J. Jackson. 2016. Asynchronous onset of eutrophication among shallow prairie lakes of the northern Great Plains, Alberta, Canada. Global Change Biol. 22: 271–283. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13076.

Einarsson, Á., U. Hauptfleisch, P.R. Leavitt, and A.R. Ives. 2016. Identifying consumer-resource population cycles using paleoecological data. Ecology 97: doi.10.1890/15-0596.1

Tse, T.J., L.E. Doig, P.R. Leavitt, Z.J. Quiñones-Rivera, G. Codling, B.T. Lucas, K. Liber, J.P. Giesy, H. Wheater, and P.D. Jones. 2015. Long-term spatial trends in sedimentary algal pigments in a narrow river-valley reservoir, Lake Diefenbaker, Canada. J. Great Lakes Res. 41(Suppl. 2): 56-66. doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2015.08.002.

Karmakar, M., P.R. Leavitt, and B.F. Cumming. 2015. Enhanced algal abundance in Northwest Ontario (Canada) lakes during the warmer early- to mid-Holocene period. Quat. Sci. Rev. 123: 168-179. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.06.025.

Samways, K.M., P.R. Leavitt, P. Magnan, M.A. Rodriguez, and P. Peres-Neto. 2015. Convergent polymorphism between stream and lake habitats: The case of brook charr. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 72: 1406-1414. doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2015-0116.

Quiñones-Rivera, Z.J., K. Finlay, R.J. Vogt, P.R. Leavitt, and B. Wissel. 2015. Hydrologic, metabolic and chemical regulation of water-column metabolism and atmospheric CO2 exchange in a large continental reservoir during spring and summer. J. Great Lakes Res., 41 (Suppl. 2): 144-154. doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2015.05.005.

Donald, D.B., B.R. Parker, J.-M. Davies, and P.R. Leavitt. 2015. Nutrient sequestration in the Lake Winnipeg watershed. J. Great Lakes Res. 41: 630-642. doi:10.1016/ j.jglr.2015.03.007.

Lawrence, J.R., E. Topp, M.J. Waiser, V. Tumber, J. Roy, G.D.W. Swerhome, P. Leavitt, A. Paule, and D.R. Korber. 2015. Resilience and recovery: The effect of triclosan exposure timing during development, on the structure and function of river biofilm communities. Aqaut. Toxicol. 161: 253-266. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.02.012

Taranu, Z.E., I. Gregory-Eaves, P.R. Leavitt, L. Bunting, T. Buchaca, J. Catalan, I. Domaizon, P. Guilizzoni, A. Lami, S. McGowan, H. Moorehouse, G. Morabito, F. Pick, M. A., Stevensen, P. L. Thompson, and R. D. Vinebrooke. 2015. Acceleration of cyanobacterial dominance in lakes in north temperate-subarctic lakes during the Anthropocene. Ecol. Lett. 18: 375-384. doi:10.1111/ele.12420.

Gendron, F, Alqahtani, S.N., Alkholy, S.O., Haque, D., and Ferreira, M.P. 2015. Native/Aboriginal students use natural health products for health maintenance more than other university students. International Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 1(3): 1-9

Ferreira, M.P., Palmer, J., McKenna, B., and Gendron, F. 2015. A traditional elder’s anti-aging cornucopia of North American plants. Foods and dietary supplements in the prevention and treatment of disease in older adults. Edited by R.R. Watson, Academic Press, Elsevier. Oxford, UK. pp. 3-11.

Vanderwel, M.C., Slot, M., Lichstein, J.W., Reich, P.B., Kattge, J., Atkin, O.K., Bloomfield, K.J., Tjoelker, M.G., Kitajima, K. 2015. Global convergence in leaf respiration from estimates of thermal acclimation across time and space. New Phytologist 207: 1026-1037.

Spriggs, R.A.,Vanderwel, M.C., Jones, T.A., Caspersen, J.P., Coomes, D.A. 2015. A simple area-based model for predicting airborne LiDAR first returns from stem diameter distributions: an example study in an uneven-aged, mixed temperate forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 45: 1338-1350.

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.ab

Ludlow, 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.