University of Alberta

Academic Staff > A-G


Dr. Ali, Declan
My research focuses on the development of regions of contact (synapses) between cells in the central nervous system. Specifically I am interested in: 1) how pre-and post- synaptic receptors are modulated during development and 2) how the function of theses receptors plays a role in the formation of synapses.


Dr. Allison, Ted
Research interests focus on neurodegeneration and regeneration, especially within the retina. I use an integrative approach spanning molecular biology, electrophysiology & behaviour to study the development of retinas in fishes and how they are tuned to get the most information available from the environment. My research has three major streams: i) using zebrafish to investigate questions of photoreceptor development, patterning & regeneration as they pertain to human retinal degenerative disease; ii) The development of zebrafish as an effective model organism for the study of protein folding diseases such as Alzheimer and Prion-related Diseases; iii) Investigating the visual ecology of fishes - how and why do visual systems change over evolutionary time and during the life history of animals.


Dr. Barreda, Daniel
Evolution of host defense mechanisms; contributions of phagocytes to the induction and control of inflammation at infection sites; comparative immunology approaches for assessment of animal and environmental health.


Dr. Bayne, Erin
Landscape and spatial ecology with a focus on how human activity influences relationships between boreal forest species at different spatial and temporal scales. Current interests include: the generality of the source-sink concept of population dynamics; how spatial geometry affects territoriality in songbirds; role of human disturbance as conduit for ecological invasion; the development of ecological indicators for use in adaptive management.


Dr. Belosevic, Mike
Immunobiology of host-parasite interactions, molecular mechanisms of host defense against protozoan parasites Leishmania and Giardia; lymphokine regulation of macrophage anti-microbial activities; biochemical and immunological characterization of parasite antigens and immunodiagnosis of parasitic infections. Molecular mechanisms of fish immune responses.


Dr. Boucher, Yan
When thinking about biological evolution, we usually imagine thousands of years over which animals and plant species change. With microbes however, significant changes can happen in the matter of days or a few moments. In the marine environment for example, as much as a thousand different variants of a single microbial species can be found in a milliliter of seawater, with hundreds or thousands of species present. We ask two main questions: How does this diversity arise ? What role does it play in nature ? To answer such broad questions, we study the evolutionary processes in the Vibrios, a group of bacteria ubiquitous in aquatic environments, responsible for diseases as diverse as bleaching in corals and cholera in humans. We use techniques from the fields of population genetics, molecular epidemiology as well as experimental evolution.


Dr. Boutin, Stan
Population ecology of boreal mammals with emphasis on the relationship between behavior and resources; parental investment and dispersal; management of boreal communities, predator-prey relationships. Current interests also include forestry-wildlife interactions in the boreal mixed woods of northeastern Alberta.


Dr. Boyce, Mark
Mathematical and simulation models of ecological systems primarily at the population level for conservation and management. Population viability analysis, resource selection functions, time series, and predator-prey models. Life history evolution and sexual selection of birds and mammals.


Dr. Cahill, James
Research in the lab addresses a diversity of fundamental questions in plant ecology. We take a broad approach to research, with interest in plant behavioural ecology, competition, plant-pollinator interactions, insect and mammalian herbivory, evolutionary and functional ecology, climate change, and mychorrhizae.


Dr. Caldwell, Michael
Vertebrate palaeontology, i.e., morphology, phylogeny, evolution, and ecology, etc. Organisms of interest include fossil and living squamates (snakes and lizards) as well as of extinct marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Current research is focused on marine and terrestrial snakes from Cretaceous rocks in the southern hemisphere (Gondwana), the cranial anatomy and phylogeny of extant scolecophidian snakes (blind, burrowing snakes), fossil mosasauroids from Upper Cretaceous rocks in New Zealand, Europe, Africa and North America, terrestrial lizards from the Cretaceous rocks of North America, and the molecular genetics of axial elongation in limb-reduced to limbless tetrapods.


Dr. Campbell, Shelagh
Regulation of the cell cycle during development, using the model organism Drosophila. Projects include investigations of Cdc2 regulation by inhibitory kinases and studies of genes involved in signaling pathways that link stress responses to cell cycle "checkpoints". Genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry.


Dr. Case, Rebecca
The oceans cover our planet and are filled with microbial life. Yet, these organisms and the complex interactions between them are mostly unexplored in comparison to what is known of organisms in terrestrial environments. The Case lab's research focuses on elucidating the nature of bacterial-algal interactions and exploring how they influence the earth's climate. Interactions between bacteria and algae occur physically when bacteria live on and in algae, but they can also occur chemically through the multitude of bioactive compounds that marine bacteria and algae produce. These compounds modulate their symbiotic partner's behavior and survival, and in this way are able to shape marine communities. Also of interest are the chemical interactions between bacteria and algae that produce climatically important intermediates of the marine sulfur and carbon cycles. Current research in the Case laboratory focuses on elucidating interactions that exist between abundant and ubiquitous marine microorganisms, namely microalgae and roseobacters. The latter are a group of marine bacteria commonly found associated with marine eukaryotes, especially algae, as pathogens or symbionts. Specifically, our current aims are to: (1) Identify and characterize the activity of signaling and bioactive compounds produced in bacterial-algal symbiosis, and (2) Determine the role climate and climatically important compounds have on modulating these interactions These aims are addressed in both laboratory and field based studies. In the laboratory, we use model organisms to identify molecules and genes underlying specific mechanisms involved in modulating bacterial-algal interactions. We then track the molecules and genes identified through these lab-based studies in the field, correlating their abundance with natural phenomena. In the field we are interested in biofouling communities associated to man made surfaces and in the open ocean we study the bacterial community associated to algal surfaces in bloom conditions. By studying these systems in the field and the laboratory, our research team hopes to identify the role of small molecules in global processes.


Dr. Chang, John
My research interest is in the area of comparative molecular endocrinology with emphasis on post-receptor signal transaction pathways mediating the actions of peptide hormones and neurotransmitters in fish. The current focus is on the second messenger systems mediating and integrating the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadotropin and growth hormone release. In conjunction, the evolution of receptors and post-receptor mechanisms of hypothalamic neuropeptides and bioamines, such as GnRH peptides, PACAP, Ghrelin, somatostatins, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are examined. The comparative aspects of classical vertebrate and invertebrate neuropeptides actions in invertebrates and vertebrates, respectively, are also of interests.


Dr. Coltman, David
Population and quantitative genetics and genomics applied to evolutionary biology, conservation and wildlife management. Recent studies have examined population structure, landscape genetics, pedigree analysis and quantitative genetics of life-history traits, and the fitness consequences of inbreeding and outbreeding in the wild.


Dr. Cooke, Janice
Molecular physiology and genomics of forest trees. Current focus is on understanding mechanisms that trees use to regulate allocation of carbon and nitrogen resources amongst different plant parts, and partitioning of these resources into various biochemical pathways. Research is also being carried out on phenology-linked molecular and physiological processes that affect productivity in forest trees. An integrated approach that employs genomic, molecular, biochemical, and physiological tools is being used to address these questions.


Dr. Currie, Philip
My work on dinosaurs focuses on problems with growth and variation, the anatomy and relationships of carnivorous dinosaurs, and the origin of birds. It is my goal to get a better understanding of the rich Cretaceous ecosystem of Dinosaur Park (Alberta), and other sites in western North America and Asia. I am also interested in what can be learned about dinosaurian behaviour, including annual and intercontinental migrations.


Dr. Dennis, Jonathan
Phage therapy; Bacterial genetics / genomics; Mobile genetic elements; Burkholderia cepacia complex; Antibiotic resistance and organic solvent tolerance; Bacterial multidrug efflux pumps; Bacterial biodegredation and bioremediation.


Dr. Derocher, Andrew
Research interests focus on the ecology, conservation, and management of large Arctic and northern mammals. Research species include polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, and arctic ungulates. Current studies on limiting and regulating factors of populations, habitat use, harvest effects, population estimation, behavioural ecology, effects of climate change, population monitoring, ecotoxicology, and predator-prey relationships. Research projects are ongoing in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Manitoba, and Alberta.


Dr. Devito, Kevin
Biogeochemistry, ecology and hydrology wetlands, stream and lakes with an emphasis on landscape controls. Use of upland-wetland-stream hydrogeologic linkage approach to model 1) the influence of hydrogeology and groundwater-surface water interactions on nutrient cycling, contaminant removal and ecology of riparian wetlands-streams-lakes, 2) the impact of logging and the use of riparian buffer zones on water, sediment and nutrient yields to streams and lakes, and 3) environmental controls of soil nutrient cycling.


Dr. Deyholos, Michael
Plant Biotechnology and Genomics. We use Arabidopsis, flax, and hemp to study the processes of vascular development, especially the development of phloem fibres. We also study abiotic stresses including salinity, drought, and heavy metals in Arabidopsis and wheat. We use techniques of genetics, bioinformatics, and molecular biology, including high-throughput technologies such as DNA microarrays.


Dr. Evenden, Maya
I am broadly interested in the chemical ecology of insects and how message-bearing chemicals (semiochemicals) can be exploited in pest management systems. I approach this research from behavioural, physiological, ecological and evolutionary perspectives. My approach is process-oriented and the research can be adapted to the study of organisms in a variety of habitats. Chemical ecology lends itself to applications in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This allows for short term applied studies to be conducted within the broader context of understanding the ecology and evolution of chemically mediated interactions.


Dr. Feldman, Mario
Dr. Mario Feldman research interests focus on protein glycosylation in pathogenic bacteria and the potential application of the relaxed specificity of the enzymes involved in these pathways in applications that promise a new era in glycoengineering.


Dr. Foght, Julia
Current interests include microbial biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons, particularly under adverse environmental conditions in fuel-contaminated Antarctic soils, cold groundwater and subsurface soils. Other research areas related to petroleum microbiology include fundamental studies on mechanisms of hydrocarbon transport across bacterial membranes, and the use of whole cell biocatalysts for biological upgrading of petroleum and refined products. Interests unrelated to hydrocarbon degradation include the isolation and characterization of cold-adapted bacterial communities that live underneath glaciers. My students use classical microbiology and current molecular techniques to address these problems, and are exposed to interdisciplinary research through collaborative projects in Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.


Dr. Gallin, Warren
Comparative molecular studies of physiologically functional molecules. We are isolating cDNA and genomic clones encoding voltage-gated ion channels from the hydroid cnidarian Polyorchis penicillatus and comparing the structure and function of these proteins, which are essential for neuronal excitability. We are also isolating cadherins from P. pencillatus. These molecules are essential for cell-cell adhesion and interaction in multicellular organisms. We are also studying factors that control the development of bile canaliculi between liver cells. The canaliculi carry the bile out of the liver and into the gall bladder; thus, defects in their structure can have severe consequences for an individual. We are studying the importance of soluble factors, cell-cell interactions, and cell-substrate interactions in the development and maintenance of the bile canaliculi.


Dr. Gamon, John
Dr. Gamon studies the "breathing of the planet" - the exchanges of carbon and water vapour between the biosphere and the atmosphere that affect ecosystem productivity and help regulate our atmosphere and climate. Of particular interest are the effects of disturbance (fires, succession, weather events and climate change) on these basic processes. Additional research questions involve the detection of plant physiology, ecosystem function, species composition, and biodiversity using non-contact sampling methods. Much of this work is done with optical monitoring (remote sensing and automated field methods), and entails the development of new monitoring methods and related informatics tools. He conducts fieldwork in a range of ecosystems from the Arctic to the Tropics.


Dr. Good, Allen
My group is interested in understanding how plants adapt to a variety of different environmental stresses, such as flooding, drought or nutrient deficiency. Our approach involves using a combination of classical genetic tools, and the modern tools of molecular biology and genomics. Our main focus is on the role of specific aminotransferases and genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis in nitrogen use efficiency and signalling in plants.


Dr. Goss, Greg
Comparative Physiology and Aquatic Toxicology: My lab has two principle foci. The first is directed towards understanding the physiology of the fish gill, concentrating specifically on mechanisms of ion transport and acid-base regulation in the mitochondria rich cells of the gill. The second focus is directed towards understanding the mechanisms of toxicity of a variety of xenobiotic factors. These include herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceutical and personal care products, and more recently, manufactured nanomaterials. We use a combination of genomics, proteomics and cell physiology approaches to gain an understanding of the mechanisms of toxicity to these compounds.