Insect Low Temperature Biology
The Sinclair Lab at UWO

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Insects are found from the tops of the highest mountains to the most northerly and southerly pieces of land on earth. Our goal is to understand how insects survive and thrive at the low temperatures they encounter in those habitats, and how they will be affected by a changing climate.  We address these questions at  levels of organisation from molecular biology to macroevolution and everything in between.  Check out out the research page to learn more.

Lab meetings and happenings...

Lab News...

June 2016 - Congratulations to Susan Anthony, who has advanced to candidacy after passing her PhD Comprehensive exam!  Now it's Greenland-ho for Susan.

May 2016 - Congratulations to Kurtis Turnbull, who won the Holeton Prize for the best student poster in Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry at the Canadian Society of Zoologists' annual meeting, here in London.  Kurtis and Jantina Toxopeus were also finalists in the society-wide Battle Prize for best poster (Jantina got an honorary mention).  Also at CSZ, Laura Ferguson and Lauren Des Marteaux were two of six finalists in the society-wide Hoar award for best student presentation, with Lauren a very close runner-up.

May 2016 - Congratulations to Susan Anthony, Jackie Lebenzon, and Kurtis Turnbull, all of whom landed NSERC scholarships! Without tooting the Sinclair lab horn too much, this is 100% of the new NSERC scholarships in Biology this year - way to go!

May 2016 - We are delighted to welcome Jantina Toxopeus back form her visit to Czech Republic and Laura Ferguson back from maternity leave!

March 2016 - Congratulations to Kurtis Turnbull, who passed his proposal assessment with flying colours.

February 2016 - Susan Anthony and Jackie Lebenzon featured their research (and Susan's dog) in 'Humans of Western'

December 2015 - Brent Sinclair was in the news, as CBC featured the Sinclair lab's work on insect freeze tolerance

December 2015 - Congratulations to Jantina Toxopeus, who has received an NSERC Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, and will be spending the first part of 2016 in Vlad Koštál's lab in the Czech Republic.

November 2015 - Congratulations to Jantina Toxopeus and Susan Anthony for passing their PhD proposal assessments with flying colours!

November 2015 - Congratulations to Lauren Des Marteaux, who won the President's Prize for best student presentation at the Entomological Society of Canada meeting in Montreal... even though she was erroneously placed in the Biocontrol section!

October 2015 - Welcome to Dr. Xinjian Xu, who joins us for a year from Fuzhou University in China.  Xinjian will be working on heat tolerance in Drosophila.

September 2015 - Welcome to Dr. Sirpa Kaunisto, joining us as a Marie Curie Postdoc from the University of Eastern Finland and to Kurtis Turnbull, a new MSc student joining us from Shelley Adamo's lab at Dalhousie.

August 2015 - Congratulations to Jantina Toxopeus (Ruth Horner Arnold Award) and Laura Ferguson (Malcolm Ferguson Award - presumably no relation!), who won some of Biology's annual Donor awards for graduate student research excellence.

July 2015 - Congratulations to Yanira, who did a fantastic job in her proposal assessment!

July 2015 - Congratulations to Alexander McKinnon for his successful MSc thesis defense!  Zander now heads back to the prairies where he'll attend medical school at the University of Manitoba.

June 2015 - Congratulations to Jackie Lebenzon, who passed her MSc proposal assessment with flying colours!

May 2015 - The Sinclair lab made a good showing at CSZ, with both Jantina Toxopeus and Jackie Lebenzon in the Battle award finals (for best student poster), Laura Ferguson having a strong presence as Student Councillor and lab alum Evelyn Boychuk winning the CSZ Public Awareness award, for her article on Monarchs in the Globe and Mail (you can read it here).

May 2015 - Welcome to Dariusz Małek, a PhD student joining us for a month from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.

April 2015 -  Congratulations to Susan Anthony, who received a substantial grant from the Northern Scientific Training Programme to support her forthcoming fieldwork in the Yukon.

April 2015 - They're tongue-in-cheek, but we'll take the awards we get.  Congratulations to the lab, who cleaned up at the Biology Grad Students BioBall awards... As well as being voted the lab that was "fun and produces the most data", Zander was "most likely to make you drink beer at the grad club" and "best villain", Laura was "most supportive" and gave the best Thursday Physiologicals talk (that's two in a row for Laura), and the "Cold Truths" review, by Brent, along with Hugh Henry, and Sinclair Lab alumna Caroline Williams was voted "best review in the past three years".

April 2015 - Congratulations to Jantina Toxopeus, who received a research grant from the Orthopterists' society to support one of her many side projects - this one on freeze tolerance in great grigs.

March 2015 - Brent has been involved with the Sustainable Canada Dialogues.  Over the past 10 months, we have put together a proposed path to transition Canada to a low carbon economy.  You can download the document here, and read an interview with Brent here.

February 2015 - The Sinclair Lab's work was featured by Business Insider.  Check out the article here.

January 2015 - Congratulations to Laura Ferguson, who won the best student presentation award in the Division of Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida.

January 2015 - Welcome to our new MSc students, Yanira Jiminez Padilla and (making a welcome return) Jackie Lebenzon.

December 2014 - Congratulations to Lauren Des Marteaux, who passed her comprehensive exam (up against an all-star cast of entomologists and physiologists).  Well done!

December 2014 - Congratulations to Ruth Jakobs, who successfully defended her MSc thesis.  Ruth's been around for a long time, and it's amazing to think that that little undergrad intern is now ... a little MSc graduate! You can read her thesis here.

October 2014 - Congratulations to Sinclair Lab Alumni Katie Marshall and Heath MacMillan, who were among the nine finalists for the Scholander award at the American Physiological Society in San Diego.  Heath was Runner-up, well done!

October 2014 - Congratulations to Lauren Des Marteaux, who won the President's poster prize at the Entomological Society of Ontario Annual Meeting, and Alexander McKinnon, who was runner-up in the President's oral presentation awards at the same meeting.

September 2014 - Welcome to new PhD students Susan Anthony and Jantina Toxopeus, and to new honours student Mike Brown and new mini-thesis student Angelina Artemenko.  Farewell to Phuong Huynh, who is heading back to Vietnam after a MITACS Globalink internship.

August 2014 - Congratulations to PhD candidate Laura Ferguson who passed her comprehensive exam!

June 2014 - Congratulations to Alexander McKinnon, who has been awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

May 2014 - Many congratulations to Laura Ferguson, who won the CSZ Battle award for best student poster at the Genomes to Biomes meeting in Montreal.

May 2014 - Congratulations to Sinclair-lab-member-to-be Jantina Toxopeus on receiving a Company of Biologists Traveling Fellowship for forthcoming work in Siberia.

May 2014 - Welcome to Nick Chornenki and welcome back to David Li, our NSERC USRA students for the summer.

April 2014 - Sinclair lab work has been in the news.  Former PhD student Katie Marshall discovered a new kind of fat in flies.  The paper is in Journal of Experimental Biology, who did a nice write-up about it here.  It also features in a story on LiveScience, was in the London Free Press and in Science Borealis. You can listen to Katie's Quirks & Quarks interview here.

April 2014 - Congratulations to Lauren Des Marteaux, who passed her PhD proposal assessment!

April 2014 - Congratulations to Jackie Lebenzon, who was the joint winner of the best Physiology & Biochemistry presentation at the Biology Honours day!

April 2014 - Congratulations to Lauren Des Marteaux, who received a Departmental travel award to attend the APS Comparative meeting in San Diego.  At the recent Biology Formal, Laura Ferguson's talk was voted the best of the Thursday Physiologicals, and Ruth Jakobs was recognised by her peers as the hardest working grad student in the department (but we knew that already!).

March 2014 - A special farewell to Dr. Hiroko Udaka, who is leaving us after nearly four years for a faculty position at Kyoto University in Japan.  We'll miss you, Hiroko!

March 2014 - Farewell to Lindsay Crawford and Fengliang Jin.

March 2014 - Click here to download the Sinclair lab infographic!

February 2014 - Welcome to Banafsheh Ahmadi, who will be visiting form Iran for six months, and welcome back to Litza Coello, who is working for a few months on a short term contract with CFIA.

January 2014 - Welcome to Lindsay Crawford, who will be working with us as a technician for a few months.

January 2014 - Congratulations to Hiroko Udaka, who has landed a faculty position at the elite Kyoto University!!

December 2013 - Congratulations to Golnaz Salehipour, who successfully defended her MSc thesis! You can download and read it here.

November 2013 - Congratulations to lab alumna Stephi Sobek-Swant, who has been appointed Executive Director of the RARE charitable research reserve!

November 2013 - Congratulations to Laura Ferguson, who passed her PhD proposal with flying colours!

October 2013 - Congratulations to recent graduates: Katie Marshall was awarded the John W. Arnold Fellowship for the best Western PhD thesis in Zoology, and Heath MacMillan was awarded the J.D. Detwiler Award for the most outstanding Biology PhD thesis overall.  We're all very proud back here!

October 2013 - A very big farewell to Annegret Nicolai, who returned to France this month.  We'll miss you, Annegret, but your gastropodal influence will continue!  Farewell also to Tanya Dann, who is now winging her way back to New Zealand the long way.

October 2013 - Congratulations to Lauren Des Marteaux, who has been elected as the student representative on the Entomological Society of Ontario board of directors.

September 2013 - Welcome to Alexander McKinnon, who is starting an MSc on freeze tolerance in insects, Qian Long, who begins a PhD on evolutionary physiology of snails, and Jackie Lebenzon and Matt Spilka, who are starting their honours projects.

August 2013 - Farewell to Katharina Nikolaev, who has been visiting for a few weeks on a DAAD-RISE fellowship.  And welcome to Tanya Dann, a PhD student visiting from University of Otago for a few months and Fengliang Jin, who joins us from China for a year as a postdoc.

August 2013 - Congratulations to Laura Ferguson, who has been awarded the Ruth Horner Arnold Graduate Fellowship.

August 2013 - Congratulations to Dr. Heath MacMillan, who defended his PhD thesis in style. After ISEPEP5, Heath is off to Aarhus to postdoc with Johannes Overgaard. You can download Heath's thesis here.

July 2013 - Congratulations to Ruth Jakobs, who successfully defended her MSc thesis proposal!

...time passes...

April 2013 -Congratulations to Dr. Katie Marshall, who successfully defended her PhD thesis!

April 2013 -Brent Sinclair has been awarded a University Faculty Scholar award for 2013-2015.

April 2013 -Check out Heath MacMillan's beautiful fly image on the cover of this month's Naturwissenschaften (you can see it online, in tiny version, here)

April 2013 -Congratulations to Laura Ferguson, who has been awarded an NSERC PGS-D PhD scholarship, and Lauren Des Marteaux, who received an NSERC CGS-D.  Well done!

January 2013 -Congratulations to Katie Marshall, who won the Bruce Sidell award for the best student oral presentation in Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting in San Francisco.  This was a big meeting (over 2000 abstracts), so is a huge achievement. Well done, Katie!

January 2013 -Brent Sinclair was interviewed on the CBC radio show 'Quirks and Quarks' about the lab's recent research on the metabolism of freezing frogs.  You can listen to the segment here, or read more about the work here or here, or access the article from the Journal of Experimental Biology here.

News archive...

Sinclair Lab, 8 April 2016: Back (l-r): Sirpa Kaunisto (postdoc), Yanira Jimenez Padilla (MSc), Susan Anthony (PhD), Jackie Lebenzon (MSc), Lauren Des Marteaux (PhD), Laura Forster (High School Co-op student).  Front (l-r): Xinjian Xu (Visiting Professor), Kurtis Turnbull (MSc), Brent Sinclair (wrangler).

Recent Publications (Powered... and occasionally screwed up... by pubget)