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...

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.

November 2012 -Congratulations to Hiroko Udaka, who received an Honourable Mention in the 3 minute research competition at the Western Postdoctoral Forum.

November 2012 -Congratulations to Evelyn Boychuk, who passed her MSc thesis defense!

November 2012 -Congratulations to Heath MacMillan, who has a paper explaining chill coma published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).  You can read the article here, and a press release, complete with pictures and a movie, here.  This work has been featured on phys.org and Science Daily, Nature World News, seacoast online, The Gazette, Heath was on the front page of the London Free Press (above the fold!) and (my personal favourite) cricket-breeding.com.

November 2012 -Congratulations to Litza Coello who passed her MSc thesis defense with flying colours!

October 2012 -Our very own Katie Marshall does her bit regularly to popularise science. Check out her physiology-related blog posts on the ESC blog site here, and her 'Outside JEB' pieces for Journal of Experimental Biology here, here, and here.

September 2012 -
Wondering what Brent is doing on sabbatical? Check out his blog post on the Entomological Society of Canada website here.

September 2012 -Welcome to Laura Ferguson, a new PhD student working on cold and eco-immunology.  Laura joins us from Acadia University.  Welcome also to Dr. Annegret Nicolai, who joins us from France on a Canadian Government Fellowship to freeze snails!

August 2012 -Congratulations to Katie Marshall, who received the Ruth Horner Arnold Award from the Department of Biology.

News archive...



Sinclair Lab 28 March 2014: Back (L-R): Lauren Des Marteaux, Brent Sinclair, Hiroko Udaka, Laura Ferguson, Alexander McKinnon; Front (L-R): Jackie Lebenzon, Lindsay Crawford, Banafsheh Ahmadi, Ruth Jakobs, Qian Long.

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