Insect Low Temperature Biology
The Sinclair Lab at UWO


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Arthropods are found from the tops of the highest mountains to the most northerly and southerly pieces of land on earth.

Our Vision is a complete understanding of the mechanisms that allow arthropods to survive and thrive at low temperatures.

Our Mission is to learn cool stuff about arthropods, to share our knowledge, and to train the very best of the next generation of scientists.

We do our research at  levels of organisation from molecular biology to macroevolution and everything in between.  Check out out the research page to learn more, the people page to find out about the Lab's denizens, and the publications page or Brent's Google Scholar profile to see what we've already finished.

Lab meetings and happenings...

Lab News...

October 2017 - Congratulations to Kurtis Turnbull who is now a PhD student after passing his MSc->PhD assessment with flying colours!

October 2017 - Congratulations to Kurtis Turnbull, who won the President's prize of r best student poster at the Entomological Society of Ontario meeting in Guelph, ON.

September 2017 - Welcome to Tomáš Štětina who joins us from the University of South Bohemia for a few months (we swapped him for Jackie!). 

August 2017 - Welcome to a new crop of people! Mozhgan Mohammadzadeh joins us for six months from Iran. Also, Lamees Mohammad has transmogrified from an intern into an Honours thesis student, and is joined in that role by Brynne Duffy, Aisa Kuper-Psenicnik, and Joanne Tang. 

July 2017 - Congratulations to Jackie Lebenzon, who is now a PhD Candidate, having passed her comprehensive exam! Jackie is now off to Czech Republic for three months to visit the awesome Koštál lab.

July 2017 - We are recruiting domestic graduate students to start in 2018. Check out the Vacancies page for information.

June 2017 - The Sinclair lab is looking for newbies! We're recruiting graduate students (currently Canadian or Canadian PR) with an interest in insects, physiology and molecular biology to explore the cellular and molecular basis of freeze tolerance and cold survival.

May 2017 - Welcome to Dr. Alex Torson, who joins us from North Dakota State University as a Postdoc on the ALB project.

May 2017 - Congratulations to Jackie Lebenzon, who won the Helen Battle Prize for Best Student Poster at the Canadian Society of Zoologists' Annual Meeting in Winnipeg, MB.  Congratulations also to lab alumnus Heath MacMillan, who won the Presidents' Prize for Best Postdoc Presentation at the same meeting.

May 2017 - Lots of new (and repeat) faces in the Sinclair lab this month. Welcome to Adam Smith, who will be an intern on the ALB project in London, and Meng Lei Zhang, who will be performing the same role in Sault Ste Marie.  Welcome also to Peter Denezis, who joins us for the summer as an NSERC USRA, and welcome back to Yanira Jiménez Padilla, who is now officially a PhD student!

April 2017 - Congratulations to Jantina Toxopeus and Jackie Lebenzon, who both received Ontario Graduate Scholarships for the next year of their PhD work.

April 2017 - Many congratulations to Dr. Lauren Des Marteaux, who defended her PhD on ion and water balance in the cold (or... 'everything you wanted to know about cricket rectums but were afraid to ask') - you can download and read her thesis here. She'll be heading to the Czech Republic for a postdoc in May, and we miss her already.

April 2017 - Congratulations to John Ciancio who passed his MSc Proposal Assessment.

February 2017 -  Congratulations to Dr. Laura Ferguson, who successfully defended her PhD thesis on the Ecoimmunology of overwintering insects! You can read her awesome thesis here.

January 2017 - Welcome to Lamees Mohammad, who will be joining us as an intern on the Asian Longhorned Beetle project until the end of August.

December 2016 - Congratulations to Yanira Jiménez Padilla, a newly-minted Mastress of Science, after defending her MSc Thesis on yeast effects on Drosophila melanogaster development and cold tolerance!

October 2016 - Farewell to Xinjian Xu, who heads back to Fuzhou (and his bees!)

September 2016 - Susan Anthony's Pseudoscorpion work hit the headlines again, this time on BBC Earth!

September 2016 - Congratulations to Jantina Toxopeus (Malcolm Ferguson Award) and Lauren Des Marteaux (Irene Uchida Award) for their success in the Department of Biology's Donor awards competition.

August 2016 - The Sinclair lab is looking for a postdoc with finely-honed skills in functional genomics to study cold tolerance and diapause in Asian Long-horned Beetle.  Click here for details. Application deadline is October 3 2016.

July 2016 - Congratulations to Jackie Lebenzon, who passed her MSc-to-PhD proposal assessment and is now a bona fide PhD student. We're happy to be stuck with you, Jackie!

July 2016 - Congratulations to Jantina Toxopeus, who is now a PhD candidate, after passing her comprehensive exam.

June 2016 - Our recent paper on Drosophila acclimation featuring an all-star cast of Sinclair lab alumni received quite a bit of media attention.  You can read the open access paper here, and catch up with various media reports here, here, and here.

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 from 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.

News archive...




Sinclair Lab, 29 September 2017: Back (l-r) Mozhgan Mohammadzadeh (Visiting PhD), Yanira Jiménez Padilla (PhD), Susan Anthony (PhD), John Ciancio (MSc), Kurtis Turnbull (MSc), Adam Smith (tech), Tomáš Štětina (visiting PhD), Joanne Tang (Honours thesis); Front (l-r) Jantina Toxopeus (PhD), Brent Sinclair (money guy), Brynne Duffy (Honours thesis), Lamees Mohammad (Honours thesis), Aisa Kuper-Psenicnik (Honours thesis).  Missing, presumed drinking beer: Jackie Lebenzon (PhD), Dr. Alex Torson, (postdoc).