The Sinclair Lab at UWO
In January 2017 I started working in the Sinclair Lab as an intern.
In addition to working with the Colorado Potato Beetle, I had the
chance to wrangle all sorts of critters in the lab. Over the past
few months I spent most of my time assisting on a project focused on
the overwintering capacity of the Asian longhorned beetle in
collaboration with the Great Lakes Forestry Centre (Sault St.
Marie). While working on this project, my interests on the molecular
biology of overwintering insects peaked and I will be sticking
around to do an honours thesis under Dr. Sinclair’s supervision this
My undergraduate honours thesis will focus on the genes associated with mitophagy in the Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB). During diapause; a period of arrested development due to unfavourable environmental conditions, CPB flight muscle is degraded. Based on Jackie Lebenzon’s findings using TEM and mito-tracker images, the number of mitochondria decreases in the flight muscle during diapause. I am curious as to whether this process is driven by autophagy or mitophagy and which genes are involved. After my thesis, my goal is to pursue a career in research focused on molecular genetics.