Insect Low Temperature Biology
The Sinclair Lab at UWO

Lamees Mohammad

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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 year.

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.

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