I completed my undergraduate studies in
2004 at the University of Victoria in Victoria,
B.C., where I received a BSc in general biology and ecology. After working in
research in entomology and agriculture for several years, I began a Masters in
Summer 2007 in the Sinclair Lab. My focus is the impact of low temperatures on the
physiology of insects, and how species adapt to variable environmental conditions.
Most insects utilize mechanisms to avoid freezing during exposure to subzero
temperatures, but some insects are freeze tolerant and can survive the
formation of ice in their bodies. I will be screening a number of Drosophila
species larvae, including genome sequenced species and flies collected from
temperate regions worldwide, to identify species that are better able to
survive low temperatures (and how they do so!). I will then compare the
phylogenetic relationships between drosophilids in an effort to determine how different
cold tolerance strategies evolved in the Drosophila genus.