Research Areas

Research in the Department of Biology covers a wide range of topics, including ecology, evolution, and organismal and molecular biology. The disciplines in which faculty within Biology have active research programs are listed below. Students from all academic levels (B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D.) are integrally involved in our research projects. To join any laboratory, please contact faculty members directly. You can also find more information in these other pages:
Getting Started in Research
Honours Program
Graduate Program
  • Evolution of a symbiotic habit in unicellular green algae. (C.Bishop)  Website 
  • Seaweed evolution and life histories. (D. Garbary)


  • North Atlantic seaweed and invertebrate biogeography. (D. GarbaryR. Scrosati)
  • Phylogenetic analysis of green algal symbionts associated with amphibian egg masses. (C.Bishop)  Website 

Marine Ecology

  • Seaweed and eelgrass ecology, including symbiosis. Invasive algae. (D. Garbary)
  • Ecology of rocky intertidal invertebrates and macroalgae. Marine biodiversity. (R. Scrosati)
  • Ecological effects of invasive species, particularly the green crab. (J. Williams)
  • Biofouling and low-toxicity antifouling. (R. Wyeth)
  • Foraging biology of the lobster. (R. Wyeth)

Freshwater Ecology

  • Ecosystem structure and energy flow in streams and rivers. (B. Taylor)
  • Ecological restoration. (B. Taylor)
  • Freshwater benthic invertebrates (B. Taylor)

Animal Biology

  • Breeding and migration ecology of owls. (R.F. Lauff)
  • Carrion beetles and predaceous aquatic insects. (R.F. Lauff)
  • Epithelial physiology and hormonal control of osmoregulation in lower vertebrates, especially teleost fish. (W. Marshall)
  • Pain perception. Cannabinoid drugs. Amelioration of brain damage after stroke. Behaviour. (J. McKenna)
  • Biology of intertidal invertebrates. (R. Scrosati)
  • Marine invertebrate behaviour, ecotoxicology, and aquaculture. (J. Williams)
  • Invertebrate neuroethology, behaviour, and neurobiology. Odour-based navigational strategies. (R. Wyeth)
  • Environmental physiology of aquatic vertebrates (T. Rodela)

  • Physiology of how insects survive freezing and extreme low temperatures. (J. Toxopeus)

Plant Biology


  • Molecular interactions between eukaryotic cells/tissues and opportunistic bacterial pathogens. (L. Graham)
  • Understanding the nature of a rare symbiosis between some amphibian egg masses and microbes. (C.BishopWebsite 

Cell Biology

  • Cellular basis of NO signalling in sea urchins. (C. Bishop)
  • Cellular differentiation in plants including marine macroalgae. (M. Galway)
  • Cellular electrophysiology and patch clamp. Solute and water transport across membranes. (W. Marshall)
  • Neurophysiology of circuits controlling navigation behaviour. (R. Wyeth)
  • invasion of algal cells in an amphibian host. (C.BishopWebsite
  • Characterizing how insect cell structure and function changes at extreme low temperatures (J. Toxopeus

Molecular Biology

  • Genome sequencing, assembly and annotation. (C.BishopWebsite  
  • Studying and manipulating gene expression (e.g. via RNAi) in freeze-tolerant insects (J. Toxopeus)