Author: Russell Wyeth

Aaron Cogger

My name is Aaron Cogger, and I am from Antigonish Nova Scotia. I am an alumnus from StFX’s Aquatic Resources Program, along with Dalhousie’s Master of Marine Management Program. During my time at StFX, I previously worked in the Wyeth lab, helping to research behavioral toxicology in American lobsters. Now I am back in the lab with the biofouling team, researching marine safe methods of preventing fouling growth on boat and ship hulls through a variety of experiments. I am delighted to be back in the Wyeth lab, along with expanding my research skillset and studying new topics to accompany my interest in marine protection.

Emilie Knighton

My name is Emilie Knighton. I’m originally from Georgetown, Ontario. I am currently working on my Master’s in biology at Acadia University, studying the costs of Conspecific Brood Parasitism in Red-Breasted Mergansers. I completed a BSc with a Joint major in Aquatic Resources and Biology from StFX, following which I worked with the Herring Science Council, which provided me with the opportunity to complete research preparations, survey planning and data gathering in ever-changing and challenging conditions. I worked alongside different fishing boats to complete plankton tows, tag live fish and complete bio-acoustic surveys. I am working in the Wyeth Lab as a research technician, studying alternative lobster bait technology – providing me with a further peak into the secret life of animals. 

Publication!

Congrats to Katherine P who led this manuscript as well as Kylie, Lexie, Ally, and Emmerson who all shared in the work. Using an image time series of macroscopic marine inverts, we show that even a single dose of ultraviolet light can reduce or delay marine biofouling. In addition, by adding an analysis of the new settlers immediately before and after the ultraviolet treatment, we show that the mechanism of action is probably direct toxicity of the ultraviolet light for those new settlers.

Full Text Link

Purvis, K., Curnew, K.H., Trevors, A.L., Hunter, A.T., Wilson, E.R., and Wyeth, R.C. 2022. Single Ultraviolet-C light treatment of early stage marine biofouling delays subsequent community development. Biofouling: 1–11. doi:10.1080/08927014.2022.2095906.

Alternative Lobster Bait Technology Researcher Position Available

NOTE: this position has been filled

NOTE: remote work is a possibility for this position

The Wyeth Lab at St. Francis Xavier University is seeking to add to our research team. Our fundamental and applied research program explores more sustainable options for bait use in the lobster fishery. The new researcher will help coordinate and complete analysis of lobster responses to different lobster bait technologies. The researcher will work under the supervision of Dr. Russell Wyeth, helping with many aspects of data management and analysis. The researcher’s primary role will be to support the successful analysis of existing data sets, working with both the supervisor and students to analyzed abundances of lobsters, behavioural video and audio, and environmental data relevant to assessing lobster responses to different bait technologies. In addition, the researcher will help to prepare oral and written communications about the data and our conclusions. Administrative tasks in support of the supervisor will also be involved, as well as opportunities to engage with other active research projects.  

Note: the position is subject to final budgetary approval once a candidate is selected

Duties and responsibilities

• help the project lead with overall organization of research activities
• help with specific project planning and administration
• co-supervision of student researchers
• data analysis
• materials and equipment management
• help with report and manuscript writing  

Knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge and skills
• ability to work independently
• meticulous organization
• time management
• effective oral and written communication
Desirable knowledge and skills:
• ecosystem-based fisheries management
• lobster harvesting
• research experience
• reading and summarizing scientific literature
• digital photography
• image processing
• digital video production
• software: MS Excel, SPSS, R
• statistical analysis
• scientific presentation
• scientific writing
• marine field work experience  

Eligibility Requirements (based on this program)

  • Post-secondary graduates
  • No more than 30 years of age at the start of the position
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada*
  • Legally allowed to work according to the relevant provincial and Canadian legislation and regulations
  • Available to work for at least six months (26 weeks)

Employment Period

07/16/2022  – 02/28/2023, with the possibility of an extension

Salary

$1200 + 4% in lieu of vacation, biweekly

Application Procedure

Send a resume/CV, unofficial transcript, and a statement of interest to rwyeth@stfx.ca

 

Dynamic Biofouling Research Technician Position Available

NOTE: this position has been filled

The Wyeth Lab and Centre for Biofouling Research (CBR) at St. Francis Xavier University is seeking a research technician. Our fundamental and applied research program explores both marine biofouling (the growth of unwanted organisms on marine infrastructure) and novel low-toxicity approaches to antifouling (the mitigation of biofouling). The technician will help develop and coordinate a new dynamic testing system that incorporates water flow into our field work. Real-world conditions for marine infrastructure typically includes water movement over surfaces colonized for biofouling: ship hulls during vessel travel, aquaculture pens during tidal flow, etc. The technician will contribute to designing, prototyping and operating a dynamic test system that generates flow over novel antifouling technologies. The technician will work under the supervision of Dr. Russell Wyeth. Activities working towards completion of the project will entail working with both the supervisor and students to plan and implement field work, undertake sampling, and, once completed, prepare oral and written communications about the project. Interaction with industry members and other stakeholders will also be expected. Administrative tasks in support of the supervisor will also be involved, as well as opportunities to engage with other active research projects.

Note: position is subject to final budgetary approval once a candidate is selected  

Duties and responsibilities

• materials management
• equipment set-up and operation
• data collection and analysis
• coordination of dynamic testing research projects
• help the project lead with overall organization of research activities
• co-supervision of student researchers
• help with report and manuscript writing
 

Knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge and skills
• ability work independently
• meticulous organization
• time management
• effective oral and written communication
Desirable knowledge and skills:
• principles of marine biofouling
• antifouling technologies
• basic hydrodynamics
• research experience
• custom equipment construction (e.g. maker-space experience)
• reading and summarizing scientific literature
• digital photography
• image processing
• software: MS Excel, SPSS, R
• statistical analysis
• scientific presentation
• scientific writing
• small boat experience
• marine field work experience
 

Eligibility Requirements (based on this program)

  • Post-secondary graduates
  • No more than 30 years of age at the start of the position
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada*
  • Legally allowed to work according to the relevant provincial and Canadian legislation and regulations
  • Available to work for at least six months (26 weeks)

Employment Period

07/16/2022  – 02/28/2023, with the possibility of an extension

Salary

$1200 + 4% in lieu of vacation, biweekly

 Application Procedure

Send a resume/CV, unofficial transcript, and a statement of interest to rwyeth@stfx.ca

a busy Wyeth lab

Lots going on this summer in the lab and field! The lobster foraging group (Grace, Aidan, Gavin , James, and Laura) are continuing to use underwater video and audio to record how different types of lobster bait and natural prey affect foraging responses and other behaviours in American lobsters. The biofouling group (Ally, Kristyn and Kylie) are busy testing the effectiveness and validating the low toxicity of graphene-based antifouling coatings (formulated by our industry collaborators, GIT) as well as continuing to explore the relative effectiveness hourly vs daily cycles of UV-light as an antifoulant. The gastropod neuroethology group (Makayla, Kali, and Noah) are tackling three different projects with pond snails: how they move in response to fine scale odour and flow stimuli, testing electrophysiological responses to food odours in the lips, and some more work on the neuroanatomy of the cephalic sensory organs (to take advantage of our department’s brand new confocal microscope).

Kali Hudson

My name is Kali Hudson and I am from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. I’m going into my fourth year at StFX planning to graduate with an Advanced Major in Biology and a minor in Psychology. I love sharing my passion for science and I spent the last two years working as a science outreach leader with X-Chem Outreach. This is my first summer researching with the Wyeth Lab as part of the gastropod neuroethology project, where I will be using electrophysiological techniques to study the nervous system of the great pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. This project is a perfect intersection of my interests in biology and psychology and I’m so excited to be involved!

Aidan McGowan

My name is Aidan McGowan, and I am from Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. I am going into my second year at StFX, where I am taking a BSc in Biology. This is my first summer working with the Wyeth lab, specifically assisting with the Lobster Foraging group. I am grateful to be a part of this lab, as it is extending my knowledge, as well as firsthand experience with collecting data out in the field. It has also cemented my plan in wanting to eventually become a marine biologist. I hope to continue with the Wyeth Lab throughout my BSc as it would be a great asset for my degree and future research ​opportunities.

James Hanlon

My name is James Hanlon, I grew up in Cambridge, Ontario but now live in Linwood, Nova Scotia. I am going into my second year here at StFX and will be majoring in Biology. I enjoy playing guitar and being outdoors whether it be camping or fishing I love the fresh air. I will be working on the lobster foraging project this summer with Wyeth Lab for my first foray into the world of research, excited to learn many skills and techniques. I hope doing research will help me ascertain what I’m passionate about and help guide me towards a future I enjoy. I’m delighted to be a part of Dr. Wyeth’s team this summer and hope I can work with such amazing people in the future as well.