Author: Russell Wyeth

Elise Collet

My name is Elise Collet, and I am from Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick. I am going into my fourth year at StFX with plans to graduate this year with an Honours in Biology and a minor in Psychology. I love all things nature and I particularly enjoy hiking and kayaking. I am fortunate to have had early research experience with the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick and volunteering on other projects. This summer I have been working on my Honours thesis research with Dr. David Garbary, looking at the ecological factors and population dynamics of black ash trees. In the fall, I am excited to start a directed study in the Wyeth Lab comparing paired trawls that form part of this year’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Fall Survey. Upon graduation, I hope to continue my studies in biology and eventually pursue a career in academia.  

Congratulations Ella!

The second successful MSc defense of the summer! Ella Maltby did a fantastic job presenting her work (to a huge Zoom audience) on contaminants in local lobsters and the potential for using behavioural bioassays to do future monitoring for contaminants in lobsters. Both were initiated as part of the effort to remediate Boat Harbour, and will inform future science helping to return it to its natural state. Thanks also to co-supervisor Jim Willliams, committee members Tony Walker and Ken Oakes, and external examiner Rita Mroz who helped guide her to this end point.

Gavin Hiltz

My name is Gavin Hiltz, I am from Pictou, Nova Scotia. I am going into my third year at StFX pursuing an honours degree in Biology with a minor in Mathematics. I assist with research on the lobster foraging project with Wyeth lab where we explore bait effectiveness and behavior of Homarus americanus. Eager to continue learning, I am very engaged and motivated to this project and hope to continue to work with Wyeth lab throughout my undergrad. I love all things biology; marine biology, ecology, mycology, and genetics being of greatest interest to me. Always willing to try new experiences and learn as much as I can with everything I do, I am very excited to see what the future holds with Dr. Wyeth and beyond.

Publication!

Fig. 3

This one was a real team effort, with six different students contributing collectively to data collection, analysis and or manuscript prep. So, congrats to Amelia, Katerina, Ella, Michelle, Alexa, and Emmerson! The findings were really straight forward. We worked with We’koqma’q First Nation aquaculture, and tested the effectiveness of a various commercial options for non-toxic antifouling on aquaculture netting against the crazy mussel fouling that occurs at their site. We found little or no performance enhancement over standard (control) nylon netting. Done.

MacKenzie, A.F., Basque, K., Maltby, E.A., Hodgson, M., Nicholson, A., Wilson, E., Stuart, R., Smith-Palmer, T., and Wyeth, R.C. 2021. Effectiveness of several commercial non-toxic antifouling technologies for aquaculture netting at reducing mussel biofouling. Aquaculture 543: 736968. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2021.736968.

Congratulations Areej!

Areej Alansari has defended her thesis, studying the navigation behaviour of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. The short version is that she discovered that the snails can cope with quite a variety of flow conditions while seeking out odour sources. It’s taken a bit longer than planned because of hiccups from foreign relations and pandemic, but a fantastic achievement. Thanks also to commiteee members Jim Williams and John McKenna, and external examiner Tim Rawlings.

Way to go Areej!

Max Spiess

My name is Max Spiess, I am from Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia. I am going into my 3rd year at StFX University looking to complete an Honours degree in biology with a minor in Chemistry. I love spending time near or on the ocean, as well as playing sports and training at the gym. This summer I am getting my first experience with research as part of the Wyeth Lab’s Lobster Foraging group. I am very grateful for this opportunity to be involved in research and I am very excited to see how it goes as I love groupwork and I love biology! Getting this research experience is very beneficial to me as it opens up a lot of career opportunities for my future, and it allows me to further my biological knowledge.

Makayla Butorac

My name is Makayla Butorac, and I am from Peterborough, Ontario. I am going into my fourth year at StFX with plans to graduate in spring 2023 with an Honours in Biology and a minor in Psychology. I love spending time in nature and have a great passion for animals. This summer I will be working with both the gastropod neuroanatomy and the gastropod navigation groups. I will be resuming the project I worked on last summer, which involves using immunohistochemistry to label catecholamies in the peripheral and central nervous system tissue of Lymnaea stagnalis. Additionally, I will be exploring the behaviour of these snails to better understand what sensory cues guide their navigation. I am grateful and excited to be spending another summer working with Dr. Wyeth and other members of the Wyeth Lab who share my passion for research!

Kylie Curnew

My name is Kylie Curnew and I am from Hughes Brook, Newfoundland. I am going into my second year at StFX where I am studying health. I enjoy being outside, around animals and collecting plants. I am working with the Wyeth Lab in the biofouling project this summer. This is my first experience in research but I am a curious person with a passion for biology and I am so excited to get involved! 

Remote Research Resumes

For the 2nd year in a row, our first full lab meeting of the summer research season had to happen remotely. Still, it was fun just to introduce the new students to the full group (all 17 of us, this year!). Hopefully our 3rd wave will be short like our first two, we we can shift rapidly to data collection – big plans and new ideas for the lobster foraging, marine biofouling, and gastropod neuroethology and neuroanatomy projects!