Author: wyethlab

the data is starting to flow

Projects are really starting to roll this summer…

Ella Maltby and Meg Davies are recording tail flip, foraging and shelter use behaviours in lobsters exposed to contaminants.

Rachel Webber and Michelle Hodgson are recording lobster behavioural responses to prey and baits in the field (with great help from Grace, Dan and others).

Carmen Ucciferri (with some help from Areej Alansari, when she’s not writing her thesis!) are recording snail navigational responses to crayfish.

And finally, our work with We’koqma’q First Nation continues, with Katerina Basque (who is from Waycobah!) and Meaghan MacDonald (and some help from Amelia MacKenzie) starting get their first images of fouling for a number different surveys and tests of fouling and antifouling relevant to the We’koqma’q aquaculture operation.

James Research Chair

I am both honoured and excited to have been offered a James Research Chair to start in July 2018.  Two years of halved teaching load will be a big boost to the Wyeth Lab!  I am looking forward to the opportunity to expand existing research projects and hopefully building some collaborations as well.  Most of all I am excited at the chance to involve more students in the Wyeth Lab.

Theora Holden

Theora is study sea slug movement patterns and a potentially new way animals might use magnetic fields to navigate.

Theora says: Raised in Antigonish, I’m a second year student in the biology program here at X. Though I have yet to find my focus I am excited about exploring the wide world of biological studies. Some of my other passions include religious studies, sketching, bookmaking and watching bad horror movies.

Alexa Nicholson

I am a fourth year biology student minoring in economics.  I am doing a directed study course focused on mussel antifouling. I am really looking forward to getting some research experience and applying my degree in a practical way. This project fits really well with my degree because bio fouling is a very costly issue for the commercial shipping and marine industry. After I am done my undergraduate degree, I hope to pursue a career in the healthcare field. 

Publication! Congrats to Marissa Webber & Jimmy Thomson

cne24286-toc-0001This one was more than 5 years in the making before publication in the Journal of Comparative Neurology.  Jimmy Thomson got us started, labelling neurotransmitters in the central nervous system of Hermissenda, and then Marissa Webber followed up with tons more labelling and then an amazing effort in cataloging all the labelled neurons.  Highlights were establishing that some neurotransmitters are considerably more variable between animals than others, and that one specific neurotransmitter (GABA) was not where it was supposed to be (it was missing from the statocysts – the balance organs).  You can read the (free) reprint to get our full explanation of that crazy result.  Thanks also to Roger Croll and Johnny Buckland-Nicks for help along the way.
DOI: 10.1002/cne.24286


Graduate Student Position Available

M.Sc. Position in Toxicology of Lobster Behaviour


Interested in aquatic animal behaviour or applied research in toxicology or estuarine restoration?  Interested in building expertise in a range of techniques, including field work with SCUBA, semi-automated video analysis of behavioural experiments, and contaminant tissue analyses?

Dr. Russell Wyeth and Dr. Jim Williams in Biology at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) are accepting applications for an MSc student position to start Jan 1, 2018.  This position is fully funded ($18,000 x 2 years), and tuition support is also possible.