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. 

Russell Wyeth

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My interests encompass much of the diversity of animals, but my research has focused primarily on aquatic invertebrates, particularly their behaviours and nervous systems.  I’m especially intrigued by how nervous systems control adaptive behaviours – responses appropriate to the cues animals encounter in their natural habitat.  That makes me a neuroethologist, but my students and I follow new questions into many other areas of invertebrate zoology.  I’m also keenly interested in helping students think like biologists, applying sound analytical skills to understanding organisms, and this pervades both my teaching and approach to mentoring student in research.

My professional info (CV, etc.) is here and contact details are here.

Areej Alansari

Image2I graduated in 2010 from the Faculty of Applied Science at Umm Al Qura University, Saudi Arabia, where I earned a bachelor`s degree in biology. Throughout my studies, I consistently earned honours. I received a scholarship from the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia, which fully sponsored me to pursue my studies in the field of biology. Getting such a scholarship is difficult, as they are highly competitive. All these accomplishments have encouraged me and motivated me to continue my studies at St. Francis Xavier University. Now, I am studying animal behavior and how Lymnaea Stagnalis finds food. After my masters degree, I hope to have a job in Saudi Arabia or continue on to a PhD.


Ella Maltby

18297014_10155253240377498_1020086673_oUpon completing my BSc in Biology at StFX, I went through the typical post-graduate crisis where I didn’t know what to do with my life. Thankfully, Russ took pity on me and I joined the Wyeth lab, primarily researching the effect of UV light exposure on biofouling organisms. I have also been involved with other projects including sea slug behaviour, crow behaviour, antifouling abilities of trout netting, and environmental sequencing of biofilm. I was accepted into the biology MSc program at StFX and will be  looking at the effects of contaminants on lobster. I’m excited to be working with my co-supervisors, Russell Wyeth and Jim Williams, over the next 2 years.

Ella has been supported by the Province of Nova Scotia boat harbour remediation project and Nova Scotia Fisheries & Aquaculture

Amelia Mackenzie

WyethLabPhotoAfter two years at Dalhousie, I transferred to StFX and completed my BSc in Biology with a minor in Development Studies in 2017. I’m originally from Sherbrooke but now live outside of Antigonish in St. Josephs. I am really looking forward to spending the summer doing research, and will be testing anti-fouling materials in Whycocomagh, CB, with Ella Maltby. My hobbies include taking too many pictures of my dog, being outside, and talking about how cool science is.

Amelia is supported by the StFX University Council for Research and Nova Scotia Fisheries & Aquaculture

Carmen Landry

IMG_2988I am a fourth year honours biology student at StFX, originally from Sydney, NS. This summer I am working on a project with Alex researching gene expression in the nervous system of Lymnaea. I am excited to get some research experience and learn from everyone in the Wyeth lab. After my undergrad, I’m hoping to take some time to travel and continue my education in hopes of pursuing a career in healthcare.

Carmen is supported by an NSHRF Scotia Scholars grant

Alex Young

alexedited2I completed my BScH at Acadia University where I started as a Co-op student. I began my research career with an 8-month term at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada where I found my interest in molecular biology. I explored this interest during my Honours at Acadia, developing a DNA barcoding protocol for preserved fungal specimens with a side project that involved annotating the mitochondrial genome of the fungus Phialocephala scopiformis. I am excited to now be at StFX solidifying my love for molecular biology in a whole new system – the gastropod nervous system! In the future, I hope to begin a career in private research or continue my graduate studies.

Alex is supported by an NSERC CGS-M and a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship

Hannah Stevens

IMG_9997 I am a fourth year student taking a Joint Advanced Major in Biology and Mathematics. Working in lab this summer will be my first time doing research and I am very excited about it! Areej and I are studying Lymnaea snails and how they find food in still water and flowing water environments. I’m originally from Halifax and I’m looking forward to experiencing an Antigonish summer for the first time! After my undergrad degree I’m hoping to continue on to either a Master’s degree or medicine or both.

Hannah is supported in part by a NSHRF Scotia Scholars award and NSERC

Past Lab Members

Students and post-docs that have spent time, sometime, in the Wyeth Lab!


Patrick O’Brien (research assistant)
Veronica Ells (research assistant, directed studies)
Rebecca Kennedy (research assistant)
Katy Grosicki (Honours)
Sara Livingstone (research assistant, directed studies)
Jonathan Schwarz  (research assistant, directed studies)
Ian Carrigan (research assistant, directed studies)
Shauna Ryan  (research assistant, Aqua 450)
JP Barry  (research assistant, directed studies)
Grace Phillips (Honours)
Bailey Andrea  (research assistant, directed studies)
Stephanie Clarke (Honours)
Marissa Webber (Honours)
Emily Kehoe  (research assistant)
Tim Govare (research assistant)
Bridget Doan (Honours)
Jimmy Thomson (research assistant, directed studies)


Natika Bock (research technician)

Graduate Students

Kieran Murphy (MSc)
Natalia Filip (MSc)
Greg McCullagh (MSc)


Dr. Amanda Pustam