My name is Emmerson Wilson, I am a third year biology student at Saint Francis Xavier University and am working towards completing an honours in biology with a minor in economics. I have been working at Wyeth lab doing research on potential environmentally friendly antifouling treatments. My biggest passion is the outdoors, and so I spend my summers leading white water canoe trips throughout Canada.
I am a fourth-year student and recently completed my Honours thesis. My research was interested in investigating behavioral innovation in the American Lobster, Homarus americanus, with the use of problem-solving tasks. I will be returning to St.FX for my final semester in the fall to complete my Biology degree. Until then, I am returning to the Wyeth lab for my fourth year as a research assistant. I will continue to work with Rachel Webber, who is investigating lobsters’ behavioral responses to various bait options near Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
I entered St.FX as a mature student and since then, I have gained experience from various research opportunities. The research projects that I have been involved in include work in Brier Island, studying Canada’s rarest plant, Geum peckii, antifouling methods for aquaculture netting and lobster behavior. I am enthusiastic to start this year’s project, and plan to do a Master’s degree in the Ecology or conservation field.
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.
I 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.
Upon 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