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.


Russell Wyeth

2017-07-07 21.05.25

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.