Our Team


Dr. Oliver P. Love

Dr. Oliver P. Love

Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair
olove@uwindsor.ca

Research in the Love lab examines the physiological mechanisms driving life-history trade-offs and variation in fitness in both terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates spanning from temperate to Arctic ecosystems. The lab’s work is supported by a number of research awards (NSERC Discovery, Northern Supplement, Canada Foundation for Innovation) as well as a recent Canada Research Chair in Integrative Ecology. Dr. Love received his BSc from Concordia University, his MSc from McGill, and his PhD from Simon Fraser University. His NSERC-funded post-doc at the Université du Québec à Rimouski involved work in the Eastern Canadian Arctic and he joined the Biology Department at the University of Windsor in 2009. Dr. Love has also been a hybrid member of the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER) since 2014.


Chris Harris

Chris Harris

Lab Manager
2013 - Present

Chris began in our lab in 2010 as a lab technician, completed his MSc on examining the validity of feather corticosterone as a relevant biomarker of environmental stress in tree swallows in 2014 and during that time became our full-time lab manager. Chris works on everything from Tree swallow field work and winter bunting banding to developing/supervising physiological assays in the lab and its general smooth running. If you need a complex lab, technical or field problem solved, Chris is your solution.


Dr. Emily McKinnon

Dr. Emily McKinnon

Post-Doctoral Fellow
2014- Present

Emily is using long-term datasets from both the Canadian Snow Bunting Network (CSBN) and the East bay Snow bunting team to examine migratory carry-over effects and ecosystem linkages in wintering and breeding populations, respectively. Emily is currently a Bird Studies Canada Mitacs post-doctoral fellow and is an expert in determining how variation in migratory behaviour  impacts performance in subsequent life-history stages. As part of her project and ongoing research program, Emily is also studying the migratory behaviour of Connecticut warblers. Emily completed her PhD with Dr. Bridget Stutchbury at York University where she studied the migratory behaviour of wood thrushes. You can find out more about Emily’s extensive research program on her website.


Dr. Christine Madliger

Dr. Christine Madliger

Post-Doctoral Fellow
2016 - Present

Christine completed her PhD in the Love Lab examining baseline glucocorticoids (GCs) as biomarkers of human-induced environmental change using Tree swallows, a declining aerial insectivore, as a model system. Christine is continuing her work with the lab under the co-supervision of Dr. Steven Cooke at Carleton University. Through the development of a targeted survey, she is focusing on assessing how barriers related to logistics, interpretation, and translation of knowledge may limit the carry-through of physiological monitoring to conservation success. You can find out more about Christine’s extensive research program on her website.


Dr. Holly Hennin

Dr. Holly Hennin

Post-Doctoral Fellow
2016 - Present

Holly completed her PhD in the Love Lab in May by exploring individual variation in stress- and energetic physiology as the mechanisms that link individual state, reproductive decisions and fitness in female Arctic-breeding Common eiders nesting at East bay, Nunavut. Holly has now taken on a MITACS PDF as part of our large collaborative MITACS Accelerate award with Baffinlands Inc. Holly is examining the the mechanisms underlying individual variation in movement and foraging behaviour of Arctic-breeding common eiders in response to multiple environmental stressors.


Rolanda Steenweg

Rolanda Steenweg

PhD Candidate
2013 - Present

Rolanda is studying migratory carryover effects in Arctic-breeding Common eiders from East bay, Nunavut. She is combining the use of physiology, stable isotopes and satellite telemetry to examine how endogenous and exogenous resources gained on wintering and breeding grounds influence reproductive timing and success. Rolanda holds an NSERC PGS-M award at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, where she works with her primary supervisor Dr. Glenn Crossin.


Audrey LePogam

Audrey LePogam

PhD Candidate
2014 - Present

Audrey is examining metabolic adaptations and cold acclimation mechanisms in free-living and captive Snow buntings. She is conducting both field- and lab-based work on wild and captive populations at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) where she works with her primary supervisor Dr. François Vézina.


Marie-Pier Laplante

Marie-Pier Laplante

MSc Student
2014 - Present

Marie-Pier is examining the environmental variables which drive sex-specific migratory and wintering strategies in Snow buntings. She is combining long-term data collected by the Canadian Snow Bunting Network with local data on wintering populations in Québec to understand how and why birds move nomadically during the winter and appear to segregate by sex and size. Marie-Pier is supported by an NSERC PGS-M award at the Université du Québec à Rimouski where she works with her primary supervisor Dr. François Vézina. Marie-Pier is also working closely with Snow bunting and Bird Studies Canada Mitacs post-doc Dr. Emily McKinnon.


Sean Power

Sean Power

MSc Student
2015 - Present

Sean is examining the proximate and ultimate benefits and costs of elevated baseline Corticosterone. Specifically, he is looking at linkages between life-history stage related elevations in baseline Corticosterone, foraging behaviour, fattening rates, oxidative damage and telomere dynamics in snow buntings. He will be using both correlative and manipulative techniques, and travelling to work on a captive population of buntings held at the Université du Québec à Rimouski by his co-supervisor Dr. François Vézina.


Theresa Warriner

Theresa Warriner

MSc Student
2016 - Present

Theresa is examining the interactive impacts of climate change and pre-natal maternal stress on the phenotype, behaviour and fitness of young Chinook salmon. Specifically, Theresa is determining whether a signal of pre-natal stress from the mother during her migration can better prepare offspring the following spring when they emerge into the same river. Theresa is co-supervised by Dr. Christina Semeniuk at GLIER, joins our Chinook salmon team which includes MSc student Pauline Capelle and post-doc Dr. Natalie Sopinka, and we are working closely with Dr. Trevor Pitcher of GLIER/Biology given his facilities and expertise. Theresa completed her honours B.Sc at McMaster University where she worked on a number of field- and lab-based fish projects with behavioural ecologist Dr. Sigal Balshine.


Colin Finerty

Colin Finerty

MSc Student
2017 - Present

Colin is working closely with fellow Love Lab MSc student Theresa Warriner to examine the interactive effects of climate change and pre-natal maternal stress on the phenotype, behaviour and fitness of young Chinook salmon. Specifically, Colin is examining the genomic responses of young Chinook at different developmental stages to both pre-natal stress and elevated water temperatures. The key question is whether early information about future environmental stress (via exposure to elevated egg stress hormones) better prepares offspring for that stressful future world. Colin is co-supervised by Dr. Daniel Heath at GLIER and will be working closely with Reproductive Ecologist Dr. Trevor Pitcher and Predictive Ecologist Dr. Christina Semeniuk. Welcome to team Chinook Colin!


Kyle Parkinson

Kyle Parkinson

MSc Student
2017 - Present

Kyle is examining the carry-over effects of foraging decisions and arrival state in Common eiders breeding at our East bay colony in Nunavut. Working closely with post-doc Dr. Holly Hennin, Kyle is helping to deploy fine-scale GPS units on eider hens prior to breeding and combining this information with stable isotope data from blood samples to understand how and why individual foraging decisions during the pre-breeding stage vary in response to local ice conditions. Ultimately Kyle’s goal is to determine how climate change carries-over to impact breeding decisions and fitness in this Arctic diving duck. Kyle comes to the Love lab from a diverse background in leading multiple avian conservation projects and a BSc from the University of New Brunswick. Welcome to team East bay Kyle!


Keta Patel

Keta Patel

MSc Student
2017 - Present

Keta completed her undergraduate honours thesis under the direction of Drs. Daniel Heath and Oliver Love by developing and using microsatelite primers to examine the relationship between male quality and extra-pair paternity in Snow buntings. For her MSc, Keta will be continuing her genetic work in Dr. Heath’s lab and will be co-supervised by Dr. Love. Keta’s thesis will focus on examining genetic variation across Snow bunting populations worldwide, as well as using a transcitptomics approach to examine global gene expression in response to increases in ambient temperature during heavy workload life history stages such as chick-rearing. Great to have you on our team Keta!


Sweetha Samuel

Sweetha Samuel

MSc Student
2016 - Present

Sweetha began working with the Love Lab during her undergraduate honours thesis in the Drouillard lab at GLIER examining stress responses to predators olfactory cues in the invasive Round goby. With co-supervision from the Love lab Sweetha is now conducting her MSc at GLIER in the Drouillard lab examining the impacts of genotypic sex (i.e., male vs. female) is driving contaminant dynamics. While traditional models suggest that females should have lower contaminant loads because they can depurate some of their toxins to eggs or offspring during reproduction, Dr. Drouillard and Sweetha are testing whether differences between reproductive hormones have a direct effect. We’re excited to be working on this project with Sweetha and the Drouillard team!


Justine Drolet

Justine Drolet

MSc Student
2017 - Present

Justine is based at the Université du Québec à Rimouski with her senior supervisor Dr. François Vézina and is examining the thermal tolerance capacity of snow buntings. Justine is interesting in assessing whether the ability to maintain internal thermal homeostasis in the face of external increases in ambient temperature can affect performance within the context of climate change. To answer this compelling question, Justine is using both wild and captive data to examine whether individuals differ in their capacity to maintain their body temperature during the energetically demanding stage of raising offspring when faced with summer temperatures that continue to climb. Welcome to the team Justine!


Sydney Currier

Sydney Currier

Undergraduate
2016 - Present

Sydney has been a Research Assistant in the Love lab since the Fall of 2016 and has been working on our maternal stress projects in Chinook salmon. Sydney began working with post-doctoral fellow Dr. Natalie Sopinka on the effects of the rearing environment on offspring quality. More recently she has been working with MSc students Pauline Capelle and Theresa Warriner, and in the Fall of 2017 Sydney will begin her own honours thesis project co-supervised by Predictive Ecologist Dr. Christina Semeniuk examining the sex-specific, early-life interaction between maternal and environmental stress on offspring phenotype and performance in Chinook. Welcome to the lab Sydney!


Jason Chappus

Jason Chappus

Undergraduate
2017 - Present

Jason is working on his Biology Undergraduate Honours Thesis examining potential drivers of population declines in Arctic-breeding Snow buntings. While buntings breed in the far North, they traditionally spend much of their winter in Southern Canada and the Northern United States in open prairie and meadow habitats. However, over the past 100 years these types of habitats have changed tremendously due to human impacts of intensive agriculture. Using 75 years of Christmas Bird Count (CBC) data, Jason will be examining the links between climate and agricultural changes, and Snow bunting wintering numbers across North America. Jason will be working closely with Snow bunting and Bird Studies Canada Mitacs post-doc Dr. Emily McKinnon. Welcome to our team Jason!


Amera Khalaff

Amera Khalaff

Undergraduate
2017 - Present

The field of maternal stress research is fairly well split between proximate- (mechanistic) based studies in medicine, and more ultimate- (evolutionary) based studies in ecology. Although evolutionary ecologists have recently generated an evolutionary framework for examining the adaptive potential of maternal stress, it is unclear whether medical researchers have adopted or begun testing this paradigm, or even how readily evolutionary ecologists are adopting the framework. Amera will be reviewing the medical and evolutionary literature to determine just that: are each of these groups beginning to examine the effects of maternal stress on offspring within an evolutionary (adaptive) framework, and if so, to what degree? Results will help to establish whether each research field is moving forward, as well as where the transfer of theory still has room to improve. Welcome to the team Amera!