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. 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 continued her work with our lab under the co-supervision of Dr. Steven Cooke at Carleton University where she is now a full-time PDF under his supervision. Christine continues to work with the Love Lab primarily by 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.


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

Understanding how and why organisms respond morphologically, behaviourally and physiologically to environmental variation allows us to uncover the mechanisms by which we expect them to respond to climate change. Audrey is examining the metabolic adaptations and cold acclimation mechanisms that allow free-living and captive Snow buntings to survive and thrive across a highly variable annual cycle. She is conducting her field work at Alert, Nunavut and her lab-based work on a captive population of buntings held at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) where she works with her primary supervisor Dr. François Vézina. Audrey’s work is set to shed light on multiple novel mechanisms by which these iconic birds respond to dramatic variability in their working environments. Welcome to team bunting Audrey!


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.


Sydney Currier

Sydney Currier

MSc Student
2018 - Present

Sydney began as a Research Assistant in the Love lab in 2016 and completed her honours project on sexing Chinook salmon. For her MSc, Sydney will be examining the sex-specific, early-life interaction between maternal and environmental stress on offspring phenotype and performance in Chinook with previous MSc student Pauline Capelle. Sydney will be working closely with the Predictive Ecology lab of Dr. Christina Semeniuk and the Conservation Genetics lab of Dr. Daniel Heath. Very happy to keep you on our team Sydney!


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!


Reyd Smith

Reyd Smith

MSc Student
2018 - Present

The Arctic is changing rapidly and organisms face multiple direct and indirect effects of warming temperatures. Reyd is looking at these direct and indirect effects of climate change on common eiders nesting on East bay island. Specifically, she is examining the interactive effects of direct exposure to elevated ambient temperature and circulating contaminants on incubation behaviour, a life history stage when females must fast and remain immobile for up to 25 days in order to hatch ducklings. Reyd predicts that birds exposed to endocrine-disrupting compounds such as mercury, that are then forced to incubate in high ambient temperatures, will show disruptions to their incubation schedule which will have downstream consequences for duckling fitness. Welcome to team East bay Reyd!


Alyssa Eby

Alyssa Eby

MSc Student
2018 - Present

For organisms to succeed in rapidly-changing environments they must have the adaptive capacity to keep up with the pace of change. To examine whether Arctic seabirds have this degree of capacity to respond to climate change, Alyssa is examining whether thick-billed murres have the flexibility in foraging effort and spatial habitat use necessary to keep pace with the effects of climate change. By combining these foraging measurements with data on energetic physiology and resource quality (via stable isotopes), Alyssa can then determine whether these flexible decisions are adaptive at the individual level which will inform us whether populations will persist. Alyssa’s highly integrative project is a strong collaborative effort between Dr. Grant Gilchrist of the National Wildlife Research Centre at Environment and Climate change Canada and Dr. Kyle Elliott’s lab at McGill University. Welcome to our Arctic team Alyssa!


Erica Geldart

Erica Geldart

MSc Student
2018 - Present

The ability of organisms to respond behaviourally is often their first-line response to rapid changes in their world. Erica is combining behavioural and physiological mechanisms to determine whether common eiders have the adaptive capacity to respond to the direct and indirect effects of climate change. Specifically, Erica is examining behavioural responses during incubation fasting to increases in polar bear predation on nests (indirect effects) and elevations in ambient temperature (direct effects). She will combine this data with estimations of energy use through a proxy of changes in basal metabolic rate. Erica is supervised by Dr. Christina Semeniuk at GLIER and works closely with Dr. Grant Gilchrist of Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Love Lab on her highly integrative project. Looking forward to working together at East bay Erica!