Love Lab Alumni


Dr. Pierre Legagneux

Dr. Pierre Legagneux

Post-Doctoral Fellow
2012 - 2017

Pierre just recently landed a prestigious position as a full-time research scientist at the Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé which is part of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) system in France. Pierre began working with our team examining links between physiology, reproductive investment and survival in response to avian cholera in common eiders as part of our recent Cholera NSERC Strategic Projects Grant (SPG). He is currently a member of the Baffinlands MITACS Industrial award and is based at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) with Dr. Joël Bêty. Pierre continues to work closely with Love lab and the East bay team as a whole examining relationships between ecology, physiology and reproduction in our common eiders.


Dr. Emily McKinnon

Dr. Emily McKinnon

Post-Doctoral Fellow
2014- Present

Emily continues to work with the Love Lab 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. During her time in the Love Lab, Emily was  a Bird Studies Canada Mitacs post-doctoral fellow in her capacity as 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 also examined the migratory behaviour of Connecticut warblers. Emily is now a research-teaching faculty member at the University of Manitoba and you can find out more about Emily’s extensive research program on her website.


Dr. Natalie Sopinka

Dr. Natalie Sopinka

Post-Doctoral Fellow
2015 - 2017

Dr. Natalie Sopinka to our team was an Industrial MITACS post-doctoral fellow co-supervised by Dr. Christina Semeniuk, the Love lab and Dr. Daniel Heath at GLIER. Natalie completed her PhD at the University of British Columbia on the impact of maternal stress on salmonid phenotypic variation and fitness. She led a number of research projects in our lab in collaboration with MSc student Pauline Capelle examining the interactive impacts of the maternal and rearing environments on performance and fitness in Chinook salmon with our industrial aquaculture partners at Yellow Island Aquaculture Limited (YIAL) on Quadra island, British Columbia. Natalie has now found full-time employment in the field she has always centred upon – science outreach.


Holly Hennin

Holly Hennin

PhD Candidate
2010 - 2016

Holly is 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’s work has been supported by her NSERC PGS-D  and Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) awards, and she is currently working in close collaboration with post-doctoral fellow Dr. Pierre Legagneux and Dr. Joël Bêty from the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR).


Christine Madliger

Christine Madliger

PhD Candidate
2010 - 2016

Christine examined the effectiveness of baseline stress hormones as a conservation and management tool by determining whether baseline corticosterone in Tree swallows integrate multiple environmental features in highly-changed landscapes. Christine conducted her field-work at Ruthven Park National Historic Site and linked intra- and inter-individual variation in glucocorticoid physiology with life-history traits, spatial habitat characteristics and fitness. Christine was supported by NSERC PGS-D and Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) awards and continues to use her diverse and highly integrative training to investigate emerging issues in Conservation Biology.


Sarah Baldo

Sarah Baldo

MSc Student
2010 to 2012

Sarah explored relationships between male song quality, oxidative stress and reproductive success in male Snow buntings at East bay. Sarah was co-supervised by Dr. Dan Mennill during her MSc and is now completing a Teaching Degree at the University of Windsor.


Christie Macdonald

Christie Macdonald

MSc Student
2010 to 2012

Christie assessed the conservation implications of migratory connectivity in our breeding population of Snow buntings at East bay. Using Geolocation technology combined with stable isotope analysis and banding return data, she determined connectivity and population structure in eastern and western Canadian wintering populations. Christie is now at the National Wildlife Research Centre of Environment Canada working with collaborator Dr. Grant Gilchrist on avian movement.


Sarah Guindre-Parker

Sarah Guindre-Parker

MSc Student
2010 - 2012

Sarah explored links between male plumage quality, physiology and reproductive success in male Snow buntings at East bay. Sarah is now conducting a PhD examining the costs of cooperative breeding in birds with Dr. Dustin Rubenstein at Columbia University in New York.


Chris Harris

Chris Harris

MSc Student
2012 - 2015

Chris began with the lab in the spring of 2010 on our Tree swallow system and has been our lab and field manager since then. For his MSc Chris is testing the validity of feather corticosterone as a relevant biomarker of environmental stress in tree swallows. In between his thesis research, Chris works on everything from winter bunting banding, developing/supervising physiological assays, and the general running of our lab. Chris completed his B.Eng.Mgt at McMaster University.


Peter Marier

Peter Marier

MSc Student
2014 - 2015

Peter began his work in our lab with an undergraduate honours project in 2010 examining Snow bunting phenology. He continued with a number of research assistantships working on categorizing Arctic insect emergence. Peter has returned for his MSc to expand upon his honours work by examining links between climatic variation, insect emergence and breeding phenology in Snow buntings.


Pauline Capelle

Pauline Capelle

MSc Student
2014 - 2016

Pauline examined how and why variation in maternal stress induces an optimal match between offspring phenotypes (physiology, behaviour, morphology) and future environments in Chinook salmon. Pauline worked at the Yellow Island Aquaculture Ltd (YIAL) research facility on Quadra island, BC in collaboration with  PDF Natalie Sopinka. Pauline completed her honours B.Sc at McMaster University where she undertook a number of integrative projects with behavioural ecologist Dr. Sigal Balshine. Pauline was supported by an NSERC CGS-M award and was co-supervised by Dr. Christina Semeniuk at GLIER, University of Windsor.


Graham Sorenson

Graham Sorenson

MSc Student
2014 - 2016

Graham is examining the physiological mechanisms underlying variation in foraging effort and spatial habitat use in thick-billed murres breeding at multiple colonies in the Canadian and Norwegian Arctic. His integrative project is a strong collaborative effort with Dr. Grant Gilchrist of the National Wildlife Research Centre at Environment Canada and Dr. Sebastien Descamps of the Norwegian Polar Institute. Graham is a seasoned field biologist with many years and systems’ experience in avian field work and is coming most recently from his B.Sc at Kenyon College, Ohio, and he is currently supported by an NSERC ERASMUS award at the University of Windsor in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Heath.


Marie-Pier Laplante

Marie-Pier Laplante

MSc Student
2014 - Present

Marie-Pier examined the environmental variables which drive sex-specific migratory and wintering strategies in Snow buntings. For her thesis she combined 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 was supported by an NSERC PGS-M award at the Université du Québec à Rimouski where she continues to work with her primary supervisor Dr. François Vézina. Marie-Pier continues to also work closely with Snow bunting and Bird Studies Canada Mitacs post-doc Dr. Emily McKinnon.


Mitch Dender

Mitch Dender

MSc Student
2014 - 2017

Mitch is examining the behavioural and physiological mechanisms underlying optimal growth in Chinook salmon at the Yellow Island Aquaculture Ltd (YIAL) organic salmon research facility on Quadra island, BC. The overall goal of Mitch’s project is to determine the individual and stock-level mechanisms that optimize the balance between aquaculture production and ecosystem integrity in this species. Mitch is part of a recent NSERC SPG project and is based in Dr. Christina Semeniuk‘s lab at GLIER, University of Windsor, by whom he is co-supervised.


Felicia Vincelli

Felicia Vincelli

MSc Student
2014 - 2016

Felicia is measuring baseline Cortisol in invasive Round gobies in our lab as part of her wider study examining genetic and physiological mechanisms underlying this species’ invasion capacity within the Great Lakes watershed. Felicia is based at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER) with her primary supervisor Dr. Daniel Heath and is supported by funding from the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network (CAISN).


Sean Power

Sean Power

MSc Student
2015 - Present

Sean recently completed his MSc examining the underlying physiological mechanisms driving energetic gain in two Arctic species: snow buntings and common eiders. Specifically, Sean examined linkages between life-history stage related elevations in baseline corticosterone, testosterone and IgF-1  and their links to changes in both fattening rates and anabolic muscle gain. Sean worked with  a captive population of buntings held at the Université du Québec à Rimouski by his co-supervisor Dr. François Vézina.


Celine Lajoie

Celine Lajoie

MSc Student
2015 - Present

Celine is working in Dr. Trevor Pitcher‘s lab on linkages between growth and flesh quality in farmed organic Chinook salmon as part of the larger NSERC Strategic Projects Grant (SPG) led by Dr. Daniel Heath. Co-supervised by the Love lab, Celine will be examining lipid dynamics in our lab from samples collected at two important life-history stages across the 8 Chinook stocks produced in the SPG. Celine comes to the project from previous work in Dr. Jan Ciborowski‘s lab in the Biology Department. Welcome Celine!


Rachel Hasson

Rachel Hasson

Undergraduate
2012 - 2013

Rachel investigated variation in spring arrival dates of nine passerine species through the study of a 15-year banding dataset from southern Ontario.


Kenneth Sarpong

Kenneth Sarpong

Undergraduate
2013

Kenneth examined the links between glucocorticoids, reproduction, and feather quality in Tree swallows.


Angela Demarse

Angela Demarse

Undergraduate
2013

Angela examined the links between insect phenology and breeding traits in Snow buntings breeding at East bay, Nunavut.


Amanda Rilett

Amanda Rilett

Undergraduate
2014 - Present

Amanda began in the Love Lab in September 2014 as a volunteer with MSc student Pauline Capelle working on Chinook salmon egg steroid extractions and assays. Amanda began her honours undergraduate thesis in September 2015 working with Pauline on how the interaction between maternal stress and rearing environment impacts phenotypic development in Chinook salmon. Welcome to the lab Amanda!


Sean Power

Sean Power

Undergraduate
2014

Sean is a co-supervised undergraduate honours student working in Dr. Christina Semeniuk’s lab at GLIER. Sean is examining the hormonal correlates of behavioural phenotypes in Atlantic salmon by linking Cortisol excreted into water from the gills to individual variation in personalities. Sean (foreground) is working in our lab with volunteer Joseph Camaj (background) and Semeniuk Lab Manager Kevyn Gammie-Janisse.