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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
August 27, 2014
 
 
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Students in the lab/herbarium



What do we do as research? Since evolution affects all the levels of life organisation, from ecology to genes, any kind of data is potentially interesting to us. Our main strength in the lab is different types of microscopy (e.g., optic, confocal and electron microscopy) but talents in plant physiology, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology or bioinformatics would not be wasted in my lab. Currently, we study parasitic plants, and we address many topics that range from biodiversity and biogeography on the entire planet, to specific questions that deal with the evolution, biology and ecology of these fascinating plants.

We are also begining a new long-term project: Seeds of weeds and invasive plants in North America, using scanning electron microscopy, if you are interested to contribute.

Current students:

Behrang Behdarvandi (MSc, 2012-2014). Can a parasitic plant with no functional root form mycorrhiza? Apparently so -- this is what Behrang studies, exploring how this happens and which are the implications for the life-strategies and evolution of different Cuscuta species, native or invasive.

Courtney Clayson (MSc student 2012-2014; Honors thesis 2011-2012): As an undergraduate student she studied the timing and development sequence of meristematic primordia in Cuscuta gronovii flower (her contribution got published here).  Courtney shared with Kurtis the best poster award at Ontario Biology Day in Sudbury 2012. As a graduate student she begins to study now the diversity, evolution and function of some unknown, horn-like formations present in the flower of certain species of Cuscuta.

Haley Wilcox (undergrad student 2012-2013): helps to the construction of Phytoimages; scanning electron microscopy of seeds of weeds and invasive plants.

Natalia Rey-Caughlin (undergrad student 2012-2013): morphology/evolution of putative hydathodes in Cuscuta; scanning electron microscopy of seeds of weeds and invasive plants.

Anna Ho (undergrad student 2012-2013): mycorrhiza protocols; scanning electron microscopy of seeds of weeds and invasive plants.

Sandra May (undergrad student 2013): scanning electron microscopy of seeds of weeds and invasive plants.

Felicia Amanda (undergrad student 2013): scanning electron microscopy of seeds of weeds and invasive plants.

Kylie Jobe (undergrad student 2012--     ): helped to the construction of Phytoimages; scanning electron microscopy of seeds of weeds and invasive plants.

Mizghan Zafary (undergrad student 2012-- ): helped to the construction of Phytoimages; scanning electron microscopy of seeds of weeds and invasive plants.

Great news for the lab in 2012 (see more here)

Past students

Stephanie Riviere (MSc, 2010-2012); she studies the diversity, evolution and function of some strange and unique structures encountered in the flowers of Cuscuta called infrastaminal scales. She won the best presentation at the annual graduate colloquium in Integrative Biology at WLU (2012) and she received the Iain and Sylvia Taylor Award for the best poster at Botany 2012 held in Columbus Ohio. Paper published together.

Kristy Dockstader (undergrad student; NSERC USRA 2011-2012):  morphology, micromorphology and anatomy; diversity and evolution of Mexican dodders; she has also helping with the Digital Atlas of Cuscuta. Her research has been recently featured here. Paper published together.

Kurtis Baute (undergrad student 2011-2012). Biodiversity of Cuscuta pentagona-C. campestris. Kurtis received the best poster award at Ontario Biology Day held in Sudbury, Ontario (2012), as well as a special award by the Canadian Botanical Society during the same event. 

Michael Wright (undergrad student: 2007-2008; MSc, 2008-2010); he studied reproductive ecology and biology in Cuscuta (Wright et al. 2011; Wright et al. 2012)As an undergrad student he worked on the systematics of Cuscuta salina group of species (see Costea et al. 2009). He continues to study Cuscuta with a PhD at University of Toronto with my collaborator Sasa Stefanovic.

Stefanie Meyer (undergrad student 2011): species diversity in Cuscuta tinctoria clade.

Ian Spence (undergrad; 2010-2011). Ian built a GIS database for Cuscuta campestris, the most common and invasive species of dodder in the world, and studied the systematics of C. chinensis complex. Paper published together.

Andrew McLean (undergrad 2010-2011). Andrew has been working on different projects in the lab and in the field.

Atlee Lee (high school student, summers of 2009 and 2010). Atlee studied the female reproductive investment in Cuscuta and helped us in the field. He is now a student at the U. of Guelph.

Nicole Atcheson (undergrad; 2010).

Aldaine Hunt (undergrad student, 2009-2010).

Ezzat Khalili (undergrad student, 2009-2010).

Caitlin Shea (undergrad student, 2009-2010)

Mark Welsh (MSc student, 2007-2009); evolution of pollen and gynoecium structures in Cuscuta (Welsh et al. 2010). We also published a new species from Mexico together.

Lindsay McGoran (undergrad student, 2009-2010).

Becka Borody (undergrad student, 2008-2009).

Michael Ianni (undergrad student, 2008-2009).

Kayla Giroux (undergrad student, 2007-2008).

Adrian Hogendoorn (undergrad student; winter 2008).

Fiona Aiston (undergrad student 2006-2007): we published a paper about the phylogeny and systematics of a group of species from Mexico and South America.

Laurie Sloan (undergrad student 2006-2007).