Michael Wright, BMus (WLUí06), BSc (WLUí08)
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext.2887
My research interests are directed at exploring biodiversity and the things that cause it. I am fascinated by the ecological, chromosomal and genetic phenomena that mediate speciation processes. Plant systematics, reproductive ecology and biogeography lay the foundations for the kinds of research questions I would like to explore. I am especially fond of parasitic plants (Cuscuta, Cassytha), heaths (Ericaceae), willows (Salix spp.) and alpine flora.
For my MSc thesis, I am studying the ecology and evolution of reproduction in Cuscuta. I will be comparing male investment (pollen production) with morphological characters to see if we can find common themes of morphological diversification correlated with changes in the breeding system. I will also be examining nectary anatomy in some representative species from Ontario and Mexico. I am interested in extending this research by using population-genetic analyses to demonstrate outcrossing frequency and quantify population-level diversity.
Outside of the world of biology, Iím a classically trained harpsichordist and composer with a passion for the French Baroque, modern art music, and both classical and folk traditions from around the world. Iíve performed locally with the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Orchestra, WLU Baroque Ensemble, WLU Improvisation Concert Ensemble and Nota Bene Period Orchestra, and am currently singing tenor in the Renaissance Singers of Waterloo. I have also had compositions read by the Penderecki String Quartet and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. My compositions are often inspired by physical and biological processes as well as literature and poetry from around the world. In what spare time I have left, I enjoy hiking and alpine skiing.