Lab news

January, 2020

  • Zach’s paper on the phylogeography of range-edge Oreohelix spp. was published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. This completes the 3-paper story from Zach’s M.Sc. work, nicely spanning inquiry in the disciplines of Conservation Biology, Phylogeography, and Parasitology. What started from Zach’s keen field observations involving larval liver fluke in land snails in Cypress Hills, expanded into projects regarding the conservation status and historical biogeography of this group of poorly-known landsnails. Well done Zach!
  • The last chapter from Brad van Paridon’s Ph.D. thesis was accepted in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Splendid news, Brad!

November, 2019

  • Congratulations to Micky for successfully defending his M.Sc.: ‘Effects of host community structure on parasite transmission and disease risk.’ Thanks to Joe Rasmussen and Shaun Dergousef for their insights at defense and throughout this project. The week following the defense, Micky started an exciting Ph.D. in Jocelyn Poissant’s lab at U of Calgary.

June, 2019

  • TAM alert! We have been searching for the infective stages of myxozoans of fathead minnows for many years. It is ‘needle-in-haystack’ work because the ‘trianomyxon’ (=TAM) stage is small, free-swimming, almost transparent, and short-lived. Turns out, we should not have been looking so far afield. Molly found TAM-releasing Tubifex worms in samples collected from the ornamental pond only a few metres from the front door of the lab!

May, 2019

  • Congratulations to Sarah Hirtle for being awarded a U of L tuition scholarship and an NSERC PGS-M award for her work on multiparasitism in fish.
  • Sarah Hirtle started her M.Sc. in the lab. Sarah comes to the lab from UNB in Fredricton. Nice to have some east-coast influence in the lab! Sarah is working with the minnow/trematode system, looking at the causes and consequences of multiparasitism in fatheads.
  • Molly Tilley started her M.Sc. in the lab. Molly is a U of L grad. She worked in our lab during summer, 2018. Her summer work on the minnow/trematode system led to the discovery of the ‘new’ myxozoan in fatheads that we had not seen before. That observation ignited her M.Sc. project.
  • Congratulations and good luck to Sarah Unrau (M.Sc. 2019) for her appointment as Laboratory Technician, Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences, Campbell River, BC.
  • Cam was awarded the 2019 Wardle Medal from the Parasite, Immunology and Environment section of the Canadian Society for Zoologists.  As the 2019 Wardle Medalist, he gave an address to the CSZ membership at the annual meeting in Windsor, ON.  It was a big thrill to have past M.Sc. students Becky Baldwin (Senior Fisheries Biologist, Fort McMurray Region) and Sho Shirakashi (Associate Professor, Aquaculture Research Institute, Kindai University) join the celebrations.

April, 2019

  • Congratulations to Sarah Unrau for successfully defending her M.Sc. thesis. Thanks to Dr.’s Rob Laird and David Logue for their help throughout all phases of Sarah’s work.

November, 2018

  • Congratulations to Zach in his new position as faculty member in the Biology Department, Red Deer College, AB.
  • Congratulations to Micky for receiving an Alberta Graduate Citizenship Award. This award recognizes his tireless efforts leading and coordinating our outreach activities at various events in Southern Alberta. Our ‘Parasite Road Show’ now includes an impressive display of parasites and also fun parasite games for families with young kids.

May, 2018

  • Congratulations to Zach Dempsey for defending his M.Sc. thesis - 'Phylogeography and parasitism of Oreohelid land snails in southern Alberta'. Co-supervisor Theresa Burg and I thank Kathleen Weaver for her insights as External Examiner and to Dr's Hester Jiskoot and Rob Laird for their enthusiastic and willing support with this project over the past two years.

March, 2018

  • Micky was awarded top prize at our annual University of Lethbridge 3-Minute Thesis competition.  Micky will represent the University of Lethbridge at the Western finals at the University of Regina in April. Congratulations Micky and good luck in Regina.
  • Congratulations to Micky on his success with Alberta Conservation Association Grants in Biodiversity Award. This award will help provide salary support for a summer research assistant to help with his upcoming field and lab studies.
  • Micky was awarded the ‘Oldman River Chapter Research in Conservation Scholarship.  Micky will be presenting his work on March 1st at their Annual General Meeting.

January, 2018

  • Congratulations to Sarah for placing first in the poster presentation at Annual Biology Graduate Research Symposium here on campus.  The title of her poster was: ‘Flower choice and aggregation in zombie ants infected with larval Dicrocoelium dendriticum.’
  • Congratulations to Micky for placing second in the oral presentations at the Annual Graduate Research Symposium on campus.  The title of his talk was: ‘Long-term changes in trematode parasitism of minnow populations in southern Alberta.’

April, 2017

  • A great day for the lab at the annual Luke Stebbins Undergraduate Symposium. This symposium provides students in the Dept. of Biological Sciences an opportunity to present the results of their Independent or Honour’s research projects. Top prize for ‘Best Student Presentation’ went to Scott Kennedy for his talk ‘Age structure and horn configuration of harvested Dall’s sheep from the MacKenzie Mountains, N.W.T.’. The runner-up prize went to Jonathon Reid for his talk ‘Multi-parasitism in a fathead minnow, trematode, and myxozoan system: interspecific competition or facilitation’? 

March, 2017

  • Brad van Paridon defended his Ph. D. thesis. Thanks to Dr. Patrick Hanington (U of Alberta) for being External Examiner. Well done Brad!
  • Congratulations to Micky Ahn, a new M.Sc. in the lab for being award a Tuition Scholarship from University of Lethbridge School of Graduate Studies and an NSERC CREATE HPI Entrance Scholarship. Well done Micky!

January, 2017

  • Goater’s return from sabbatical on Saltspring Island. We left Saltspring in the snow and arrived in Lethbridge to even more snow…

August, 2016

  • Goaters leave for sabbatical adventures on Saltspring Island, B.C.

April, 2016

  • Congratulations to Natalia Philips for successfully defending her M.Sc.

November, 2015 

  • Melissa Beck successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis. Thanks to Dr. Susan Kutz (U Calgary) for visiting the lab as External Examiner.

March, 2015 

  • Congratulations to Brad van Paridon, winner of a grant from the National Center of Veterinary Parasitology for his project ' Population genetics of emerging liver fluke in North America'.
  • Zach Dempsey was awarded funds from the Alberta Conservation Association Grant in Biodiversity to support his work on endangered land snails and their parasites.

May, 2015

  • Melissa Beck was appointed as Head, Infectious Disease Control, Lethbridge and District Health Authority
  • Sam Woodman is the 2015 U of L Gold Medal Winner. This is our University’s top annual award for achievement at the undergraduate level. Awesome job Sam!
  • Stefanie Reimer won the Cas Lindsey Best Student Paper Award at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Zoologists at U of Calgary
  • Brad van Paridon won the Murray Fallis Best Student Paper Award at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Zoologists at U of Calgary
  • Melissa Beck competed in the annual Cameron Award for top Ph.D. thesis at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Zoologists at U of Calgary

April, 2015 

  • Stephanie Reimer successfully defended her M. Sc. Thesis. Thanks to Dr. David Lesbarreres (Laurentian U) for visiting the lab as External Examine