Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities exist in the Wilson lab for undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral investigators.

Post-doctoral Opportunities

Post-doctoral opportunities are available in my lab, although they typically require that you obtain fellowship support (e.g. NSERC PDF).  Please contact me directly to discuss your interests.  Specific post-doctoral opportunities are posted below and commonly advertised through appropriate society job boards when I have a fully funded PDF position that includes stipend support.

M.Sc. and Ph.D. Opportunities

I am looking for students with a strong interest in research science and a solid background in biology or related fields.  Students in my lab have science backgrounds in physiology, zoology, biochemistry/chemistry, molecular biology, or environmental sciences.  Students that have completed undergraduate theses or have prior research experience are particularly encouraged to contact me.  If you are considering graduate school, you are strongly encouraged to apply for OGS, NSERC or other appropriate scholarships.

Potential graduate students are welcome to contact me directly regarding research opportunities.  Please include your resume (CV) and an electronic copy of your transcripts when you email.

Information on graduate applications is available through the Biology Department’s web pages for graduate students.  There is plenty of information available through the website for prospective graduate students.  Students typically start in summer (May) or fall (September) terms.

Undergraduate Opportunities

Undergraduate students are welcome in my lab for summer research projects and senior theses.  Most of these students are from the Department of Biology and thesis students are typically enrolled in Biology 4C12.  Preference is given to students with a strong interest in science research and in a biology or biology (physiology specialization) degree program.  Interested students should contact me with information on your research interests, a resume and an electronic copy of your transcripts.

My lab does have a limited number of undergraduate volunteer positions each year.  These students are typically involved in our fish care program and support our research initiatives.   Please contact us in August, or no later than the second week of September, regarding possible volunteer positions for the academic year.  We typically meet with students in the first week of term.  For summer volunteer positions, please contact us in April.  Volunteers should email a resume and electronic copy of their transcripts when they contact me.

Interested students should contact Dr. Joanna Wilson at:

Recent Posts

Bring on the summer!

With each academic term change, there can be a change in who is doing research in the Wilson Tox Lab.  But summer and fall term mark times of large change, as undergraduates  and graduate students complete their thesis research, write up, and move on to new challenges.  This year it is a bit of an exception as many of the undergraduates that have been working in our lab over the last year are staying to continue their research.  Kirill Pankov, an undergraduate student that works between Dr. Andrew McArthur’s lab and Wilson Tox Lab, had a very successful thesis.  He won the best thesis presentation for the Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization Program (BDC); no mean feat considering he was discussing his research in Cnidarian genomes!  Kirill is continuing to work on that project over the summer with the hopes that we are wrapping up a project spanning multiple Cnidarian genomes and will be able to move into nomenclature of the cytochrome P450 genes in this important animal phylum.  Caitlin West and Devon Jones completed their undergraduate theses in the Biology, Physiology Specialization Program and are remaining in the lab to contribute to our whitefish program (Caitlin) and mouse fetal programming project (Devon).  Devon won best poster presentation for the Biology Department’s senior thesis class.  Caitlin has just won the best video in the iClimate video competition, showcasing excellent science communication skills.  Check out her video on the iClimate Facebook page; a link is provided on our research pages.  These are just three of the seven undergraduates working in the lab this summer.

We do have a few new people that have joined the lab in 2017.  Meghan Fuzzen joined us in January to begin a post doctoral fellowship after completing her PhD at Waterloo.  She was actually out in the field with us in late fall for whitefish spawning, working ahead of her PDF to get experiments going.  Hard core scientist in our midst and we are so glad to have her!  Allison Kennedy is another post doctoral fellow that has joined the group more recently.  Allison has been working at NOSM with our collaborator, Dr. Doug Boreham, and has moved to McMaster to work on our Mouse Fetal Programming project as part of our ongoing collaboration with the Boreham lab.  We also have two new PhD students in our midst this summer.  Andrea Murillo has moved from the University of Regina and Dr. Richard Manzon’s lab to complete her PhD with us.  We have gotten to know Andrea over the last two years of her MSc degree, where she worked on heat shock proteins in developing whitefish.  We were lucky enough to have her in the field with us each fall for the last few years, collecting spawning whitefish to perform IVF and generate embryos for our research program.  Andrea’s research is going to move us into more invertebrate species and allow us to continue our research on cytochrome P450 enzymes in the marine annelid worm, Capitella telata.  James McEvoy will be joining us shortly from Australia, where he is completing a PhD at Flinders University.  He is our first Cotutelle student and will get his degree from both Flinders and McMaster!

And of course, we are starting to look forward to fall and the next major change in the lab.  Three graduate students are wrapping up their research; both Adam and Shayen will be finishing their MSc degrees by fall term and Shamaila is finishing the last bit of her PhD research this summer.  So between research and writing manuscripts, this is shaping up to be one exciting summer in the Wilson Tox Lab.

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