Dr. Ainsley Lewis
Dr. Ainsley Lewis is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor RJ Neil Emery at Trent University where he studies the metabolomics of plant and bacteria using high-resolution mass spectrometry. The project is a collaboration between the Emery laboratory and NutriAg Inc. The project’s goal is to produce a biofertilizer for augmenting plant growth. Dr. Lewis received his PhD from Trent University in June 2021, with the President’s Medal for the PhD, where he studied under Professor Céline Guéguen (now at the Université de Sherbrooke). He used high resolution mass spectrometry to characterize the microalga/euglenoid Euglena gracilis and applied this microalga as a bioremediation tool to remove a critical rare earth element from water. Hailing from the country of Jamaica, Dr. Lewis is also an advocate for more representation of minority groups in STEM. Keep in touch with Dr. Lewis on Twitter @chemicalfugue.
Dr. Purva Karia
Dr. Purva Karia is a postdoctoral scientist working with Dr. Sue Rhee and Dr. David Ehrhardt at Carnegie Institution in Stanford, California. She is working on the Sorghum Metabolic Atlas project to unravel the localization and functions of sorghum metabolic enzymes. She received her PhD under Dr. Keiko Yoshioka at the University of Toronto in 2021. Her PhD research focused on the importance of Triphosphate Tunnel Metalloenzyme 1 (TTM1) localization to the mitochondrial outer membrane for its function in regulating senescence. She discovered that multiple phosphorylation events of TTM1 regulate its function in senescence and protein turnover. Outside of the lab, she enjoys camping, hiking, baking, and visits to the dog park with her furbaby. Keep in touch with Dr. Karia on Twitter @prkaria.
Dr. Lauren Erland
Dr. Lauren Erland is a Postdoctoral Research & Teaching Fellow in Dr. Susan Murch’s PlantSMART Lab at UBC Okanagan. Dr. Erland completed her PhD in 2019 in Dr. Praveen Saxena’s lab at the University of Guelph, where she focused on understanding the roles of the mammalian neurotransmitters melatonin and serotonin in plants. Her research uses interdisciplinary approaches such as plant tissue culture, metabolomics, analytical chemistry, ecological niche modelling, and quantum dot microscopy to study the role of plant growth regulators in plant perception and response to changes in their environment. She is particularly interested in how plant signaling can be applied to understand and predict climate change resiliency of native Canadian plant species in the Okanagan Valley and Canada’s Arctic (Inuit Nunangat). Dr. Erland is the Acting Communications Director and Website Administrator with the CSPB. When she is not in the lab she enjoys hanging out with her dog Piper and being outside usually moving very slowly as she finds new plants along the way! Keep in touch with Dr. Erland on Twitter and Instagram @plantdrlauren and at www.laurenerland.com.
Dr. Mohamed Samir Youssef
Dr. Catherine Cullingham
Dr. Catherine Cullingham is an Assistant Professor specializing in plant population genetics in the Department of Biology at Carleton University. Her research uses landscape genetics and population genomics to fill knowledge gaps and develop tools that can be applied to issues in forestry and wildlife management. She completed her PhD at Trent University under the supervision of Dr. Bradley White where she was the first to use landscape genetics to understand the spread of raccoon rabies. From there she completed her postdoctoral work at the University of Alberta working with Drs. Dave Coltman and Janice Cooke examining pine genetics to understand mountain pine beetle spread risk. During her tenure there she confirmed host-expansion of the beetle to jack pine, redefined the spatial complexity of the lodgepole x jack pine hybrid zone, and identified genetic markers potentially associated with mountain pine beetle resilience. Her research lab, the Genomics of Plants, Pests, and Pathogens (GP3) is continuing work on the mountain pine beetle system, and will also be branching out to explore other forest-pathogen systems. She is particularly interested in the relationship between environmental adaptations and pest resilience in forest trees. Dr. Cullingham is a member of the editorial board for the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, and sits on the Terrestrial Mammals Specialist Subcommittee for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
Dr. Mehran Dastmalchi
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