Spall, Jennifer

From MolEvol

Jenn Spall

Graduate Student, University of Guelph

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Sampling Toronto's Humber River
Skydiving in rural Ontario
Attending the lobster broil at MBL
Backpacking somewhere in Central Europe

Exploring the use of next-generation sequencing as a tool for biomonitoring of fresh water river systems

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About My Work

I completed a bachelors degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Guelph in 2009. I joined the Hajibabaei Lab in August 2010 as a tech and then became a masters student in January 2011.

I am using several loci at various taxonomic levels to gain insights to the phylogenetic diversity of environmental populations. I will use the obtained data to develop a framework for using DNA sequence information for biomonitoring and environmental assessment. I am using benthic macroinvertebrates as a model and am building a data set of several genes using direct sequencing with 454-Roche. These organisms are frequently used in biomonitoring through traditional morphological methods, so there is an abundance of data available regarding their biodiversity. I will use this information to compare the biodiversity measures I obtain through my DNA-based analysis with prior knowledge.

About Me

When not working in the lab or doing data analysis at my desk, I'm generally somewhere outside. I snowboard through the winter and take full advantage of the short Ontario summer by playing women's softball and co-ed flagfootball. I'm also a stereotypical Canadian and as such enjoy watching both hockey and football. More than anything though, I love to travel and try new things. I don't get to do either nearly often enough but I fully believe in the philosophy of work hard play hard.