Graduate Student, University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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.
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.