NURON Lab Members
Without our many bright, hardworking students, the lab wouldn’t be very productive. Our facility remains a learning environment, while still producing quality research results. Meet some of our current students below.
Undergraduate Thesis Students
Taylor started in the lab a few years ago when she took the Behavioural Neuroscience (PSYC 2605) lab. She was very enthusiastic and always the first to volunteer class. She quickly started helping out in the lab and was hired by Matti to help with the planaria research. Her work focussed on finding a reliable staining and imaging techniques for planarian neural tissue that could be used in behavioural studies. Taylor is working on her thesis this summer with Andrew. She will be starting the long process of confocal imaging the tissue from our most recent project.
Taylor is also a member of the Psych Society, the North Bay Regional Science Fair Committee and typically has 5 or 6 other jobs on the go. She also presented a poster last year at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference in Chicago.
Research: Planarian and mammal staining and imaging.
Hannah started out in the lab via the Behavioural Neuro lab like many of the students and quickly started getting involved by volunteering time to help out. Last year she was hired as the lab/research assistant and did so much to help out. She is an avid lover of animals, rats especially, so her primary job was their care but she was also an integral part of the big rat THC study we did. Hannah did a lot of research and developed the social interaction task that was performed.
Hannah has insanely good marks and also works in the greenhouse doing research projects. She is one of the many ladies in the lab with fantastic hair!
Research: Animal behaviour & THC, tissue prep and imaging.
Lauren started out in the lab early this past year after Matti recruited her. She Has been working tirelessly on behavioural studies with the planaria. Matti recently acquired some ‘worm tracking’ software that Lauren is using to analyze data from hours of video she has taken. She will be presenting her work at the Society for Neuroscience conference in fall 2017 in Washington, DC.
This year Lauren will be doing her thesis under Matti’s supervision.
Research: Planaria, animal behaviour & THC.
Tristan started in the lab a couple of years ago and I have no idea how he found us because he hadn’t even taken Behavioural Neuro yet. He ended up taking it last year while also taking the 4th year Advanced Neuroanatomy at the same time because he had already learned so much in the lab. This is probably because he never stops asking questions (to which I rarely know the answer) and stealing books out of the lab. Tristan has been a huge with many projects and is now in charge of the collaboration study we are doing with researchers at Wilfrid Laurier involving lots of TEM tissue staining and analysis. He is our new student rep on the ACC.
Research: Thinking of questions we can’t answer, animal behaviour, TEM.
Sui-Lin got involved in the lab just this past year in the Behavioural Neuroscience lab. She came several times a week to just check in on the rats and they very much appreciated her attentiveness. She will be doing a thesis with Andrew this fall, probably doing tissue prep and imaging on the confocal from our last big study since during class she became quickly proficient at sectioning brain slices on the cryotome. We are looking forward to having Sui-Lin in the lab more often!
Research: Tissue prep & imaging, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy.
Research: Confocal microscopy & stereology, array tomogtaphy, animal behaviour & THC, and planaria.
Erik is our resident international student (from Belgium) and extreme workhorse! He ended up helping out in the lab two years ago through the Behavioural Neuroscience (PSYC 2605) lab and attending our weekly lab meetings. Eric jumped right into helping out with tissue prep and imaging on the confocal microscope and hasn’t stopped. He is currently in charge of finishing off the imaging for one project, doing his thesis trying out array tomography, imaging planaria, and working in the chemistry lab! We fuel his high level of productivity with a constant supply of candy so you will find him in the confocal room almost everyday with a handful of jelly beans!
Hailey started in the lab last year when she took the Behavioural Neuroscience course and quickly joined lab meetings and started volunteering and getting involved in projects. She took over the TEM imaging project which is a collaboration with researchers at Wilfrid Laurier. This year she is going to be heading up the THC project designed by Jordan as her thesis. Her cheerfulness is a never-ending source of entertainment in the lab so this should be a good year.
Hailey is the president of the Biology Society at Nip and also has the brightest smile of life. She spends 10 hours a day whitening her teeth and 4 hours tanning to provide contrast.
Research: TEM, animal behaviour & THC.
Brandon started in the lab last year after taking both the Behavioural Neuroscience and Advanced Neuroanatomy labs. He did a joint thesis with Hailey looking at chronic THC exposure in adolescent male rats and how it interacts with stress. His focus was on the elevated zero maze portion of the study, but helped oversee the project. It was quite a long and intense project and everyone survived! Brandon is especially awesome when it comes to any build projects such as fixing or modifying the various mazes to suit our needs. We now have a proper functioning drain in our water maze and a beautiful observation window for our social interaction test to name just a couple of things!
Brandon is into awesome things like photography and design when he is not being a scientist! He also loves to wear stripes.
Research: Confocal microscopy, animal behaviour and THC.
Research: Confocal microscopy & stereology, animal behaviour and THC.
Jordan has been a very productive member of our lab for the last few years; training other students, being assistant to the lab tech for two years
(keeping the facility clean and running well), being student representative on the ACC, and being a great source of entertainment! Jordan has also been a huge help with several research projects and has co-presented our posters at the 2014 and 2015 Society for Neuroscience conferences. He completed his thesis last year using the confocal microscope to analyse brain tissue for one of our THC projects and has designed the project we will be doing next. Hopefully he will find some time to help out with the project in between his classes and duties as Student Union President!
Sydney also started out in the lab through the Behavioural Neuro lab and attending regular lab meetings (there is a common theme here). She has been helping out with a variety of ongoing projects in the lab including planaria and tissue staining. She probably takes the crown for being the biggest (and best) geek I know.
Sydney is involved in almost everything extracurricular that she can get her hands on as well including, acting, committees, and volunteering (her volunteer CV is massive). Oh and she is also now the Student Union President!
Research: A little of this, a little of that, confocal tissue prep.
Brandon is one of our newest students in the lab. He was in the Behavioural Neuro lab and started helping out in the lab almost immediately. He has already been a huge help in with our big THC project as well as with a lot of the tissue dissection and embedding.
Brandon is currently off tree planting and if the mosquitoes don’t carry him away we are looking forward to the big things he will do in the lab this year coming up!
Research: Behavioural testing, tissue dissection and TEM embedding
Research: Behavioural testing, TBD.
Lauren is also one of our newest students in the lab. She was able to attend lab meetings regularly and help out with behavioural testing during our big THC project. Hopefully she will get even more involved in the lab this year when her schedule is a little less intense!
Students we are trying to keep forever
Research: TEM, stereology, computer genius, rat doula.
AKA “Lab Buddha” for his always zen-like attitude and calming presence in the lab (even the pregnant rats agree!). Over the past few years Nick has been helping out on many projects doing both behavioural research with the rats and learning confocal and transmission electron microscopy techniques and tissue prep. He has presented posters at the 2014 and 2015 Society for Neuroscience conferences. Nick is a computer genius and has developed a program that will analyze and count all of the “synapses” from image stacks obtained with the confocal microscope. This has improved the accuracy of our data as well as saved thousands of hours of precious time. Last year Nick completed his own thesis involving TEM stereology methodology development and is now in the MESc program at Nip working with Steven Arnocky (which we arranged to keep him around).
Christine started out in the lab many year ago now and just can’t stand to leave us! She started out as an undergrad student helping out with many projects and doing her own thesis and then after graduating she became our first Master’s student working under Andrew and a co-advisor at Laurentian University. Her research has mostly involved hormone manipulation with pregnant and virgin rats. Last year she taught Behavioural Neuroscience while Andrew was on sabbatical and is now teaching the consciousness course. She is currently working on her PhD at Laurentian University and helps out around the lab whenever she can.
Research: TEM, maternal behaviour, hormone manipulation, surgical procedures.