Microbiology & Biotechnology (Biological Sciences)
The academic staff of 15 in the Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology offers a challenging graduate program to students in genetics, physiology and biotechnological exploitation of microbial cells and more complex organisms such as parasites and fungi. Graduate students can contribute to cutting-edge basic and applied research at the molecular and cellular level in areas including genetic engineering of microbial cells; production of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents; plasmid structure and function; resistance to antimicrobial agents; biodegradation of environmental pollutants; cell differentiation; microbial stress responses; pathogen-host interactions and immunobiology; and fermentation biotechnology. The Microbiology and Biotechnology group is supported by close links with other programs in the department: Molecular Biology and Genetics; Physiology and Cell Biology; Ecology and Environmental Biology; and Systematics and Evolution. Joint graduate programs exist with other Departments in the Faculty of Science (e.g. Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) and other Faculties (e.g. Engineering).
- Drosophila Service Unit
- Fermentation Service Unit
- Biosciences GIS Facilities
- Biogeochemical Analytical Laboratory
- Low-Level Mercury Analytical Laboratory
- The University of Alberta Biotron
- Green houses
Alberta Research Facility for Molecular and Structural Biology (ARFMSB)
- Meanook Biological Research Station
- Bamfield Marine Biology Research Station
- Devonian Botanic Garden
- Ellerslie Field Station
List of Faculty
Dr. Neil Adames Ph.D. - Molecular genetics, cell biology and protein biochemistry of cell cycle control of mitosis using budding yeast as a model organism.
Dr. Declan W. Ali - Development of regions of contact (synapses) between cells in the central nervous system.
Dr. Daniel Barreda - Evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of immunity and how they contribute to the prevention of disease in lower vertebrates and mammals.
Dr. Suzanne E. Bayley - Ecosystem ecology
Dr. Erin Bayne - Landscape and spatial ecology with a focus on how human activity influences relationships between boreal forest species at different spatial and temporal scales.
Dr. Mike Belosevic - Immunobiology of host-parasite interactions, molecular mechanisms of host defense against protozoan parasites Leishmania and Giardia
Dr. Stanley A. Boutin - Population ecology of boreal mammals
Dr. Mark S. Boyce - Mathematical and simulation models of ecological systems primarily at the population level for conservation and management.
Dr. James F. Cahill - Ecological consequences of root competition between plants.
Dr. Michael Caldwell - Vertebrate palaeontology, i.e., morphology, phylogeny, evolution, and ecology, etc.
Dr. Shelagh D. Campbell - Regulation of the cell cycle during development, using the model organism Drosophila.
Dr. Chang, John - Comparative molecular endocrinology, with emphasis on post-receptor signal transaction pathways mediating the actions of peptide hormones and neurotransmitters in fishes.
Dr. David Coltman - Population and quantitative genetics and genomics applied to evolutionary biology, conservation and wildlife management.
Dr. Janice Cooke - Molecular physiology and genomics of forest trees.
Dr. Randolph S. Currah - Systematics, ecology and evolution of mutualistic and pathogenic relationships involving fungi and other organisms.
Dr. Philip J. Currie - My work on dinosaurs focuses on problems with growth and variation, the anatomy and relationships of carnivorous dinosaurs, and the origin of birds.
Dr. Mark R.T. Dale - Methods for detecting and analyzing the spatial relationships of plants in populations and communities
Dr. Jonathan J. Dennis - Phage therapy; Bacterial genetics / genomics; Mobile genetic elements; Burkholderia cepacia complex; Antibiotic resistance and organic solvent tolerance; Bacterial multidrug efflux pumps; Bacterial biodegredation and bioremediation.
Dr. Andrew E. Derocher - Ecology, conservation, and management of large Arctic and northern mammals.
Dr. Kevin J. Devito - Biogeochemistry, ecology and hydrology wetlands, stream and lakes with an emphasis on landscape controls.
Dr. Michael Deyholos - Plant Biotechnology and Genomics
Dr. Maya L. Evenden - Chemical ecology of insects and how message-bearing chemicals (semiochemicals) can be exploited in pest management systems.
Dr. Phillip M Fedorak - Environmental microbiology.
Dr. Mario F. Feldman - Protein glycosylation in pathogenic bacteria and the potential application of the relaxed specificity of the enzymes involved in these pathways in applications that promise a new era in glycoengineering.
Dr. Julia M. Foght - Microbial biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons, particularly under adverse environmental conditions in fuel-contaminated Antarctic soils, cold groundwater and subsurface soils
Dr. Laura S. Frost - Signaling mechanisms that initiate plasmid transfer
Dr. Warren J Gallin - Comparative molecular studies of physiologically functional molecules.
Dr. Allen G. Good - Plant molecular biology and stress physiology, regulation of gene expression in plants, genetics of pathogen and insect resistance in plants.
Dr. Greg G. Goss - Comparative physiology and biochemistry of ion transport in aquatic vertebrates.
Dr. Jocelyn C Hall - Phylogenetic analysis and systematics of Capparaceae, Cleomaceae, Brassicaceae, and Brassicales
Dr. Susan J. Hannon - Population and behavioral ecology of northern birds and conservation biology.
Dr. David Hik - Plant-herbivore-climate interactions in northern alpine ecosystems.
Dr. John Hoddinott - Investigating the role of elevated carbon dioxide and ultra-violet B levels on the growth and development of boreal forest conifer species.
Dr. Susan E. Jensen - Genetic and biochemical investigation of the production of antibiotics by the organism Streptomyces clavuligerus.
Dr. Reuben W. Kaufman - Physiology, pharmacology and endocrinology of ixodid ticks.
Dr. Andrew B. Keddie - Pathogen-host interactions from the cellular to organism levels, primarily baculoviruses in lepidopteran hosts, and the role of pathogens in the population biology of phytophagous insects.
Dr. Kirst King-Jones – How transcriptional regulators control fat, sugar and energy metabolism in Drosophila melanogaster.
Dr. Catherine La Farge - Evolution, systematics and diversity of bryophytes.
Dr. Brenda K. Leskiw - Regulation of the onset of antibiotic biosynthesis and morphological differentiation in Streptomyces.
Dr. Mark Lewis - Mathematical biology, with a focus in spatial ecology
Dr. Sally Leys - Evolution of animal body plans.
Dr. John Locke - Gene regulation, structure and function of chromatin and structure function of heterochromatin.
Dr. Bradley G. Magor - As part of a normal immune response, the genes encoding antibodies are targeted by a mutator protein called AID. These mutations normally lead to an improved antibody response to a given pathogen. This mutator protein must be tightly controlled to ensure that only antibody genes are targeted. My lab investigates how this system evolved, and how it is controlled to provide an improved immune response without leading to autoimmune disease or cancer.
Dr. Katherine E. Magor - Genetics of disease resistance in non-mammalian vertebrates.
Dr. Heather E. McDermid - Molecular aspects of human birth defects using model organisms, primarily mice and zebrafish.
Dr. Evelyn Merrill - Large mammals with emphasis on foraging and nutritional ecology of ungulates, plant-herbivore interactions and landscape modifications on wildlife populations.
Dr. Alison M. Murray - Systematics of fossil and Recent teleost fishes, including phylogenetic studies using osteological characters.
Dr. Frank E. Nargang - Two projects investigating mitochondrial biogenesis are currently under way.
Dr. George W. Owttrim - Mechanisms by which photosynthetic organisms sense and respond to environmental change, using cyanobacterial RNA helicases as our model system.
Dr. William J. Page - Physiology of Azotobacter including iron-regulated gene expression and nutritional control of cell activities.
Dr. A. Richard Palmer - Functional morphology, phenotypic plasticity, evolution of development, ecology, systematics and evolution of marine invertebrates.
Dr. Cynthia A. Paszkowski - Ecology and behaviour of birds, freshwater fishes and amphibians, especially foraging behaviour, habitat use, inter- and intra-specific competition, and direct and indirect effects of predation.
Dr. Richard E Peter - Brain regulation of reproduction, growth and food intake in fish.
Dr. David B. Pilgrim - Developmental genetics, using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
Dr. Heather C. Proctor - Ecology, evolution, systematics and behaviour of mites (Arachnida: Acari).
Dr. Tracy L. Raivio - Stress responses of Escherichia coli and their role in pathogenesis.
Dr. Linda J. Reha-Krantz - DNA polymerase function and DNA replication are studied using yeast as a model system for in vivo studies and the bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase as a model for in vitro studies.
Dr. Jens Roland - Population dynamics of insects and ecology of foraging by insect parasitoids.
Dr. Enrico Scarpella - Vascular pattern formation and vascular differentiation in plants using a strategy that combines molecular genetics and genomics with cell biology.
Dr. David W. Schindler - Ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry and experimental ecology
Dr. Andy N. Spencer - Evolution of the nervous system in early metazoans with particular emphasis on hydrozoan jellyfish.
Dr. Felix A.H. Sperling - Insect systematics with interests in molecular evolution, population genetics, biodiversity and conservation.
Dr. Colleen Cassady St. Clair - Behavioural ecology, evolutionary ecology and conservation biology
Dr. Vincent St. Louis - Whole-ecosystem Experimentation, Biogeochemical Cycling, Reservoir Impact Studies, Greenhouse Gases, Methylmercury Bioaccumulation, Limnology, Wetland Ecology, Ecotoxicology, Avian Ecology.
Dr. Norm E. Stacey - Interactions among hormones, pheromones, and reproductive behaviors in fish.
Dr. James L. Stafford - My primary research goal is to further develop channel catfish as an immunological model system for studying the evolution and function of innate immune receptors.
Dr. Ruth A. Stockey - Paleobotany, anatomy and morphology of vascular plants and fungi
Dr. Gregory J. Taylor - Research addresses the physiology and biochemistry of metal tolerance in higher plants and the ecology of plant growth on metal-contaminated soils.
Dr. William M. Tonn - Ecology of fishes and the organisms with which they interact, in boreal and arctic lakes and streams
Dr. Rolf Vinebrooke - Alpine, Arctic, and Boreal Ecology; Freshwater Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function; Cumulative Impacts of Global Change on Aquatic Ecosystems; Stress and Ecosystem Recovery; Land-Water Linkages
Dr. Andrew J. Waskiewicz - How neural cells acquire identity along the anterior-posterior axis of a developing zebrafish embryo.
Dr. Mark V.H. Wilson - Vertebrate paleontology with emphasis on morphology, phylogeny, and paleoecology of fishes.
Dr. David Wishart - Development of bioinformatics software; modelling of biological systems; structural proteomics; application of NMR spectroscopy to drug discovery.
Financial Support Available
All students admitted to our graduate program have secured financial support for at least the first 3 years of a Masters program and the first 5 years of a Ph.D. program, at the minimum rate of approximately $19,500 per year and subject to annual review of academic and teaching performance. Financial support for graduate students comes from a variety of sources, including:
- Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships
- University of Alberta Awards
- Other external agencies
- Supervisor's research funds
- Scholarships from: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), Province of Alberta, University of Alberta, Alberta Ingenuity Fund (AIF).
Admissions and EnquiriesDepartment of Biological Sciences CW 405, Biological Sciences Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9