The Toxopeus lab researches how insects survive freezing at St. Francis Xavier University, located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People (a.k.a. Nova Scotia, Canada). Use the menu tabs above to read more about our team, the research we do, opportunities to join the lab, and information about the courses that Dr. Toxopeus teaches.

Recent News

15 Oct 2022 – Taking the plunge: Luke Burton gave his first conference talk this weekend at the Atlantic Regional Comparative Physiology workshop!

6 Sep 2022 – Luke Burton is the newest MSc student in the lab! Luke will be studying the physiology of insects who overwinter in ice-covered ponds. Stay tuned for stories of winter field work!

8 Aug 2022 – Welcome to Annika Nobbe, who will be starting an Directed Study project on proteins that interact with the actin cytoskeleton in Gryllus veletis this summer and fall.

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22 July 2022 – Congratulations to Sarah Rokosh and Maranda van Oirschot for presenting their research projects at the Annual Meeting of the Acadian Entomological Society in Truro, NS. The rest of the lab was an excellent support crew for the day!

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9 June 2022 – Our latest publication was featured in Inside JEB! Click the link for a summary of our recent publication on how cold tolerance differences across development stage in Drosophila melanogaster.

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6 June 2022 – Welcome back to Victoria Adams, who will be starting an Honours project on freeze tolerance in Gryllus veletis this summer.

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9 May 2022 – Welcome to Honours student Grace Kaiser, and welcome back to summer research assistants Lily McIntyre and Maranda van Oirschot, who will be doing all sorts of *cool* cell and molecular biology in Gryllus veletis this summer.

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3 May 2022 – Welcome to Brynn Webber, who starts her summer research on cryoprotectants in Gryllus veletis today!

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2 May 2022 – Publication accepted! This work in the Journal of Experimental Biology on how cold tolerance differences across development stage is from a project Dr. Toxopeus worked on in the Ragland lab at the University of Colorado Denver, along with many talented students.

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28 April 2022 – Congratulations to Kenzie Moore and Paige Brown for finishing up their Directed Study projects during this challenging winter semester! They worked to optimize a genetic method for distinguishing the apple maggot fly from its close relatives

27 April 2022 – Huge congrats to Sarah Rokosh for writing and defending their MSc thesis proposal today! And thanks to Sarah’s committee members Drs. Wyeth and Rodela for their thoughtful discussion.

7 April 2022 – Well done to Maranda van Oirschot, Trinity McIntyre, and Sarah Rokosh for their presentations at St. FX Student Research Day!

1 April 2022 – Excellent news – Sarah Rokosh will receive a CIHR-CGS Master’s scholarship starting in the fall. Congratulations to Sarah for obtaining this very competitive source of funding!!

11 March 2022 – Congratulations to Trinity McIntyre, who is presenting her summer research at the the annual Science Atlantic Undergraduate Biology Conference this weekend, after a successful presentation of the same work in the StFX Biology seminar three weeks ago!

9 March 2022 – Good funding news! Four students (two returning and two new students) have been selected for StFX Undergraduate Summer Research Awards to do research in the Toxopeus lab this summer. Congratulations to: Grace Kaiser, Lily McIntyre, Jay Turnsek, and Brynn Webber!

18 February 2022 – Robyn Walter gave an excellent talk on oxidative stress for her Advanced Major presentation in the StFX Chemistry seminar this afternoon!

20 January 2022 – New year, new preprint! A first look at our study that uses RNAi to show how different genes are important for cold tolerance in adult vs. larval Drosophila melanogaster. This wraps up a project Dr. Toxopeus worked on in the Ragland lab at the University of Colorado Denver, along with many talented students.

17 January 2022 – As we start the winter semester, Paige Brown and Kenzie Moore start their Directed Study projects! They will be using genetics to identify apple pest species this semester, which will help us better understand their overwintering.

20 December 2021 – Congratulations to Trinity McIntyre and Robyn Walter for finishing up their Directed Study projects during this challenging fall semester! Robyn did a fantastic job characterizing catalase enzyme activity in freeze-tolerant crickets, and Trinity wrapped up a manuscript draft of her summer project on the cold tolerance of parasitoid wasps of the apple maggot fly.

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