The Toxopeus lab researches how insects survive freezing at St. Francis Xavier University, located on 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

20 December 2021 – Congratulations to Trinity McIntyre and Robyn Walter for finishing up their Directed Studies projects during this challenging fall semester!

7 September 2021 – It’s a new semester and a good time to welcome to new Toxopeus lab members! Sarah Rokosh (MSc student), Robyn Walter (directed studies student), Kenzie Moore (undergraduate volunteer), Paige Brown (undergraduate volunteer), and Lily McIntyre (undergraduate volunteer)! Summer students Victoria Adams, Trinity McIntyre, and Maranda van Oirschot will also continue to develop their skills in the lab this academic year.

27 August 2021 – All four summer students have now wrapped up their summer projects in the Toxopeus lab. They all did such an awesome job!!

11 August 2021 – Funding news! The Canadian Foundation for Innovation and provincial partner Research Nova Scotia have awarded the Toxopeus lab close to $170,000 to fund scientific equipment needed to support our research program on insect overwintering and freeze tolerance.

20 July 2021 – StFX Alumni News published a nice profile on Dr. Toxopeus and her lab’s research in their summer 2021 issue.

16 June 2021 – Congratulations to Jay Turnsek, whose summer research is featured in StFX news this week.

10 May 2021 – Welcome to Victoria Adams, a second-year undergraduate who is joining the Toxopeus lab this summer to study the sequences of ice-binding proteins in freeze-tolerant organisms! Victoria is funded by a McLachlan summer research award from the Biology Department at St. FX.

10 May 2021 – Congratulations to Trinity McIntyre, whose summer research project in the Toxopeus lab is partially funded by a Chiasson summer research award from the Biology Department at St. FX. Trinity will be studying how the cold tolerance of the apple maggot fly Rhagoletis pomonella differs from its multiple species of parasitoid wasps.

3 May 2021 – Welcome to Maranda van Oirschot, a second-year undergraduate who is joining the Toxopeus lab this summer to study how the cytoskeleton of freeze-tolerant crickets! Maranda is co-supervised by Dr. Bill Marshall and partially funded by a McLachlan summer research award from the Biology Department at St. FX.

3 May 2021 – Welcome to Jay Turnsek, a second-year undergraduate in computer science who is using machine learning to better classify CRISPR sequences! Jay is co-supervised by Dr. James Hughes and is funded by an Ally Heaps summer research award from the Computer Science Department at St. FX.

16 April 2021 – Funding news! The Toxopeus lab has received NSERC Discovery Grant funding (along with a Discovery Launch supplement for early career researchers) that will help fund projects on insect freeze tolerance for the next five years!

24 February 2021 – New publication on the gene expression of a Beringian pseudoscorpion, with excellent co-authors from Western University.

8 February 2021 – Manuscript accepted for publication in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology! Our research on the diapause and cold tolerance physiology of the apple pest Rhagoletis pomonella is now available here, with much of the work conducted by talented undergraduate students Lalitya Andaloori and Matin Sanaei in the Ragland lab at CU Denver.

20 January 2021 – Welcome to Trinity McIntyre, a third-year undergraduate student who is joining the Toxopeus lab this semester!

8 January 2021 – We can officially share the news! Dr. Toxopeus has received funding from Research Nova Scotia to study the incidence of COVID-19 in wastewater as part of a province-wide research project with researchers at St. FX, Dalhousie University, Acadia University, and Cape Breton University. You can read more here.

3 January 2021 – Today marks the start of the SICB (Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology) virtual annual meeting! Dr. Toxopeus’ research talk on the surprising interactions between low temperatures and insect diapause can be viewed here.

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