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

13 March 2023 – Well done to Luke Burton and Sarah Rokosh for their presentations on their MSc projects in the StFX Biology seminar series today!

9 March 2023 – New publication! Congratulations to Trinity McIntyre, whose manuscript on cold tolerance of parasitoid wasps that infest the apple maggot fly is now available in the Journal of Insect Physiology.

5 March 2023 – Awesome work by Victoria Adams, who put together a clear and creative poster for the Science Atlantic Biology Undergraduate Conference in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Victoria Science Atlantic

9 Feb 2023 – Congratulations to Victoria Adams and Grace Kaiser for giving their Honours thesis presentations in the StFX Biology seminar series today!

6 Feb 2023 – One of our publications was short-listed as a finalist for the JEB Outstanding Paper Prize of 2022!! The article compares mechanisms of cold tolerance across development in Drosophila melanogaster, and combines some cool data from Phil Freda’s PhD and Jantina Toxopeus’ postdoctoral work (both with Greg Ragland).

20 Jan 2023 – Dr. Toxopeus enjoyed travelling to Fredericton NB to give a seminar at the University of New Brunswick on freeze-tolerant crickets!

5 Jan 2023 – New year, new pre-print! This work pulls together Trinity McIntyre’s work on the cold tolerance of parasitoids wasps that attack the apple maggot fly (host), along with work from our collaborators south of the border. Congratulations Trinity!

4 Jan 2023 – Welcome to Erik Bily, who will also be joining the lab to do a Directed Study project in collaboration with Arkadiy Reunov, our departmental expert on electron microscopy!

4 Jan 2023 – Welcome to Katelyn Lemay, who will be starting a Directed Study project on apple maggot fly genetics and cold tolerance this winter semester. Katelyn completed a course-based project with Dr. T in the fall (Biol 381), and is excited to level-up to an independent project!

15 Dec 2022 – Congratulations to Luke Burton, who successfully defended his MSc thesis proposal today!

8 Dec 2022 – Good funding news! Dr. Toxopeus and several colleagues at St. FX (Drs. Rodela, Perry, Wyeth, English, Bishop) have been approved for a Dr. W.F. James Chair Equipment Grant to fund the purchase of some new shared molecular biology equipment.

6 Dec 2022 – Congratulations to Annika Nobbe and Lily McIntyre for both completing very successful Directed Study (Biol 499) projects on the cell biology of cricket freeze tolerance this fall semester!

9 Nov 2022 – Happy November news: Dr. Toxopeus has learned that she will be a Dr. W.F. James Research Scholar for the 2023-2024 academic year, an internal research chair position at St. FX!

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.

Inside JEB 2022 screenshot

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.

JEB 2022 screenshot

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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