About

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

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.

Victoria screenshot

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.

Grace screenshotLily screenshotMaranda screenshot

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

Brynn screenshot

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 Studies 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 Studies 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 Studies 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.

25 October 2021 – After a flurry of writing, Dr. Toxopeus and four other profs at St. FX have submitted a joint NSERC RTI application to expand our core molecular biology equipment. Fingers crossed!

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)! And welcome back to summer students Victoria Adams, Trinity McIntyre, and Maranda van Oirschot, who will continue to work with 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.

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