Ph.D. thesis defense!

Today, I successfully defended my Ph.D. thesis. Both the lecture and exam were open to the public, and it was wonderful to have the support of family, friends and colleagues on this last day of school! For anyone who wants to read my thesis, it’s freely available for download here.

Drinking from the Goblet of Knowledge (a Western University post-defense tradition) with Dr. Brent Sinclair (right) and one of my examiners Dr. Dan Hahn (left).

Final season of training teaching assistants at Western

For the next few weeks I’ll be running weekend-long workshops for new teaching assistants (TAs) at Western’s (newly re-named) Centre for Teaching and Learning. The TA Training Program at Western is one of the best in Canada, and it’s been brilliant to facilitate the program for the last three years. Sadly, this is my last year at the Centre for Teaching and Learning as a graduate student educational developer (because I’m finishing my Ph.D. soon!). I know I’m leaving the program in capable hands, and I hope I find future opportunities to help post-secondary instructors level-up their teaching.

TATP cover page
Always excited to start each new TATP session on a good foot!

Ph.D. thesis submitted for examination

Today, I submitted the full draft of my Ph.D. thesis for examination. It’s now in the hands of my four examiners, who will grill me on the contents at my thesis defense on September 12th. Now it’s time to put together my public lecture on my thesis topic, which will also be on September 12th, for anyone who wants to know what I did during my Ph.D. without reading the 270 page document that is my thesis!

Cover page snap
The very official-looking cover page of my Ph.D. thesis

Attending the Canadian Society of Zoologists annual meeting in St. John’s

I have just returned from one of my favourite scientific conference – the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Zoologists. This year, the conference was held in the scenic and welcoming city of St. John’s Newfoundland, and I presented the latest results from my Ph.D. on insect freeze tolerance. This was my final year as a student councillor on the CSZ Council, and I look forward to continuing to attend these meetings in the future as a post-doc!

View of St. John’s from a post-conference boat tour

New publication: Review on insect freeze tolerance

My first review has been published! My Ph.D. supervisor and I wrote this long (but readable, I promise!) review on how we think insects survive internal ice formation for Biological Reviews. You can read all about it here (or contact me for a copy).

Update: Did I mention that Biological Reviews used one of our figures as their cover page? That’s a first for me!

Toxopeus and Sinclair 2018 Cover Page
The issue of Biological Reviews containing our review article, featuring a line-drawing of a freeze-tolerant cricket, created by Lauren E. Des Marteaux

Presenting my final talk at the Physiology & Biochemistry graduate student seminar series

Today was somewhat bitter sweet, as I gave my final seminar in the Physiology & Biochemistry graduate seminar series at Western. The annual talks that each graduate student gives is an awesome way for us all to catch up on what others in the department are up to, and to give each other research advice. While I look forward to finishing up my Ph.D. later this year, I will miss these seminars!

Title slide of my graduate seminar talk.