Interested in joining the Toxopeus lab? Please see our Opportunities page for more details, and our Research page information on current projects.

Lab group summer 2023. From left to right – back row: Brooke, Victoria, Maranda, Luke, Katelyn; front row: Sarah, Amber, Dr. T

Dr. Jantina Toxopeus
Principal Investigator
Funding: NSERC Discovery Grant, StFX UCR (University Council for Research) Grant

I am an assistant professor at St. FX, where I love researching how insects survive winter and teaching biology. I take an integrative approach to research, explaining whole animal phenotypes (like being able to survive freezing) at many levels of biological organization (genes, cells, tissues, physiological systems).


Curriculum vitae | Google Scholar profile | Twitter

Sarah Rokosh
MSc Student

Project: Using RNAi to test the function of genes in insect freeze tolerance

Joined the lab: Sep 2021
Funding: Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (2021-2022), CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS-M; 2022-2023)


Luke Burton
MSc Student

Project: Cold and hypoxia tolerance of winter-active pond insects, co-supervised with Dr. Tammy Rodela

Joined the lab: Sep 2022
Funding: Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (2022-2023)


Brooklyn Vestby
Honours Student (Fall 2023/Winter 2024); Undergraduate Research Assistant (Summer 2023);

Project: The role of supervillin in cricket freeze tolerance

Joined the lab: May 2023
Funding: StFX Biology Chiasson Award (2023)


Amber Gough
 Undergraduate Research Assistant (Summer 2023)

Project: Overwintering biology of ticks

Joined the lab: May 2023


Katelyn Lemay
Directed Study Student (Winter 2023), Post-Undergraduate Research Assistant (Summer 2023)

Project: Genetic identification of Rhagoletis (apple maggots)

Joined the lab: Jan 2023
Funding: Nova Scotia EDGE (2023)


Victoria Adams
Honours Student (Fall 2022/Winter 2023); Undergraduate Research Assistant (Summer 2021, 2022, 2023); Volunteer (Fall 2021/Winter 2022)

Project: Heat shock protein gene expression during acclimation of freeze-tolerant crickets

Joined the lab: May 2021
Funding: StFX Biology McLachlan Award (2021)


Maranda van Oirschot
Undergraduate Research Assistant (Summer 2021 – present)

Projects: Effect of cold and freezing on the cytoskeleton of freeze-tolerant crickets, overwintering biology of ticks

Joined the lab: May 2021
Funding: StFX Biology McLachlan Award (2021), NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award (2023)


Lab alumni can be viewed here!

Older photos:

Lab Group 2022
Lab group summer 2022. From left to right – front row: Sarah, Grace; middle row: Lily, Brynn, Maranda; back row: Dr. T, Victoria