Principal Investigator

Art Weis – Professor

Recently I have become interested in the selective pressures imposed by climate change. I established the Experimental Climate Warming Array at the Koffler Scientific Reserve as a device to study plant growth performance under future temperature regimes, in an otherwise natural

I also initiated Project Baseline, which has secured genetic materials that future researches will need to gauge evolutionary response to global change. This project grew out of the lab’s work in California, which discovered an evolutionary shift in flowering time in Brassica rapa following and multi-year drought. We grew seeds collected before the drought side-by-side with seeds collected after. As predicted by theory, these populations evolved a one-week acceleration in flowering time over just 5 generations. Project Baseline will make similar experiments possible with dozens of species from across North America.

The move from California to Ontario has been terrific. I grew up in Aurora, Illinois (home town of Wayne and Garth—party on!) so it was a return to a familiar climate.

Graduate Students

Cameron So (M.Sc – September 2018 – November 2020)

I investigated the adaptive potential of a field mustard (Brassica rapa) to future climate warming, continuing an existing project begun by Sydney Rotman (M.Sc 2018). Most of my research was conducted using the Experimental Warming Arrays at the Koffler Scientific Reserve, which raises the air temperature of a plot to mimic future climatic conditions. I have broad research interests that intersect conservation, climate change, and genetics. I am currently exploring prospective graduate programs for my doctoral studies.

Yimin Yu (M.Sc – September 2020)

My name is Yimin Yu, I’m studying my MSc in the Weis lab. I graduated from University of Toronto, double major in EEB and Immunology. My research focuses on the potential genetic correlation between flowering time and herbivory tolerance in Brassica rapa. Currently I’m conducting a preliminary greenhouse experiment on B. rapa strains that were artificially selected on early and late flowering to confirm this genetic correlation. I love to travel in my spare time but recently due to the COVID pandemic my new hobby became stay at home and read. Hopefully we all get used to this new “normal” life.

Undergraduate Students

Sarah Ravoth (EEB498 4th Year Thesis)

I’m a fourth year undergrad specializing in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. In my thesis project, I’m investigating whether differential survival in age-stressed Brassica rapa seeds is influenced by the parental flowering time and age. I’m also generally interested in understanding how selection shapes communities and interspecific relationships. When I’m not in the lab or greenhouse, I enjoy hiking, photography, and concocting recipes in my kitchen.

Jameson Kunkel (EEB498 4th Year Thesis)

Come back later!

Maia Dall’Acqua (EEB398 3rd Year Thesis)

I am a third-year undergraduate student from Edmonton, Alberta pursuing a double major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Animal Physiology. In my research, I am currently exploring natural selection on seed longevity in natural and agricultural Amaranthus populations. More broadly, I am interested in looking at how evolutionary processes can change over ecological timescales.

Alice DesRoches (ROP399)

I am a third-year student majoring in molecular biology and conservation biology. I am interested in plant evolution, development, and conservation. In my spare time, I enjoy sewing historical clothing and playing the banjo. 

Ariane Mooney (ROP299)

I am a second year ROP student double majoring in Environmental Biology and Immunology, and minoring in Environmental Science. I am currently helping Sarah in her experiment researching the possible bias that could occur when preserving seeds over long periods of time. I am very interested in research combining the aspects of climate change, environmental science, conservation and biology as I am very passionate about sustainability, how we can scientifically discover the direct effects of climate change on many organisms, and how we can combat it using this knowledge! I am also very interested in sustainable fashion so if anyone has any thrift store recommendations, let me know!

Arthur Randolph-Westerhof

I’m currently a 2nd year undergraduate student, majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology as well as Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. I am interested in pursuing a career in researching how individuals and ecosystems at large respond to climate change, and helping educate people on how our world is changing. My hobbies include first aid, baking, volunteering with Scouts Canada, and music.