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)

I am investigating the adaptive potential of a field mustard (Brassica rapa) in response to climate change, continuing an existing project begun by Sydney Rotman (M.Sc 2018). Most of my research will be 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, so please approach me if there’s something I should know!

Undergraduate Students

Micha Sibolibane (EEB498 4th Year Thesis)

Hi, my name is Micha and I’m a fourth year undergrad student! I am majoring in both Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Fundamental Genetics & Its Applications. For my fourth year thesis I am researching differences in heritability among greenhouse and field experiments by comparing quantitative traits of Brassica rapa (ex. Flowering time, leaf number, seed production). When I am not in the lab or doing schoolwork, I spend my free time at the gym, learning how (attempting) to cook, and expanding my knowledge of coding with R and python.

Michaela Fink (Summer 2019 NSERC USRA & EEB398 3rd Year Thesis)

 I am in my third undergraduate year majoring in conservation biology and forest conservation. Over the past two years, I have been working alongside Natasha Dhamrait to investigate the selection pressures of artificial aging on Brassica rapa. We are also starting a new experiment this year to observe the interactions of maternal and paternal effects on lifetime fitness of Brassica rapa.

Natasha Dhamrait (EEB398 3rd Year Thesis)

Hi! My name is Natasha Dhamrait. I am going into my 3rd year with a specialist in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a major in Genome Biology. The 397 project Michaela Fink, another lab member, and I will be working on this year involves investigating the selection pressure of aging, seed storage, and maternal resource allocation on the lifetime fitness of Brassica rapa. Outside of the lab, I love playing music, arts and crafts, and watching Netflix!

Jacy Newfeld (EEB397 3rd Year Thesis)

I am a third year student pursuing a double-major in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Latin with a minor in Environmental Biology. As an ROP student with the Weis Lab, I will principally be assisting Cameron with his research into the adaptive potential of Brassica rapa in response to climate change. Broadly, I am interested in the responses of plants to global change, particularly those of angiosperms and agricultural crops, as well as the forest and natural resource conservation.

Sarah Ravoth (EEB397 3rd Year Thesis)

This year I’m researching seed survival after aging stress in Brassica rapa. Where is the trait for survival of individuals expressed—by genes of the seeds themselves or differences in maternal environment? I’m currently in my third year, majoring in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity & Conservation Biology. I am interested in applying evolutionary concepts to conservation work in order to best manage and protect vulnerable species in a rapidly changing climate.

Jessie Wang (ROP299 Research Project)

I am a second year student majoring in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Molecular Genetics. As an ROP299 student, I will mainly be helping with the other projects in the lab. Outside of the lab I like to hunt for pokémon all over the city and listen to crime-related podcasts.

Maia Dall’Acqua (ROP299 Research Project)

I am a second year-student completing a research course in the Weis lab. I’m originally from Edmonton, Alberta and recently moved to Toronto to attend university. I’m currently pursuing a double-major in genome biology and ecology and evolutionary biology. Being very interested in research, I am very excited about hands-on lab work. To take a break from school, I enjoys dancing and playing the violin.

Rebekah Jolicoeur (ROP299 Research Project)

I am a second year ROP299 student majoring in Biodiversity and Conservation and in Environmental Science, with a minor in Anthropology. My work will consist in helping the other graduate students with their projects and helping advance the research in the Weis Lab. I hope to go to grad school in the EEB field after undergrad and I enjoy reading, going to the gym, and travelling. My favorite animal is also the tapir.