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Principal investigator

Rob Laird

Robert Laird
Assistant professor (2009- )
robert.laird at uleth.ca
http://people.uleth.ca/~robert.laird

Rob's research interests include the evolution of senescence, the evolution of cooperation, the origin, evolution, maintenance and ecological consequences of non-transitive competition, and fungus-plant-insect interactions. Rob did his BSc and MSc at Queen's University, his PhD at the University of Calgary, and an NSERC PDF at Carleton University. Rob has been a faculty member at the University of Lethbridge since 2009.

Current students

Patrick Barks

Patrick Barks
PhD Student (2012- )
patrick.barks at uleth.ca

Patrick joined the lab in January 2012, after completing a BSc in Biology at the University of Regina and an MSc at Carleton University. Patrick is working on the evolution of senescence with a special focus on the aquatic plant, Lemna.
Sue Bury

Susan Bury
MSc Student (2011- )
susan.bury at uleth.ca

Sue joined the lab in September 2011, after completing a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Minnesota State University Moorehead. She is working on the ecology and evolution of non-transitive competition in crickets (in collaboration with Kevin Judge, U of L; co-supervised by Brandon Schamp, Algoma University).

Catalina Fernandez

Catalina Fernández
MSc Student (2014- )
diana.fernandez at uleth.ca

Catalina joined the lab in January 2014, after completing a BSc at Universidad del Cauca and extensive field research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Catalina works on Lygus-canola interactions (co-supervised by
Héctor Cárcamo, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).

Vincent Hervet

Vincent Hervet
PhD Student (2013- )
MSc Student (2011-2013 (PhD transfer))
vincent.hervet at uleth.ca

Vincent joined the lab in September 2011, after earning a Diplôme Universitaire et Technologique in Agronomy from Universitée de Picardie Jules Vernes, and an MSc in Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy from Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais. Following work as a wasp taxonomist at the Lethbridge Research Centre (LRC), Vince is now working on tri-trophic interactions involving canola, cutworms, and their natural enemies (co-supervised by Kevin Floate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).

Greg Holmes

Gregory Holmes
MSc Student (2013- )
gregory.holmes at uleth.ca

Greg joined the lab in September 2013, having completed his BSc at the University of Lethbridge. He is working on biological control of invasive hawkweeds using galling wasps and rust fungi (co-supervised by Rose De Clerck-Floate and Syama Chatterton, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).

Kevin Kwok Kevin Kwok
MSc Student (2011- )
BSc Independent studies (2010-11)
BSc Summer student (2010-11)
k.kwok at uleth.ca

Kevin joined the lab in May 2010 and did two rounds as an independent studies student (BSc) and a round as a summer student, working on the induction of extra-floral nectaries in Vicia faba. In 2011, after graduating and completing a second year as a summer student, he became an MSc student, working on inducible defences in Helianthus annuus (co-supervised by John Bain, U of L).
Diana Wilches

Diana Wilches
MSc Student (2013- )
dm.wilchescorreal at uleth.ca

Diana joined the lab in September 2013, after completing two BSc degrees (in biology and microbiology) at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. She is working on the effects of extreme temperatures on an economically important quarantine insect, khapra beetle, and on the associated symbiotic bacterial community (co-supervised by Kevin Floate and Paul Fields, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).

Click here for lab alumni

Lab photo

Laird lab 2013

Laird lab 2013. Back row L-R: Rob Laird, Vincent Hervet, Kevin Kwok, Patrick Barks, Sue Bury. Font row: soon-to-be demolished cheesecake.

Click here for previous lab photos

Lab alumni

Leah Blair
BSc Applied studies student (2010)
Rob served as Leah's faculty supervisor while she did an applied study at the Lethbridge Research Centre in the Spring of 2010, supervised by Rob Bourchier and Brian van Hezewijk. Leah studied the effect of density of the sap-sucking insect Aphalara itadori on egg-laying patterns on the invasive plant, Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica).

Sarah Bogart
Research Technician (2013)
Sarah joined the lab in March 2013 as a research technician. Sarah worked on the Lemna minor project with PhD student Patrick Barks.

Cheyenne Conrad
BSc Applied studies student (2009)
Rob served as Cheyenne's faculty supervisor while she did an applied study at the Lethbridge Research Centre in the Fall of 2009, supervised by Kevin Floate. Cheyenne studied the potential impacts of climate change on insect populations in Canada.

Stephanie Crowshoe
BSc Independent studies student (2010)
Stephanie joined the lab in January 2010. She worked on the comparative biology of senescence in birds. After a year away, Stephanie returned to the University of Lethbridge as an MSc student.

Jayden Dyck
BSc Applied studies student (2012)
Rob served as Jayden's faculty supervisor while he did an applied study at the Lethbridge Research Centre in the fall of 2012, supervised by Rose de Clerck-Floate. He worked on weed biological control of Pilosella spp. (hawkweeds).

Dipankar Goyal

Dipankar Goyal
BSc Independent studies student (2011)
BSc Summer student (2011)

Dipankar joined the lab in January 2011 as an independent studies student (BSc), and then continued in the lab as a summer volunteer. He worked on spatial models of the evolution of cooperation.

RJ Murphy
BSc Research technician (2012)
BSc Summer student (2012)

RJ joined the lab in the spring of 2012. She assisted the MSc and PhD students with their research projects.

Sam Scorah
BSc Independent studies student (2011)
Sam joined the lab in September 2011 as an independent studies student (BSc). He worked on a review of narcotic compounds in plants.

Briana Smith
BSc Research technician (2013)
BSc Research technician (2012)
BSc Independent studies student (2011)

Rob served as Briana's faculty supervisor while she did an independent study with U of L postdoc Kevin Judge in the spring of 2011. Briana studied hatchling competition in the spring field cricket, Gryllus veletis. Briana re-joined the lab in the fall of 2012 and again in the fall of 2013 as a research technician.

Brad van Paridon

Brad van Paridon
BSc Summer student (2010)
Brad worked in the lab in the summer of 2010 on models of the evolutionary reliability theory of senescence. Brad went on to MSc studies at the University of Lethbridge, eventually transferring to the PhD program.

Previous lab photos

Laird lab 2012

Laird lab 2012. L-R: Sue Bury, Patrick Barks, Vincent Hervet, Kevin Kwok, Rob Laird (plus Sunny)