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Faculty of Science
UNB Fredericton

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Research team


Research interests include the population genetics, biogeography and invasion history of marine invertebrates throughout the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. We use a mix of traditional DNA sequencing and advanced genomic techniques to quantify genetic divergence along a continuum from geographically distinct populations to reproductively isolated species. Our main questions focus on identifying the mechanisms that drive reproductive isolation and speciation in the sea.

Contact Jason

Research focuses on the development of integrated bioassessment approaches (ecology, hydrology, toxicology and climate) to separate and diagnose the effects of multiple stressors in aquatic ecosystems (freshwater, lakes, rivers and ponds). My research targets critical areas where current environmental guidelines are inadequate or where thresholds (targets) for environmental sustainability are required.

Contact Alexa

Research on coastal marine ecology, with a focus on population dynamics of marine invertebrates and community dynamics of soft-sediment ecosystems, namely mudflats and salt marshes in north temperate latitudes. Projects include both pure and applied (e.g., conservation, restoration, aquaculture) science, and may entail sampling, experimental and/or mathematical modelling aspects depending on the research question being asked.

Contact Myriam

Research in applied fish physiology, emphasizing metabolism and sexual differentiation. Current research uses triploids as models for studying the role of cell size/number in regulating basic physiological processes. This has applied relevance because induced triploidy is the only effective method for mass-producing reproductively sterile populations. Sexual differentiation is highly plastic in fish, and we are interested in underlying biochemical and physiological processes and how they can be manipulated to create single-sex populations. This has relevance to aquaculture because of sex-specific differences in production characteristics (growth, age at maturity, caviar production, etc.).

Contact Tillman

Current research in the area of genome biology and evolution is on gene duplications that arise by copying of an RNA intermediate, often called retrogenes. Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, we take advantage of its vast genetic toolbox and genomic data resources to interrogate retrogene functions and duplication mechanisms. Additional research interests in the area of metabolic genetics include the regulation and role of purine nucleotide synthesis in the life cycle of Drosophila.

Contact Denise

Research focuses on the emergence of tissue architecture during embryonic development in the zebrafish embryo through the interaction of cells with the extracellular matrix (ECM). We use advanced imaging, molecular biology, protein biochemistry and many other approaches to understand the regulation of proteolytic remodelling of the ECM, and have developed a variety of novel techniques and transgenic animals for this work.Other areas of research include tumour cell biology, neural development, and effects of cannabinoids on embryonic development and larval behaviour.

Contact Bryan

Our research examines various aspects of river, lake, estuary, and coral reef ecology. Projects include the aquatic sciences of large, hydroelectric dam renewals that have elements of biology, ecology, hydrology, and engineering and understanding the ecohydrology of forest landscapes and the processes regulating river formation and species therein.

Contact Allen

Paleoecology and paleoclimatology, focusing on the glacial/interglacial transition in Atlantic Canada. History of disturbance by fire and by insect outbreaks, and their influence on past vegetation. Drivers of vegetation change since deglaciation and how tipping points in plant communities can be determined.

Contact Les

Research serves to integrate parasite diversity and life history, aspects of the ecology of parasitism of wildlife, mechanisms of infection, epidemiology, host responses to infection, pathology, and parasite identification and diagnosis (morphological, immunological, molecular tools). Our current research projects include work on invasive parasite of American eels - non-lethal diagnostic tools to promote conservation and eel population recovery. We also study Ectoparasitic lice on Atlantic salmon – investigating aspects of environmental change and anthropogenic factors that contribute to infestation. Investigating spatiotemporal aspects of infection and potential multigenerational impacts on salmon. As well as parasites of fishes - zebrafish as a model host for investigation of immune responses to parasitic organisms.

Contact Michael

Research emphasizes the evolution and function of eukaryotic, light-harvesting antenna systems with a focus on their role during photoacclimation. More recent areas of research include ageing during conditional senescence in microalgae and factors that control longevity.

Contact Dion

Research focuses on wildlife ecology, often related to the management of biodiversity, forestry and protected areas. Recent research projects include the identification of critical habitat for listed species, habitat indicators used in forest planning, and gap analysis for protected area planning.

Contact Graham

Research emphasizes plant-insect interactions and ecological controls on biodiversity, especially in plant-insect systems. Much of our work involves forest pest insects as they interact with their host trees and with their competitors and enemies. We are also interested in ecosystem-level consequences of plant-insect interactions - for instance, the consequences of spruce budworm attack for soil carbon storage. Read more about the Heard Lab's work.

Contact Stephen

Research into factors regulating the population dynamics of photosynthetic microbes (phytoplankton, microalgae, and cyanobacteria) in aquatic ecosystems, with a focus on toxic and bloom-forming organisms. Specific interest in the viruses of photosynthetic microbes.

Contact Janice

I am a freshwater fish ecologist with expertise on various telemetry and sonar methods, and habitat surveying and modeling. My current work examines Atlantic salmon ecology, the effects of anthropogenic impacts on rivers related to climate change, hydropower and other manipulations of flow due to consumptive and non-consumptive uses. I am also interested in behavior and movements of fishes both in natural and in hydropower-impacted rivers.

Contact Tommi

Research is focused on understanding mechanisms of regulated gene expression in bacteria and how these contribute to cellular survival under stressful chemical and physical environmental conditions.

Contact Shawn

Research interests include molecular ecology, quantitative genetics, population genomics, bioinformatics, and phylogenetics.

Contact Rene

General interests center around understanding how and why biological systems evolve, especially in terms of complexity levels. Most current research is rooted in the framework of transitions in individuality and complexity (at a conceptual level) and of responses to stress, gene co-option and trade-offs (at a mechanistic level). Specific questions are related to the evolution of multicellularity, cell differentiation, cancer, aging, sex, death, and altruism. Research employs both experimental and theoretical approaches, spanning various levels of organization (genes, genomes, cells, individuals, groups) and fields (genetics/genomics, molecular /cell/developmental biology, experimental evolution). Additional areas include organelle genomics, lateral gene transfer and molecular evolution.

Contact Aurora

Research focuses on the evolutionary ecology of plant-pollinator interactions. We generally take the plant perspective of these interactions, using an integrative approach to understanding floral traits such as visual display, scent and rewards. Two main research systems are species in the genus Penstemon and fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium), although we study many different species depending on our questions.

Contact Amy

Investigates the biochemical and genetic mechanisms used by beneficial soil bacteria to enhance plant health. This includes bacterial mechanisms to evade or suppress the plant defense response to facilitate plant colonization, and secretion and regulation of bacterial signaling molecules that promote plant growth.

Contact Cheryl

I’m interested in the structure, function and evolution of communication systems. I worked for many years on monkeys but now work on songbirds where I’m focused on the evolution of song complexity and the social and environmental factors driving it.

Contact Drew

Research interests in fish ecophysiology and bioenergetics. Understanding the impacts of climate change on fish thermal and hypoxia tolerance. Feeding behaviour of aquatic species at risk such as Atlantic salmon, Atlantic wolffish, and American eel.

Contact Charles

Research emphasizes the systematics (phylogenetics and taxonomy), biodiversity and biogeography of marine macroalgae (seaweed) with a focus on the Canadian flora (notably the Arctic and Haida Gwaii). Additional areas of study include kelp ecology in the Bay of Fundy and species range shifts in response to climate change

Contact Gary


Physics cross-appointed with Chemistry

Our research uses laser spectroscopy to understand the fundamental structure and properties of highly reactive metal-bearing and carbon chain molecules which are created in discharges, ovens or our laser-ablation molecular-beam apparatus. Laser excitation is used to create molecular excited states from which the molecules decay by emitting light. Studying the spectrum of this emitted light gives us a detailed understanding of bonding, structure and molecular interactions. This information is important in understanding chemical and physical processes occurring in the atmosphere, in space, and in stars and planets.

Contact Allan

Theoretical research at the interface of quantum chemistry and quantum many-body physics. Development of electronic structure methods (geminal theory, density-matrix methods, symmetry-breaking approaches) for molecular systems incorporating ideas from mathematical physics, quantum physics and machine learning. Additional research interests include quantum computing circuit decompositions as embedding of classical reversible computing circuits.

Contact Stijn

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Physics – cross-appointed with Chemistry

Research is focused on the development of new magnetic resonance and magnetic resonance imaging methods for the study of materials and materials processes. New methods we develop automatically provide new insight into materials and materials processes of interest.

Contact Bruce

Research is focused on three distinctive areas of synthetic materials chemistry: luminescent materials, Hydrogen bonding materials, and metal-organic framework materials. Of particular interest is where these areas overlap, in the pursuit of new systems for O-LED, self-assembly, and adsorption/catalytic applications. We use chemical synthesis to assemble our materials. Some of our materials are inspired by biological assemblies like DNA, and designed to perform a functional task, while some of our materials are simply aimed at improving on the state-of-the-art. O-LED Materials, Small Molecule Sorption, Luminescent Sensors, and New Therapeutic Assemblies are just some of the research projects being conducted in my research lab.

Contact Barry

Research program focuses on computational chemistry, molecular modelling and computer-assisted molecular design. Our group utilizes quantum chemistry software deployed on advanced research computing (ARC) systems as well as commercial and in-house drug discovery software to investigate various aspects of organic and medicinal chemistry. Current areas of investigation include organocatalyst design, drug-receptor interactions, as well as new models for interpreting organic reactivity and stereoelectronic effects.

Contact Ghislain

Research focuses on the development of redox flow battery electrolytes for large-scale energy storage, with a particular focus on organic active materials. More fundamental studies center around the exploitation of exceptionally strong ylidic pi-donor substituents to create molecules with enhanced properties, such as the most reducing organic electron donors and highly nucleophilic organocatalysts.

Contact Adam

Electroactive and responsive organic compounds are integral to modern technology developments in information processing and device manufacturing. Despite these compounds’ enormous potential, there are still several key barriers to the practical use of organic materials in optoelectronic devices. We target small molecules and oligomers for components of organic electronic devices because we consider them the engines of discovery in this area. Our goals include establishing short, high-yielding synthetic routes to target molecules, and understanding how to manipulate their electronic and optical properties.

Contact Sara

Research into materials for energy storage and conversion, electro-catalysis and electrochemical sensors.

We develop new electrodes and electrolytes in the form of flexible and stretchable laminates that are used to harvest energy produced by renewable energy sources, or as an electrical storage media in portable electronic devices. The active electrode components consist of carbon covalently grafted with conjugated polymers, embedded in polymer electrolyte. Our energy storage systems do not require liquid electrolyte, therefore they can be printed or coated on various substrates and adjust their size and shape to the electronic device that they power, e.g., wearable electronics (heart rhythm, blood pressure, sweat sensor) or portable electronics (smart phone, smart watch).

Contact Anna

Research interests centre on the electronic structure of small molecules and materials and the interactions between ionising radiation and matter. Electron spectroscopy and time-of-flight mass spectrometry are used separately and in coincidence to study core excitation and photoionisation, as well as the fragmentation dynamics and relaxation processes of core-excited or multiply-ionised molecules. The experimental work is performed primarily at synchrotron facilities such as the Canadian Light Source, with computational methods used to aid in the interpretation of experimental results.

Contact John

Some recurring themes in my research include determination of accurate properties of molecules, methodological issues in quantum chemistry, mapping the energy landscapes of hydrogen-clusters, and probing the electron momentum density perspective as an alternative to the electron number (charge) density usually used.

Contact Ajit

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

My research program primarily focuses on the biosynthesis of cannabinoids derived from the plant Cannabis sativa, which is being rapidly transformed into a medicinal plant and agricultural crop. Biosynthetic strategies, biosynthetic regulation, and cannabis plant physiology in relation to cannabinoid production are of particular interest. Discoveries made from cannabis will also be applied to study the biosynthesis and biosynthetic regulation of other high value medicinal and industrially important natural products.

Contact Yang

Electrochemistry of thin films. Investigation of electrode surface modifications with inorganic materials derived for natural minerals, mesoporous silica molecular sieves, layered double hydroxides, natural and synthetic clays. Applications include electrochromic, charge and energy storage devices, and electrochemical sensing.

Contact Gilles

Earth Sciences

Research centres on developing tools for studying environmental systems in situ, especially passive sensor-based approaches. Techniques combine geophysical and electrochemical methods with time series analysis and multivariate statistics. Focus on energy transduction and biogeochemical cycling of metals, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur. Applications include astrobiology and life detection, agricultural and environmental monitoring, and environmental remediation.

Contact Allison

Investigating ancient lake-basin sediments in Utah, USA, and Maritimes Canada. In particular: the influence of 'greenhouse'/'icehouse' climates and tectonic controls on lake levels and sedimentation; geometries of fluvial (river) deltas, carbonate shorefaces, microbial mounds, and earthquake-induced landslides/slumps in lakes; microbial biogeochemistry affecting the natural sequestration of phosphorus and toxic metals (e.g. rare earths, tungsten, mercury, thorium, uranium) in lacustrine organic-rich mud (oil shale). Also studying sedimentation in basins influenced by salt tectonics.

Research has also extended to alternative energy options, and deep subsurface storage of carbon dioxide, in sedimentary rock. As a hobby, Paleozoic crinoids are collected for paleontological study.

Contact Dave

Research is based on the use of a combination of biogenic (microfossils, molecular biomarkers) and geochemical indicators (elemental and isotopic tracers) preserved in marine sediment to study the long-term interplay between climate, ocean circulation and ecosystem functioning. Current areas of study include Baffin Bay, northern Hudson Bay and high Arctic fjords.

Contact Audrey

Reconstruction ancient orogenic processes such as sedimentation, metamorphism, magmatism, and ore deposition using targeted field work and laboratory studies. Lab studies focus on novel in situ laser ablation ICP MS measurement of trace elemental, isotopic, and geochronological datasets integrated with microstructural and thermobarometric constraints. Additional areas include materials characterization using micro-XRF and applications of laser ablation ICP-MS to biological materials and archeological artifacts.

Contact Christopher

I am interested in how magma is produced and transported in the earth and how minerals record processes below active volcanoes. My work uses combination of field studies of active and extinct volcanoes and experiments at high pressure and temperatures to simulate the conditions in the earth.

Contact Cliff

Mathematics and Statistics

Since the development of quantum mechanics in the early 20th century, mathematicians and theoretical physicists have been confronted with generalized geometries whose coordinates are noncommutative, i.e., where x times y need not equal y times x. Noncommutative geometry is a relatively new branch of mathematics that aims at adapting existing frameworks of geometry to these new situations, which arise throughout mathematics and theoretical physics—and even the theory of signal processing. I work on the development of noncommutative Riemannian geometry, with the goal of using spectral triples and unbounded KK-theory to provide new mathematical tools for theoretical quantum physics.

Contact Branimir

My research is mainly focusing on random effect modeling of longitudinally, spatially and spatiotemporally correlated skewed data occurring in medical, health, ecological, environmental and biological studies. To be specific, we model data that are observed over time (time series), on many individuals over time (longitudinal), over space/location (e.g. spatial), over space and time (e.g. spatiotemporal). I am also working on random effect modeling of zero-inflated longitudinal and clustered skewed data. My research also focuses on joint modeling of mixed types of spatiotemporal data including count, continuous and semi-continuous data. Recently I have shifted my focus on statistical modelling on big data.

Contact Tariq

Analysis and Algebra. More specifically, Index theory, modern analysis, global analysis, quantum groups, and functional analysis. In particular, operator theory and the ``noncommutative space'' aspects of operator algebras. Hopf C*-algebraic quantum groups. Levy processes.

Contact Dan

I work in the intersection between geometry and discrete group theory, mainly with abstract polytopes - regular, semiregular or chiral - their properties, constructions and realizations in Euclidean spaces.

Contact Barry

I am interested in coherent configurations and their connections to designs and codes, in the general area of algebraic graph theory. These objects are sets of edge-disjoint graphs with a common vertex set such that their union is a complete graph and their adjacency matrices form a basis for a matrix algebra with nice algebraic and combinatorial properties.

My current work uses edge weightings in the graphs of coherent configurations to construct new configurations called covering configurations. This construction generalizes the well-known equivalence of regular two-graphs and antipodal double covers of complete graphs.

Contact Alyssa

My research interests include general relativity, cosmology and quantum gravity.

Contact Sanjeev

I am a geometric group theorist. My research involves an interplay between algebra, geometry, and computational theory. Group theory, in its broadest sense, is the study of symmetry. My specialty in this topic is to explore groups via their actions by symmetries of non- positively curved spaces. This non-positive curvature enables a vast array of techniques to be brought to bear in order to understand algebraic structure of groups and it also provides properties that enable the solutions of algorithmic problems. Outside of group theory, my research interests revolve around interactions between geometry, algebra, mathematical logic, and computer science.

Contact Nicholas

My research interests lie at the intersection of quantum gravity and cosmology. I use loop quantum gravity to study quantum effects in the early universe, determine how these effects modify the resulting cosmological dynamics from what is predicted by the classical theory of general relativity, and calculate whether they leave any observational signatures that could be detected today, for example in the cosmic microwave background.

Contact Edward


Chemistry – cross-appointment with Physics

Our research uses laser spectroscopy to understand the fundamental structure and properties of highly reactive metal-bearing and carbon chain molecules which are created in discharges, ovens or our laser-ablation molecular-beam apparatus. Laser excitation is used to create molecular excited states from which the molecules decay by emitting light. Studying the spectrum of this emitted light gives us a detailed understanding of bonding, structure and molecular interactions. This information is important in understanding chemical and physical processes occurring in the atmosphere, in space, and in stars and planets.

Contact Allan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Physics – cross-appointed with Chemistry

Research is focused on the development of new magnetic resonance and magnetic resonance imaging methods for the study of materials and materials processes. New methods we develop automatically provide new insight into materials and materials processes of interest.

Contact Bruce

Space Plasma Physics

The backbone of my research is fundamental plasma physics with a strong focus on the occurrence of turbulence in both space and laboratory plasmas. The development of theoretical models of turbulence as it occurs in the Solar-Terrestrial medium is the main focus of my research. Understanding the formation of the earth’s bow shock and its impact on transport mechanisms in the Earth-Sun system constitutes an important component of my research program. Extrapolating our knowledge basis of the solar-terrestrial system to the solar-Martian system of interaction is yet another field of research interest.

Contact Abdelhaq

Experimental Space Physics

Research focuses on the physics of solar-terrestrial interactions and development of radio remote sensing techniques. I am the principal investigator of the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN), a ground-based network of GPS receivers and High-Frequency Radars.

Contact P.T.

Development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging techniques applied to study materials, multiphase media (disperse flows, bubbles, droplets, sprays), and processes (e.g., freezing of sea sprays). Additional research interest areas involve development and applications of portable Magnetic Resonance instruments.

Contact Igor

Research concentrates on the development of new magnetic resonance methods for the study of materials. The methods involve superconducting and permanent magnets of all shapes and sizes in both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and relaxometry. There is a particular focus on measurements of mass transport, including diffusion and various flows, such as turbulent flow, foam flow, free-surface flow and the flow of non-Newtonian fluids. I am also interested in physics education research (PER) and its connection to best teaching practices.

Contact Ben

My research focuses on the spectroscopy of molecules relevant to astrophysics, atmospheric science, and molecular physics. Along with my colleagues Dr. Allan Adam (Department of Chemistry, UNB) and Dr. Colan Linton (Lifetime Professor Emeritus of Physics, UNB), I run a laboratory equipped with a wide variety of lasers and spectrometers with which we study the emission and absorption of light from the atoms and molecules. We produce through electrical discharge, laser ablation, high heat, and other techniques.

Contact Dennis

Research includes the development of new optical methods, the analysis of ground-based and satellite observations, and general circulation models to investigate the physics of the middle/upper atmospheres of the terrestrial planets. The identification of waves in the terrestrial atmosphere and the determination of their role in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere, the development of observation techniques suitable for measuring wind, and temperature in planetary atmospheres and the investigation coupling processes in the Polar Regions (using observations from the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Eureka, Nunavut) are three areas of particular interest.

Contact William

Due to rapid development of techniques, such as femtosecond optical comb, measurements on few body systems can now reach an unprecedented high precision, providing many exciting opportunities for theorists to explore fundamental physics by performing calculations on small but extremely important effects, such as high order relativistic and quantum electrodynamic (QED) effects. I have been working on precision calculations of few-body atomic and molecular systems for nearly 30 years. With Prof. Gordon Drake, we revolutionized atomic lithium calculations. With an experimental group at GSI, Germany, we made significant contributions to the first determination of halo 11Li nuclear charge radius. In addition to these, we have been working on high-precision calculations of polarizabilities of atoms and ions for many years, which turned out to be a timely important research topic in the development of atomic clocks. Recently, with my colleagues, we have focused our attention on new computational tools for handling high-Z ionic systems, with the purpose of seeking possible candidates of new-generation atomic clocks beyond the 10-19 precision.

Contact Zong-Chao