Department Head: Dr. Glenys Gibson

Trevor Avery
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1873
Room 410

Trevor Avery, Ph.D., P.Stat.
Professor | Biology and Mathematics & Statistics | P.Stat.

I research aquatic systems, and collaborate through biostatistics on other aquatic and terrestrial ecological projects. Currently, my students and I study population dynamics, conservation, stewardship and recreational angling of Striped Bass and two skate species (Winter and Little Skates), American Eel habitat use and population dynamics, introduced species (Smallmouth Bass and Chain Pickerel) and their effects on community structure using long-term datasets, and various smaller projects including lynx prey habitat use, squid and lady crab demographics, and the application of local ecological knowledge to conservation and management. As a biostatistician, I seek higher understanding in all things numerical.

BIOL 2563 Marine Biology
MATH 2243 Statistics for Life Sciences 2
BIOL 4113 Fish Biology
BIOL 4253 Data Science In Ecology
BIOL 5023 Research Methods 2


Melanie Coombs
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1162
Room 312

Melanie Coombs, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

I am an immunologist who investigates how the immune system responds to microbes and cancer. My research interests include the investigation of mechanisms underlying the anticancer and immunomodulatory effects of natural products such as phytochemicals and host defense peptides. A primary question that my research addresses is what are the benefits of modified host defense peptides and phytochemicals on colorectal cancer and/or immune cell function?

BIOL 2053/2253 Microbial Biodiversity
BIOL 3553 Immunology
BIOL 3573 Applied & Environmental Microbiology
BIOL 4353 Pathogenic Microbiology


Suzie Currie
Ph. 902-585-1473
Room 301 HSH

Suzie Currie, Ph.D.

I am a comparative animal physiologist, interested in understanding how animals cope with environmental stress in marine and freshwater environments. We conduct experiments on campus as well as field-work in marine stations in Canada, the US and the tropics (preferably, during the Canadian winter!). My research program is focused on the feedback between behavioural and physiological responses allowing animals to compensate and maintain function in changing, often stressful environments. Over the past few years, we have been focused on thermal physiology and behaviour, and how the social environment affects how fish deal with stress such as high temperatures associated with climate change. We study a range of fishes including sharks, skates, Atlantic salmon, trout, hagfish, and mangrove fishes.

Research Webpage


Helene d'Entremont
Room 333

Hélène d'Entremont, M.Sc.
Instructor II

I'm Hélène (pronounced L.N.). I develop and run labs for Microbial Biodiversity, Cell & Molecular Biology, and Applied & Environmental Microbiology. I enjoy the creativity involved in designing new and relevant labs.

BIOL 2050L Microbiology Lab
BIOL 2010L Cell & Molecular Lab (on sabbatical)
BIOL 3570L Applied & Environmental Microbiology Lab (on sabbatical)


website | email
Ph. 902-585-1156
Room 432

Russell Easy, Ph.D.
(On Sabbatical 1 Jul 2023 - 30 Jun 2024)

I am a comparative biologist with broad research interests. My experience is in the field of molecular biology exploring gene signatures and proteins in vertebrate and invertebrate species. Other projects include examining the effects of parasitic manipulation at the molecular level and phylogenetic determinations of parasites. The focus of my lab is to identify changes in target molecules in animals in response to environmental stressors using advanced molecular and proteomic methods. I constantly strive to answer the question, "Stress, what is it good for?"

BIOL 2013 Cell & Molecular Biology
BIOL 3613 Principles of Genetics
BIOL 3623 Molecular Genetics & Genomics 

BIOL 4683 Biology of Cancer

BIOL 4996 Honours


website | email
Room 335

Laura Ferguson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

I am an integrative biologist interested in how host-microbe interactions shape insect resilience in our changing world. I focus on both host-pathogen encounters as well as insect relationships with their microbiomes. Our lab has a particular interest in the winter biology and temperature-dependence of these interactions. Currently we are focused on mosquitoes and ticks, working towards understanding how their ability to resist and transmit disease will shift with climate change.

BIOL 2073 Animal Biodiversity
BIOL 3143 Animal Behaviour
BIOL 3693 Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology
BIOL 3993 One Health


Room 310

Wasundara Fernando, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

I am a Cancer Biologist and I investigate the anticancer potential of novel, targeted therapeutic agents using cell and animal models. My research is focused at understanding the mechanisms of cancer progression, metastasis, recurrence and development of chemo-resistance. I study pharmacokinetics of novel drug candidates using mice to understand proper dosing and metabolism of drugs.

BIOL 1113: Organisms and their Environment 1
BIOL 2013: Cell and Molecular Biology
BIOL 3613: Principles of Genetics
BIOL 3623: Molecular Genetics and Genomics


Glenys Gibson
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1250
Room 108

Glenys Gibson, Ph.D.
Professor | Department Head

I am a developmental biologist that investigates developmental plasticity, epigenetics and regeneration. We work primarily with marine invertebrates and especially polychaetes, small animals that are abundant in the Minas Basin and have a rich diversity in of developmental patterns. We use a variety of approaches including microscopy (e.g., confocal, Scanning Electron Microscopy), histology and larval ecology. We are particularly interested in how maternal environment influences the development of young.

BIOL 1113 Organisms & their Environment 1
BIOL 3153 Principles of Development
BIOL 3163 Comparative Embryology
BIOL 3423 Histology 1
BIOL 3433 Histology 2
BIOL 4523 Histochemistry


Matt Hazel
Ph. 902-585-1424
Room 331

Matthew Hazel, M.Sc.
Instructor II

I lecture and run the labs for the Human Biology and Applied Human Biology courses. These are introductory courses to the human body, and we cover the anatomy and physiology of all its systems.

BIOL 1813 Human Biology 1
BIOL 1823 Human Biology 2
BIOL 1853 Applied Human Biology 1
BIOL 1863 Applied Human Biology 2


Kirk Hillier
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1314
Room 104

Kirk Hillier, Ph.D.
Professor | Director, INSECTA (Insect NeuroScience and Ecology CenTre at Acadia)
(On Sabbatical 1 Jul 2023 – 31 December 2023)

My lab's research is focused on a fundamental understanding of olfactory processing, and the relationship between odours and an animal’s behaviour. More importantly, we look at the very basis of insect pheromone processing, developmental control of pheromone perception and related neuroanatomy, and the bases of physiological coding of odour blends within the insect brain. This includes investigations of learning and memory, and the effects of pharmacological agents on the insect nervous system. Insights from these studies are ultimately applied to the management of insect pests of forestry and agriculture.

BIOL 1113 Organisms & Their Environment 1
BIOL 3883 Chemical Ecology
BIOL 3193 Entomology
BIOL 4443 Comparative Animal Physiology


Jen Kershaw
Ph. 902-585-1655
Room 431

Jennifer Kershaw, M.Sc., B.Ed.
Instructor II

I am the course and lab instructor for BIOL 2043 & BIOL 3243, as well as the lab instructor for the BIOL 2070L. My background is in land reclamation, rehabilitation and restoration, rare plant ecology, and education.

BIOL 2043/2040L Biodiversity Plants & Algae
BIOL 2070L Animal Biodiversity Labs
BIOL 3243/3240L Plant Growth and Development


Juan Carlos Lopez
Ph. 902-585-1328
Room 224

Juan Carlos López, Ph.D.
Instructor II | Director of the Virtual Maple League Teaching and Learning Centre

I am a soil microbial ecologist who studies the role of the microorganisms that dwell in and around the plant roots. I am particularly interested in the area of direct influence of plant roots on the surrounding soil, known as the rhizosphere. I teach and coordinate the introductory biology laboratories where learners, along with a team of instructors and teaching assistants, explore different aspects of how organisms interact with their environment. With students as leaders and collaborators, I have created and modelled high impact practices for student success centred around mental health, as well as decolonization and reconciliation initiatives that have impacted the way we think, talk and learn about Mi’kmaw knowledge in our institution and beyond.

BIOL 1110L Organisms and Their Environment 1 Laboratory
BIOL 1120L Organisms and Their Environment 2 Laboratory

Maple League


Mark Mallory
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1798

Mark Mallory, Ph.D.
Professor | Canada Research Chair Tier I in Coastal Ecosystem Resilience and Connectivity | Biology Graduate Studies Coordinator

My interests are diverse, but centre around the ecology and health of coastal habitats. Most of my lab’s research is undertaken in the Canadian Arctic (Nunavut) or coastal Nova Scotia, with a particular focus on using birds to assess the condition of marine and coastal environments. Two particularly fertile areas of investigation are anthropogenic effects on coastal wetlands, and using telemetry and paleo-environmental techniques to link nutrient and contaminant transport from marine to coastal environments.

BIOL 3753 The Arctic Environment
ENVS 2523 Field School
ENVS 3513 Climate Change
BIOL 5013 Research Methods 1


website | email
Room 433

Zoë Migicovsky. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor | Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Agri-Food and Sustainable Agriculture

I work at the intersection of plant agriculture and data analytics, integrating plant biology with computational tools to investigate biological variation in crop species. In particular, my lab focuses on perennial fruit crops and their wild relatives, such as apples and grapes. My research program leverages crop diversity, including genomic and trait data, to improve our understanding of plant biology and make data-driven decisions in both management practices and plant breeding.



Room 430

Zoe Panchen. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

I am a plant ecologist interested in how plants respond to environmental change. My main focus is understanding how climate change impacts plant phenology, reproductive success and community composition. Our lab conducts research in the Canadian High-Arctic which is experiencing some of the most dramatic changes in climate. With the increase in frequency and severity of climate extremes, we are particularly interested in studying the effects of climate extremes on plants.

BIOL 2043 Biodiversity Plants & Algae
BIOL 3013 Natural History & Field Biology
BIOL 4423 Conservation Biology


Anna Redden
Ph. 902-585-1787
204 Horton Hall

Anna Redden, Ph.D.
Associate Vice-President Research & Dean of Graduate Studies
Professor | Director, Acadia Tidal Energy Institute

My expertise and research interests are in coastal and marine ecology and have included a diverse range of projects undertaken with students and research colleagues in eastern Canada and Australia. They span plankton dynamics, saltmarsh communities, benthic biodiversity, invasive species (algae and tunicates), fish ecology, and acoustic detection of marine mammals and fish movements at high flow tidal energy development sites. Since 2009, my research has focused on the use of acoustic technologies to assess risk of tidal turbine interaction with marine biota (largely fish and harbour porpoise) at the FORCE turbine test site in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy.

Acadia Tidal Energy Institute


Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research


Kendra Sampson
Room LL21

Kendra Sampson, M.Sc.
Instructor | Manager, K.C. Irving Centre Tissue Culture Lab

My past research involves the study of blue carbon, as well as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and its association with critically imperiled species and salt marsh grasses. I am also a propagation specialist and oversee projects/research occurring in the Tissue Culture Lab at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre.

BIOL1110L Organisms and Their Environment 1 Laboratory
BIOL1120L Organisms and Their Environment 2 Laboratory


Todd Smith
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1400
Room 334

Todd Smith, Ph.D.
Professor | Director, Acadia Animal Care Facility
(On Sabbatical 1 Jan 2024 - 30 Jun 2024)

My research program involves investigating the coevolution of protozoan parasites and their vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. This research integrates aspects of morphology, physiology, ecology, evolutionary biology, cell biology and immunology to shed light on how the cellular interactions between parasites and host cells drive the evolution of parasite life cycles and the immune response of the host against these eukaryotic invaders. My teaching interests are varied, but all of the courses that I teach, including Microbial Biodiversity, Eukaryotic Microbiology and Parasitology, reflect aspects of my research interests.

BIOL 2053 Microbial Biodiversity
BIOL 3123 Parasitology
BIOL 3583 Eukaryotic Microbiology


Don Stewart
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1391
Room 434

Don Stewart, Ph.D.
Professor | Chair, Acadia Animal Care Committee

I’m an evolutionary biologist and I use DNA sequence data to study processes of molecular evolution. I am particularly interested in the unusual system of "doubly uniparental inheritance" of mitochondrial DNA in bivalves, in the genetic structure of various species in Atlantic Canada (e.g., moose, coyotes, black bear), and in patterns of molecular evolution in shrews.

BIOL 1123 Organisms & Their Environment 2
BIOL 3463 Evolution
BIOL 4023 Intellectual Origins of Modern Biology
BIOL 4123 Mammalogy


Mike Stokesbury
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1195

Mike Stokesbury, Ph.D.
Professor | Director, Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research

The focus of my research program is to quantify how anthropogenic disturbances in coastal ecosystems impact the spatial behaviour of fishes covering small to large spatial and temporal scales, may inflict mortality, and how such knowledge can be used to mitigate the negative effects of such activities on fish populations.

BIOL 3033 Principles of Ecology
BIOL 3373 Aquatic Ecology
BIOL 4423 Conservation Biology
BIOL 4543 Coastal and Estuarine Ecology


Allison Walker
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1333
Room 435

Allison Walker, Ph.D.
Professor | Director, E.C. Smith Herbarium | Biology Honours Program Coordinator

I study the biodiversity and ecology of coastal and marine fungi, including endophytes. Research in my lab includes collecting in seagrass, salt marsh, intertidal, and Acadian forest habitats and traditional culture-based and microscopic identification of fungi, combined with modern molecular phylogenetic and metagenomic methods. Recent collaborative projects are exploring the roles of fungi and carbon sequestration in salt marshes, endophytes of native plants, vineyard microbiomes, and hemlock-associated fungi in Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site

BIOL 1123 Organisms & Their Environment 2
ENVS 2523 Field School
BIOL 3663 Introductory Mycology
BIOL 3993 Scientific Writing
BIOL 4673 Molecular Techniques
BIOL 5013 Research Methods in Biology I

EC Smith Herbarium


Brian Wilson
Ph. 902-585-1295
Room 106

Brian Wilson, Ph.D.

My research program focuses on the role of relaxin family peptides and their receptors in the protection of neural tissue under ischemic stress.

BIOL 3063 Introductory Neuroscience
BIOL 3173 Vertebrate Physiology 1
BIOL 3183 Vertebrate Physiology 2


Professors Emeriti

Soren Bondrup-Nielsen
website | email

Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus (Retired)

My research interests are broad ranging from natural history of beetles and birds in forested and agricultural landscapes to population studies focusing on movement of the Forked fungus beetle. I believe in active learning. What I mean by that is involving the students in discussions, debates, presentations, and writing critiques and essays. This way students have to use their heads while the course is being taught.


Graham Daborn

Graham Daborn, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus (Retired)

My research interests centre around the structure and productivity of estuarine biological communities, especially those of Bay of Fundy. Emphasis is placed upon holistic, multidisciplinary studies of estuaries, the impacts of barriers and tidal power development, and the role of local communities in resource conservation and environmental management of coastal ecosystems.


Tom Herman

Tom Herman, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus (Retired)

My students and I explore the interface between humans and biodiversity - from the dynamics and conservation of small isolated populations, to the role of science in managing protected areas, to the impacts of globalization on biodiversity, and the role of citizen science and community engagement in recovery of species-at-risk. Most of our recent work focuses on endangered turtles and snakes in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.


Ed Reekie

Ed Reekie, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus (Retired)

I am a plant ecologist with particular interests in population biology and eco-physiology. My courses emphasize the development of critical thinking skills and utilize the many interesting local ecosystems through field trips and the use of local materials and examples. I conduct research in a variety of areas including: the impact of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on plant growth and development, the factors limiting the distribution and abundance of rare and endangered species, plant-insect interactions and the physiological basis for life history variation in plants.


Dave Shutler
website | email
Ph. 902-585-1354
Room 430

Dave Shutler, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus (Retired)

My interests centre on how stressors affect organisms' physiology and reproductive ecology. Among the stressors Team Shutler works on are pesticides, heavy metals, plastics, low-quality nutrition, and parasites. My lab and I work primarily with birds (mostly tree swallows) and honey bees, but we make occasional forays into other systems. My publication list provides more detailed context.