Gryphon CAST Podcast
Welcome to Gryphon CAST, a podcast hosted by research technician Amanda Reside and PhD candidate Mackenzie Charter. We will highlight new and exciting research coming out of the College of Biological Science, and how that research can affect lives around the world. Do you have a question for Gryphon CAST? Our experts specialize in a broad range of topics in the fields of genetics, biochemistry, ecology, evolutionary biology, botany, human kinetics and nutrition, and more. Send us your questions and they could be featured in an upcoming show!
Gryphon CAST is a division of SCRIBE (Students Communicating Research in Biology Education) Research Highlights. SCRIBE writers take an active role in translating and communicating research results for non-specialist audiences as they develop their knowledge mobilization skills. Learn more about our SCRIBE program here.
Episode 12: Herd Immunity in Serengeti; John Fryxell & Predator-Prey Dynamics
John Fryxell's research focuses on the impact of behavioural decision-making on food web interactions in spatially-structured ecosystems. Empirical work has been concentrated on 3 different terrestrial ecosystems in recent years: large herbivores and lions in Tanzania, wolves, moose, and caribou in boreal forests of Canada, and both wild and semi-domesticated reindeer in Norway. "On the rare moments that I'm not on a zoom call, I am most often butchering jazz standards on the guitar..."
Episode 11: Do Late Bloomers Get the Bees? Christina Caruso & Floral Plasticity
Dr. Christina Caruso is a faculty member in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on how native plant populations evolve in response to changes in their environment. Chris grew up in Peoria, Illinois, and is an avid early-morning runner.
Episode 10: Gryphon CAST Special
To celebrate the 10th episode of the podcast, Michael chats with a few members of the Gryphon CAST team! This includes Ian Smith, Sarah Bates, and co-hosts Lior Boguslavski and Amanda Reside. What are their thoughts on science communication, and what advice do they have for you?
Hypoxia and Tumors and Breast Cancer, Oh Y!: Sydney Pascetta & Neuropeptide Y Signalling
Sydney is entering the fifth year of her PhD. She previously obtained a double degree in Biology-Psychology from Queen’s University, Kingston. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Queen’s. Her current graduate work focuses on neurohormone signaling in breast cancer. She is trying to understand how an integral component of the nervous system, neuropeptide Y, functions under low oxygen conditions that reflect a tumour microenvironment.
A Mouthful of Sugar Helps the (Perceived) Exhaustion Stay Down: Dani Nyman and Lawrence Spriet
Dani Nyman has a BSc in Human Kinetics and an MSc in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Guelph. She has worked with 8 different NHL franchises and the Canadian Women’s National Team, but still loves her favourite team, the Montreal Canadiens, from home. Dani is currently a PhD student in Kinesiology at Queen’s University. Dr. Lawrence L. Spriet is a University Professor Emeritus and former Chair in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences. He is an avid hockey player in the winter months and enjoys cycling in the summer.
Testing the (Toxic) Waters: René Shahmohamadloo & Algal Blooms
René is both a Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington State University and the University of Guelph. His research aims to advance our understanding of human-induced environmental change on ecological and evolutionary processes in wildlife. Specifically, René researches pollution-driven adaptation, or “evolutionary ecotoxicology”, which seeks to understand the role of adaptation in organisms that enable populations to thrive in anthropogenically-stressed ecosystems. His work focuses on understanding the biology of harmful algal blooms and the evolutionary and toxicological responses on organisms exposed to them. Outside of work, René enjoys drawing manga and mastering the art of screentone.
Spilling the Beans with Prof. Alison Duncan
Dr. Alison Duncan is a Professor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. She is also a Registered Dietitian. Her research focuses on the biological effects of functional foods on chronic disease-related endpoints evaluated in human intervention studies, with a particular focus on the agri-food-health continuum. She has studied how pulses including beans can affect health and enjoyed working on this project with her graduate students. In addition to loving her academic work in nutrition, Alison enjoys her home in rural Rockwood and hanging out in Ontario arenas and soccer fields watching her kids play.
Synthesizing Cannabis Compounds is a ‘Budding’ Industry: Kelly Boddington & Bibenzyl Synthesis
Kelly received her PhD at the University of Guelph in Prof. Steffen Graether's lab researching the biochemistry of intrinsically disordered proteins in Vitis riparia. She then moved to Prof. Tariq Akhtar's lab for her post-doc where she published the paper discussed in this episode. Since publishing her work on bibenzyls, she joined the company Canurta as a research associate to develop a platform for the biosynthesis of various therapeutic Cannabis metabolites. During her PhD, she designed and taught a first year seminar class about how to critically evaluate the representation of science in the media.
Not All Areas Are Protected Equally: Leo Custode & Protected Areas
Leo is a MSc. student in the Norris lab at the University of Guelph. His research builds on work he did in an undergraduate thesis project looking at the importance of Canadian protected areas with a specific focus on alternatives to government protected areas. His current project is focused on measuring the connectivity of Canada’s protected areas.
Dairy Alternatives Are Soy Good for You: David Mutch, Melissa Gonzalez-Soto & Soy Diets
Dr. Mutch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph, Canada. He leads a nutrigenomics research program that investigates mechanisms that regulate lipid metabolism in the body, with a major focus on diet-gene interactions in adipose (fat) tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver. Melissa is a recent MSc. graduate from the Human Health and Nutritional Sciences Department. She is excited to begin her PhD. in the field of nutrigenomics, investigating how different sources of protein affect omega-3 synthesis in the body.
Giving New Meaning to "Iced" Wine: Annette Nassuth & Wine Grape Stomata
Annette has been investigating for most of her career how plants react at the molecular level to stresses such as virus infection and low temperatures. Her most recent research focusses on adaptations of grape plants to low temperatures, including the formation of stomata. She has taken up the sport of curling, to also experience freezing stress personally.
It Takes A Village to Teach A Class: Dan Grunspan & Teaching Teams During Covid-19
Dan is a discipline-based education researcher who studies networks across higher education with an interest in their implications for improving undergraduate education. As part of this work, he has been studying faculty discussion networks and their ties to pedagogical practice, including studying academic departments across eight different universities. Before discovering his love of biology as an undergraduate, Dan attended professional umpire academy for baseball, where he discovered that he didn’t actually love umpiring.