Kathleen Nolan

Graduate Student, MSc
Hanner Lab, Heyland Lab

I received my BSc with Distinction in Biodiversity with a minor in Mathematical Science from the University of Guelph in April 2020. During my undergraduate degree, I conducted an honours’ thesis project with Dr. Andreas Heyland investigating the effects of nitrogenous compounds on the growth of microalgae in the context of a photobioreactor. As part of the biodiversity major under the advisory of Dr. Robert Hanner, I conducted an original environmental DNA survey of brook trout presence in Hanlon Creek, Guelph, in partnership with several community partners including Trout Unlimited and NRSI. I had the privilege of taking part in the S19 offering of BIOL 4610, UofG’s Arctic Ecology field course with Dr. Sarah Adamowicz in Churchill, MB, where I conducted independent research on invertebrate community diversity within sub-arctic lichen patches.

My MSc research (began May 2020) combines my interest in freshwater environmental monitoring via molecular methods with my experience in microalgal culturing. I will be examining the relationship between land use and microalgal diversity in Southwestern Ontario under the co-advisory of Drs. Heyland and Hanner, with support from the Morwick Scholarship in Aquatic Biology and Food from Thought. I am hoping to validate molecular methods in DNA barcoding of microalgae with established ultra-dilution based microalgal monitoring techniques. This research will contribute to existing DNA sequence databases and will shed light into the cryptic diversity of microalgal communities.