Susan Procopio

Graduate Student, MSc
Robinson Lab



BSc – University of Guelph (2015 - 2020)

MSc – University of Guelph (2020 - present)

In 2020, I graduated with a BSc in Biological Science from the University of Guelph. Throughout my undergraduate degree I developed research interests in the fields of physiology, ecology and evolution (more broadly, integrative biology). In the final year of my BSc, I pursued an undergraduate thesis project in the laboratory of Dr. Frédéric Laberge where I was investigating whether the relative heart size of pumpkinseed sunfish varies across seasons and whether such heart plasticity can evolve under contrasting seasonal regimes.

Now as an MSc student under the supervision of Dr. Beren Robinson, I continue to ask questions about physiological processes in the pumpkinseed sunfish. My graduate research is in follow- up to the discovery that sunfish inhabiting the shallow water near-shore habitat have larger brains than sunfish inhabiting the deep open-water habitat in freshwater lake systems. I am interested in the energetic consequences of such brain size variation, given that brain tissue is energetically costly, and organisms have a finite amount of energy.  More specifically, I am investigating whether brain size variation is associated with variation in resting metabolism and/or the size of other costly organs/ functions.