Undergraduate Student Opportunities


IBIO*4500/10 & IBIO*4521/22 Independent Research Opportunities - F20/W21


Mechanisms underlying sea urchin metamorphosis and settlement: We are interested in understanding the transition from larva to juvenile of marine invertebrates. Specifically, our research focuses on the metamorphosis of sea urchin species and we are investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms of this transition as well as its endocrine regulation. Students will develop their own project within this broader context and will acquire molecular, cellular and imaging skills. If you are interested in this research please contact aheyland@uoguelph.ca

Hormonal regulation of crustacean reproduction: We have several research projects on commercial (shrimp) and non-commercial (Daphnia) crustacean species, focused on the hormonal regulation of reproduction. Specifically, we would like to better understand how crustacean hormones (methyl-farnesoate, ecydsteroids) are used in the gonadal development and how these hormones regulate the trade-off between reproduction and growth. Students will develop their own project within this broader context. They will be involved in the culturing of crustacean species in the lab,  conduct endocrine manipulations and acquire analytical skills. If you are interested in this research please contact aheyland@uoguelph.ca

Photo-bioreactor development for clean inland aquaculture: We are developing new technologies for inland aquaculture. This project is focused on the testing of a photo-bioreactor prototype to remove nutrients and CO2 from recirculating aquaculture systems. Students will be working on projects related to testing the growth of algal strains in the reactor. They will acquire analytical and experimental skills. If you are interested in this research please contact aheyland@uoguelph.ca

Cottenie Lab: We have 80 benthic macroinvertebrate samples collected from 20 streams in southern Ontario in September 2019 as part of a freshwater biomonitoring sampling scheme. We also have water quality data and a microhabitat assessment following the Ontario Stream Assessment protocol. This project would involve lab work in the fall term to sort benthic invertebrates from sample debris using a dissection microscope, as well as record total invertebrate abundance and biomass. Microscope sorting requires a high degree of organization and attention to detail. The samples will then be processed for DNA metabarcoding and the student would receive the identified sequences (we don’t require any experience with molecular lab work or sequencing for this project). There are many opportunities here for research projects focusing on community and freshwater ecology (e.g., How does taxonomic resolution influence patterns in community composition? How are functional traits influenced by habitat condition? Are invertebrate biomass and abundance related to habitat?) or methodological questions related to best practices for identifying invertebrates using metabarcoding (e.g., How variable is community composition between PCR technical replicates? We are looking for a student with an interest in aquatic insects and ecology, and can tailor research questions to the student's interests. The student would work closely with a PhD student mentor and would gain practical experience in proposal writing/literature review, benthic invertebrate ID, statistical analysis in R and scientific writing.If you are interested in this research please contact jgleason@uoguelph.ca

Note: Should the university close to students in response to a second COVID-19 wave, we do have data from previous sampling events.

Summer 2020 Undergraduate Research Assistantships (URA) and Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Positions Open until February 15

Gain valuable research experience while working full-time on campus this summer. The Department of Integrative Biology has 14 unique URA and USRA positions awaiting applications from qualified students.

To view available positions:

  • Log into experienceguelph.ca using your UofG ID
  • Click “On Campus Employment” to access the campus job board.
  • Click “Undergraduate Research Assistantships / Awards (URA & USRA)” under Quick Searches to see the full list. You can sort the list by title, department, and type.

Searching for a specific position?

  • Click “On Campus Employment” to access the campus job board.
  • Enter the Job ID number in the “Search Postings” section.

To apply:

Many supervisors are reviewing applications and requesting interviews as applications come in. It is strongly encouraged to apply before the February 15 deadline.