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MSc Program
PhD Program


Richard Reader (108 Axelrod, Ext. 3593/6570)
(E-mail: rreader@uoguelph.ca)

Graduate co-ordinator
Annette Nassuth (305 Axelrod, Ext. 8787)
(E-mail: anassuth@uoguelph.ca)

Graduate secretary
Laurie Winn (301 Axelrod, Ext. 2731)

Graduate Faculty

J. Derek Bewley
BSc, PhD Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, DSc University of London, FRSC - Professor

Judith M. Canne-Hilliker
BSc State U. of New York, MSc Ball State, PhD Ohio State - Associate Professor

John S. Greenwood
BSc, MSc McMaster, PhD Calgary - Associate Professor

Roger F. Horton
BSc Wales, D Phil Oxford - Professor

Brian C. Husband
BSc, MSc Alberta, PhD Toronto - Assistant Professor

John N. Klironomos
BSc Concordia, PhD Waterloo - Assistant Professor

Douglas W. Larson
BSc, PhD McMaster - Professor

Barbara K. Mable
BSc, MSc Guelph, PhD Texas (Austin) - Assistant Professor

Robert T. Mullen
BSc, PhD Alberta - Assistant Professor

Annette Nassuth
BSc, MSc Free University, Amsterdam, PhD Leiden - Assistant Professor

R. Larry Peterson
BEd, MSc Alberta, PhD California, FRSC - Professor

Usher Posluszny
BSc, PhD McGill - Professor

Wilfried E. Rauser
BSA, MSA Toronto, PhD Illinois - Professor

Richard J. Reader
BSc Windsor, MSc Manitoba, PhD North Carolina - Professor

Robert G. Sheath
BSc, PhD Toronto - Professor and Dean of College of Biological Science

From the Department of Environmental Biology:
Peter G. Kevan
BSc McGill, PhD Alberta - Professor
Associated Graduate Faculty
John Ambrose
BS, MS Michigan, PhD Cornell

Joseph F. Gerrath
BA, BSc, MSc, PhD British Columbia - Associate Professor

B. Ann Oaks
BA Toronto, MA, PhD Saskatchewan, FRSC - McMaster University

Special Graduate Faculty
Melissa Farquhar
BSc, PhD Guelph - Instructor/Technical Specialist

Jean M. Gerrath
BSc British Columbia, PhD Guelph - Adjunct Professor

Frédérique Guinel
MSc Pierre et Marie Curie, PhD Carleton - Adjunct Professor

     The Department of Botany offers MSc and PhD degrees in the fields of terrestrial and aquatic ecology (Husband, Klironomos, Larson, Reader, Sheath), plant physiology (Bewley, Greenwood, Horton, Mullen, Rauser), plant anatomy and morphology (Peterson, Posluszny), plant systematics and population biology (Canne-Hilliker, Husband, Sheath), and cellular and molecular botany (Bewley, Greenwood, Mullen, Nassuth, Peterson). The primary objective of the graduate program in botany is to provide training in research, in a field and/or laboratory setting.
     The department is actively involved in the Plant Biology Council, which has a mandate to strengthen undergraduate and graduate teaching in plant biology, provide incentives for collaborative research, and to ensure communication among the Departments of Botany, Plant Agriculture, Environmental Biology, and Land Resource Science. There are also close ties with plant-oriented researchers in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.
     Applicants must submit a statement of their research interests and are encouraged to contact potential advisers prior to submission of an application.
     Students may be admitted in any of the three semesters. However, applications should generally be completed two months before the start of a semester to be considered for admission and funding in that semester. Applications from international students must be completed six months before the start of the semester.

MSc Program

     This program is primarily a learning experience for students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to complete high-quality research.
Admission Requirements
     To be considered for admission, applicants should hold or obtain a baccalaureate degree in an honours program or equivalent from a recognized university or college and have an average academic standing of at least second-class honours (70% or 'B-') during the last four semesters or two years of study.

Degree Requirements
     Students in the MSc degree program are required to take courses, prepare and defend an acceptable research proposal, and prepare and defend an acceptable thesis.
     Courses (minimum of 1.5 credits) which are acceptable to the department and the Dean of Graduate Studies as graduate credits, are required. Courses included in the Graduate Calendar have graduate credit. Undergraduate courses may be taken on the advisory committee's recommendation as additional courses.
     Students must prepare a written research proposal on their research topic which is acceptable to their advisory committee. The oral presentation of the proposal is public. The research proposal may be taken as a course.
     An acceptable thesis has to be prepared for the final MSc oral examination, at which time the thesis is defended. The usual duration of the MSc program is six semesters.

PhD Program

     This program is more rigorous than the MSc degree and more research oriented. The research completed must have elements of originality and be publishable in a recognized peer-review journal.

Admission Requirements
     Applicants for the PhD program should have a recognized master's degree with a 75% ('B') average in their postgraduate studies. Direct admission of honours baccalaureate graduates to the PhD program is normally not granted and will only be considered for students with a superior average academic standing (at least 80% or 'A-' during the last four semesters or two years of study).

Degree Requirements
     Students in the PhD degree program are required to prepare and defend an acceptable research proposal, pass a qualifying examination, and prepare and defend an acceptable thesis. There are no specific minimum course requirements, except for students accepted directly after an honours baccalaureate degree (see under Degree Requirements for the MSc program).
     Students must prepare a written research proposal on their research topic which is acceptable to their advisory committee. The oral presentation of this proposal is public.
     The qualifying examination is used to determine whether or not the student has the academic foundation and native ability to complete the PhD degree. A student will be required to withdraw from the PhD program if the qualifying examination is not passed (one repeat is permitted).
     An acceptable thesis has to be prepared for the final PhD oral examination, at which time this thesis is defended. The examination committee includes an appropriate external examiner. The usual duration of the program is twelve semesters.


Course/(Credit Value) Term Course Description
Plant Ecology
Plant Ecology I
F or W These courses focus on a range of subjects dealing with the dynamics of plant populations and communities. Critical assessment of current theories, experimental methods and analytical techniques will be emphasized.
Plant Ecology II
F or W
Plant Physiology
Regulation and Control of Plant Growth
(even years)
The regulation of plant growth and development from the environmental to the molecular level, and the integration of these processes in time and space. Topics include growth regulation and regulators, photomorphogenesis, reproductive development, and development in stressful environments.
Seed Development and Germination
(even years)
Physiological, biochemical and molecular aspects of seed development and germination and establishment of the seedling will be discussed in lectures and discussions of recent advances in the literature.
Plant Metabolism
W Physiological and biochemical aspects of the mechanism whereby plants sustain themselves. Emphasis will be placed on the interactions between different processes. Offered in conjunction with BOT*4380. Extra work is required of graduate students.
Plant Systematics
Plant Systematics and Speciation in Plants
W Topics of current interest in plant systematics are discussed. Issues may include advances in the classification process and the relative merits of various methods of classification and phylogenetic reconstruction. Also, the origin of species in higher plants is discussed in relation to modes and mechanisms of the formation of taxa in nature, and the recognition and circumscription of these taxa.
Topics in Phycology
W Topics of current interest in algal biology, morphology and systematics are discussed.
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Molecular Basis of Plant-Microbe Interactions
F A lecture and seminar course on recent advances in the study of plant-microbe interactions. Topics included are the biochemical, physiological and genetic aspects of plant defenses and the interaction of plants with pathogenic and mutualistic bacteria, fungi and viruses. Offered in conjunction with PBIO*4000. Extra work is required of graduate students.
Plant Anatomy and Morphology
Modern Approaches to Plant Ultrastructure
W An introduction to some of the recent advances in electron microscopy and laser scanning confocal microscopy and their application to ultrastructural studies of plant systems.
Topics in Flowering Plant Morphology
W Current research in the morphology of flowering plants, plant architecture and comparative plant development. The impact of plant morphology on systematics and developmental molecular genetics.
Theoretical Plant Biology
F The discovery, formulation and analysis of biological concepts, models, theories and their implications as they apply to botanical studies. The course also focuses on the logical relationships among theoretical constructs and deals with conceptual frameworks and paradigms. Examples will be used from such disciplines as morphology, systematics, ecology and population biology.
S, F or W A written literature review and research proposal on the student's thesis research topic will form the basis of this departmental seminar. This will be presented within two semesters of entering the MSc or PhD program.


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