Go to the U of G Homepage.


MSc Program
PhD Program


Richard Reader (303 Axelrod, Ext. 53593)
(E-mail: rreader@uoguelph.ca)

Graduate co-ordinator
Annette Nassuth (305 Axelrod, Ext. 58787)
(E-mail: anassuth@uoguelph.ca)

Graduate secretary
Laurie Winn (301 Axelrod, Ext. 52730)

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

Christina M. Caruso
BA Oberlin College, PhD Illinois - Assistant 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

Hafiz Maherali
BSc McGill, MSc, PhD Illinois - 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

     The Department of Botany offers MSc and PhD degrees in the fields of Plant Ecology (Husband, Klironomos, Larson, Reader), Plant Physiology (Bewley, Greenwood, Horton, Mullen, Rauser), Plant Anatomy and Morphology (Greenwood, Peterson, Posluszny), Plant Evolution and Systematics (Canne-Hilliker, Husband, Mable), 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 advisors 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
F or W This course focuses 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.
Restoration Ecology
W An overview of the process used to restore naturally occurring ecological systems that have been degraded by human activity. Students will review restoration projects in Canada and abroad, to become more familiar with experimental design, analysis and data management, as it is currently used in restoration ecology. Emphasis will be placed on the scientific method and the role of ecological theory. Political, social and economic aspects of restoration will be considered. Offered in conjunction with BIOL*4060. Extra work is required of graduate students.
Evolutionary Ecology
W An examination of common ecological circumstances faced by plants and animals and the morphological, behavioural and life history characteristics that have evolved in response. Particular emphasis will be placed on evolutionary processes and on adaptive aspects of thermoregulation, foraging strategies, spatial distribution, social and reproductive strategies. The course will emphasize both the theoretical basis and empirical evidence for ecological adaptation. There is a one-hour seminar each week for class discussion of selected lecture topics. Offered in conjunction with BIOL*4120. Extra work is required of graduate students.
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
F (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.
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Plant Cell Biology
F (odd years, first offered in 2003) An examination and discussion of structure-function relationships at the subcellular level during plant growth and development. Organelles and their roles in biosynthetic, bioenergetic, and physiological processes that are unique to plants will be examined. Offered in conjunction with PBIO*4030. Extra work is required of graduate students.
Molecular Evolution
F This course is designed to provide students with an appreciation for the uses of molecular data in the study of evolutionary processes. An overview of the principles of molecular data analysis using a phylogenetic approach will be given. In addition, the importance of incorporating evolutionary history into biodiversity research and other applied topics will be emphasized. Laboratory sessions will be devoted to practical training in analytical tools using specialized computer software, and for student presentation of independent research projects. The course will involve practical training in molecular data analysis using a phylogenetic approach and discussion of current topics from the primary literature.
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. Also offered as ENVB*6040.
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.
Communicating Plant Biology
F to W This course will provide students with opportunities to develop their own presentation style through community activities in plant science. Guest speakers from Counseling and Student Resources, Office of Research, Department of Philosophy, Let's Talk Science, the library and consulting firms will be invited to provide insights into the effective application of communication methods within these various areas. The course is intended to enhance the student's capacity to be of service in the community and to help prepare students for careers such as teaching, consulting, park interpretation, agribusiness, etc. Students should contact the instructor in the semester prior to the course offering.
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.
Seminar I
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.
Seminar II
F or W This course is designed to encourage participation in the Botany seminar series and is designed to be taken in conjunction with BOT*6800. Students will be responsible for writing a critique and literature review for one chosen speaker (outside of their own research area) in the seminar series.


A Registrarial Services Web site             © 2000 University of Guelph, Office of the Registrar