Monday, December 20, 2010

Featured Student or Postdoc: Julie Marentette

Julie Marentette is a Ph.D. student working with Sigal Balshine in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

For Julie, a large part of growing up was fishing and swimming in Lakes St. Clair and Erie. Following a love of nature, she completed a B.Sc. in Biology at the University of Windsor. While there, she developed an interest in Great Lakes research as an NSERC undergraduate research assistant, and later thesis student, in the laboratory of Lynda Corkum. With Lynda, Julie studied pheromone communication in the invasive round goby.

Julie’s ongoing research with Sigal at McMaster University continues to focus on the reproductive biology of the round goby. Currently, she is examining the consequences of living in contaminated habitats. This involves a comparison of physiological and behavioural biomarkers of pollutant exposure in fish from areas of varying contamination in Hamilton Harbour, an Area of Concern. She suspects that contamination will affect activity levels, foraging, and responses to predators. Her work will help determine how contaminants affect round goby population dynamics, and thus the transfer of toxicants through local foodwebs.