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Salmon netpens on the ocean with hills in the background
Trays of salmon eggs of different colours

Welcome to the Heath Research Group

The Heath Research Group (HRG) in the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER) at the University of Windsor is a nationally recognized research facility that uses cutting edge genetics and field techniques to investigate questions about evolution, ecology and conservation biology.

HRG Members

The HRG is composed of highly qualified staff and students – many of them grant winners – drawn from around the world and from a variety of scientific backgrounds to encourage a diversity of perspectives. We foster a collegial, collaborative working environment with senior lab members mentoring junior ones to support HRG members in learning how to interact with peers and share knowledge in a productive laboratory environment (read more about HRG members). The HRG has recruited students and post-docs from around the world, and many of them are now working across the globe in a variety of jobs.

Cutting Edge Technology

HRG members have exceptional opportunities for the acquisition of innovative training and skills in research areas of critical importance to Canada’s future. The HRG is part of the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER) which focuses on innovative multidisciplinary collaborations that equip lab members with training in environmental research using diverse and cutting edge equipment and facilities making their experience second-to-none in Canada. In particular, the training opportunities available through GLIER’s Environmental Genomics Facility (EGF) provide remarkable research opportunities in the application of genetics and genomics to environmental, ecological and evolutionary questions. The EGF is designed to be user-friendly, thus students and post-doctoral fellows develop expertise with operating state-of-the-art equipment for DNA and RNA analyses, qRT-PCR, and microarray development and application. Two recently successful CFI/ORF grants have updated the EGF infrastructure to provide nano-scale quantitative real-time PCR, massively parallel (NextGen) sequencing and new microarray printing and scanning platforms. This new infrastructure makes the EGF one of the best equipped genomics facilities devoted to environmental and ecological applications in the world.

Exciting Fieldwork Opportunities

HRG members have opportunities to work in remote and exotic locations. We have sent researchers to an island research station off the Central American coast to monitor the dynamics of coral reef fish populations. Other researchers examined threatened endemic species in an ancient lake in Silowesi, Indonesia. HRG members do fieldwork closer to home, too, in the Great Lakes region as well as in British Columbia in both remote areas of the Interior and on the coast, where we have access to a nationally recognised salmon aquaculture research facility (Yellow Island Aquaculture Ltd.) for controlled experimentation (read more about the HRG's SYNERGY award). Lab members are encouraged to take advantage of a diverse array of field opportunities through an international network of contacts within government, industry and, of course, academia. These networking opportunities increase HRG members’ productivity in both authorships and projects completed and help them gain experience in other research environments.

Expanding beyond lab- and fieldwork

HRG members are assisted in actively participating in the wider research community through fully paid attendance and presentations at conferences as well as enthusiastic support and assistance throughout the thesis and journal article writing process. Within the HRG, all graduate students are required to submit at least one article to a peer-reviewed journal and are rewarded with a $1,000 bonus stipend. All HRG Honours undergradate students are strongly encouraged to develop their theses for publication. (Read more about the HRG's publications, presentations and theses.)
 
If you would like to explore working in our research lab as a volunteer, work study or graduate student, please contact Dr. Daniel Heath to discuss the possibilities. We would be happy to give you a tour of the lab and answer any questions you might have.