MELS Faculty Directory

Faculty Members

Dr. Paul Alexandre – Geology

Research interests:

  • Economic Geology, Metallogeny, Mineral Exploration – VMS deposits (Flin Flon – Snow Lake belt), Uranium deposits (unconformity-related, Na-metasomatism-related, sandstone hosted; exploration methods), Gold deposits (Central France), Emerald deposits (pegmatite type).
  • Geochronology – Applied geochronology (deposit studies, orogenic evolution), Theoretical developments (thermochronology, data interpretation).
  • Geochemistry – Stable isotopes applied to mineral exploration, Radiogenic isotopes applied to metallogeny, Lithogeochemistry applied to deposit studies.
  • Mineralogy – Mineral chemistry (emerald, uraninite, high-Cr minerals, clay minerals), Crystallography (zircon, uraninite).

Ardelli B & W

Dr. Bernadette Ardelli – Biology

My research interests are centered on the mechanism of disease in parasitic eukaryotes.  Some current projects include elucidating the molecular targets of drugs, the mechanism(s) of drug resistance and the utility of targeting helminth ABC transporters for combination therapy.  I have sequenced several eukaryotic genomes and I am currently annotating them.  I am accepting graduate students.  While not a necessity, individuals with experience in molecular biology and bioinformatics would be welcome.

Dr. Eric Bushnell – Chemistry

Currently seeking a highly motivated graduate student to work at the Master’s level on projects related to dithiolene-metal complexes at Brandon University in Prof. Bushnell’s research group in the Department of Chemistry at Brandon University. Applicants should have a good knowledge of, and a strong interest in, physical chemistry, computational chemistry and/or inorganic/bioinorganic chemistry. Computer programming experience is a plus.

The research focus in Bushnell’s group is to use computational/theoretical chemistry tools to carry out investigations of metal-diselenolene complexes for possible application in solving environmental, energy, and health related problems. In particular, students will use a combination of density functional theory, molecular mechanics and molecular dynamics to study the chemistry and behaviour of inorganic/bioinorganic metal-diselenolene complexes. Funding options are available for both Canadian and international students. However, non-Canadian applicants should keep in mind that visa processes take considerable time and proof of English language proficiency is required.

Founded in 1899, Brandon University is a small but thriving institution located in southwestern Manitoba. Through the CFI funded Compute Canada students have access to state-of-the-art molecular and computational tools.

To apply, please send your resume, a cover letter and a list of two references to Dr. Eric Bushnell by email.

Closing Date: Open until filled

Dr. Bryan Cassone – Biology

My research focuses on insects that transmit pathogens to plants or animals. Some current projects include exploring the genetic basis of vector competence, population genomics of ticks vectoring Lyme disease, and improving diagnostic tools for Manitoba crop diseases. I am always seeking enthusiastic graduate students to join the lab. Please contact me for additional information.

Dr. Michael Charette – Chemistry

Chen B & W

Dr. Vincent Chen – Chemistry

Our lab is interested in the characterization of gene function via the examination of proteins and proteomes.
We have ongoing projects related to the large-scale identification of protein-interaction networks, post-translational modifications and diagnostic test development.
We are looking for motivated graduate students to join our team.  Visit us at

Eberts B & W

Dr. Derrek Eberts – Geography and Environment

Research interests include: Economic Restructuring, Changing Patterns of Work Organization, Ethnic Recreational Landscapes, Golf, Neo-artisanal Production, Rural Diversification, Small City Downtowns, Tourism, (Canadian) Brewing Industry

Greenwood B & W

Dr. David Greenwood – Biology and Geology

My primary research is on fossil plant sites from British Columbia and the Arctic dating from the Eocene geological Epoch, as this represents a time when the world was substantially warmer than the present day, when rainforests with crocodiles occurred in the Arctic. I offer projects looking at the systematics or paleoecology of these fossil plant sites (i.e., paleobotany).

Dr. Sheika Henry – ADES

My research interests can be described as multidisciplinary and includes the analysis of big data (socio-environmental) through the application of Geographic Information Systems, statistical tools, remote sensing and hydrodynamic models. Specifically, I conduct risk and vulnerability assessment of hydro-meteorological and biological hazards. Additionally, I am interested in climate variability and change, adaptation and environmental monitoring using participatory and technical approaches.

Dr. Rachel Herron – Geography and Environment

Hill B & W

Dr. Bryan Hill – Chemistry

Research Interests: the Synthesis of Sulfonamides and Sulfonamide bearing Peptides and Peptidomimetics and the Synthesis of Discotic Liquid Crystals. I am accepting graduate students who come with their own scholarships or funding.

Dr. Alexander Koiter – Geography and Environment

My research interests are in soil erosion and sediment dynamics with respect to the development, implementation, and assessment of best management practices as well as broader landscape evolution. In particular, I am interested in soil erosion and sediment transport in agricultural regions from both a water and soil quality point of view as the two issues are often interconnected. My research field sites are located in southern MB and I am currently available to supervise graduate students.

Dr. Christophe LeMoine – Biology

Research in my laboratory aims to better understand how vertebrates control their metabolism in response to environmental and physiological stress. Our approach is integrative as we are primarily interested in understanding how molecular and biochemical pathways can be modulated to drive changes in the metabolic phenotype of animals at the cellular, tissue and whole organismal level. Further, we are also investigating how these regulatory mechanisms differ across species and how they have changed over the course of evolutionary history in vertebrates. Prospective undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to contact me directly to discuss potential projects and research opportunities in my laboratory.

Li B & W

Dr. Rong-Yu Li – Geology

Areas of research include: Paleozoic Invertebrate Paleontology, Paleoecology, Paleobiogeography, Paleozoic Extinctions and Changes in Biodiversity

 Dr. Mousumi Majumder – Biology

My lab focuses on Breast Cancer. Currents projects are:
Understanding the molecular mechanisms of COX-2 regulating cancer stem cells.
How COX-2/EP4 can regulate micro RNAs?
Investigating the biomarker potential of miRNA in breast cancer.
Testing the efficacy of EP4 as drug target.
Investigating the physiological role of miRNA in vertebrate development.

Accepting undergraduate and graduate students. Please contact :

Malcolm BW

Dr. Christopher Malcolm – Geography and Environment

  • Wildlife Management and Biogeography
  • Wildlife Ecotourism
  • Protected Areas

McGonigle B & W

Dr. Terence McGonigle – Biology

My research is on effects of soil conditions on plant growth in conservation and agriculture, including activities of roots and mycorrhizae. I accept graduate students at certain times, depending on project details and student aptitude.

Dr. Neal Melvin – Biology

My major research interests are within the field of cellular and molecular neurobiology. Of particular interest is the molecular basis of memory formation. To this end, my work examines the local translational control in dendrites during learning and memory. In addition, my research also involves studying the biochemical consequences of specific gene mutations found in humans with schizophrenia.

Mumin B & W

Dr. Hamid Mumin – Geology

I conduct research into the geology and origin and various types of mineral resources as well as applied exploration and development technologies. Current interests include a variety of magmatic and hydrothermal ore deposits such as iron oxide copper-gold, porphyry, epithermal, carbonatite and volcanic hosted massive sulphides. I am also working on the extraction of metals from mine wastes. I am available to supervise graduate students.

Rutherford B & W

Dr. Pamela Rutherford – Biology

I study the importance of peripheral and disjunct populations to the conservation of amphibian and reptile species.  I am currently accepting graduate students.

 Dr. Alireza Somarin – Geology

Application of Portable XRF in hard rock mining
Application of Portable XRF in oil and gas exploration and production
Geochemistry and petrogenesis of plutonic and volcanic Rocks
Plate tectonics and evolution of magma
Mineral chemistry
Ore Deposit Geology
Hydrothermal alteration
Fluid inclusion studies
Stable isotope geochemistry

Spence B & W

Dr. Balfour Spence – ADES

Dr. Spence joined the ADES Department from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica in 2008 after 12 years lecturing in the Department of Geography and Geology. He researches and publishes extensively on issues related to disaster risk communication, disaster risk assessment, disaster and development as well as environmental management and food security. His teaching and research experience covers the Caribbean region but also Indonesia. Dr. Spence has also supervised and examined several PhD and Masters researchers in the Caribbean.

 Dr. Gautam Srivastava – Computer Science

My research interests are focused on current technological industrial emphasis on big data and data mining.  Some current projects include data mining techniques for social media, artificial intelligence markers for big data, and cryptographic techniques in information exchange. With MELS, I would be looking for interdisciplinary work that would involve computer science and one of the core Departments (Biology, Chemistry, Geography, and Geology).  Individuals with experience in computer science would be an asset.


Untereiner B & W

Dr. Wendy Untereiner – Biology

My research focuses on the phylogeny of selected lineages of structurally simple ascomycetes (Phylum Ascomycota). These lineages include the Herpotrichiellaceae, a family that encompasses taxa capable of causing opportunistic infections in vertebrates, and the Chaetomiaceae, a family of cellulose-degrading microfungi isolated commonly from dung, soil and rotting plant material. Finally, I am interested in the ecology and systematics of domicile fungi and I remain intrigued with the Boliniales, a perplexing order of ascomycetes that I first studied as a MSc student.

I am currently accepting graduate students.  Please contact me at and place the word “studentship” in the subject line of the email.  Students interested in working under my supervision should be prepared to send me 1) copies of their undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts, 2) a curriculum vitae, 3) a cover letter describing their interest and experience in mycology, and 4) contact information for three referees.

Whittington B & W 1

Dr. Pete Whittington – Geography and Environment

My research interests are, broadly, in understanding the fluxes and flows of water (hydrology) in wetlands. I’m particularly interested in the hydrology of anthropogenically disturbed (mining/peat harvesting/climatic change) peatlands and the restoration/rehabilitation and/or mitigation of disturbances to these peatlands. Currently, my field sites are in eastern Manitoba and I am looking for graduate students.

Wiseman B & W

Dr. Dion Wiseman – Geography and Environment

Application of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for land cover monitoring and assessment.
Application of GIS and remote sensing technologies for paleoenvironmental landscape reconstruction and geoarchaeological investigations.
Application of GIS and remote sensing technology for land cover mapping and the detection and analysis of ecogeographic boundaries.

Dr. Sam Yan – Chemistry

Dr. Etsuko Yasui – ADES

My research interests involve social aspects of disasters, in particular, analyses of social vulnerability, community development, disaster recovery planning process, communicating risk for vulnerable groups, and commoning of disaster experience as local knowledge. I study longitudinal implications of disaster impacts employing qualitative data analysis as well as ethnographical fieldwork.

Adjunct Members

Dr. Lord Abbey – Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University

Dr. Lord Abbey has a background in Plant Science with a research focus on sustainable food systems and compost quality enhancement for health and wellbeing. Having completed his BSc (Hons) Agriculture from the University of Ghana, Dr. Abbey continued on his studies in the UK, The Netherlands and Canada. He is currently a professor at Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture where he teaches and supervises undergraduate and graduate students. His research program is Plant Nutrition and Physiology. Some of his current research activities include exploration of ethnic crops in NS; aromatic and medicinal plants; onion fertilization and postharvest losses; and value-addition and alternative uses of compost and vermicompost. He has over 50 publications and in press articles to his credit. He is a Board member of Living Earth Council (LEC), Truro; and a member of the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists (NSIA) Council, the International Society for Horticultural sciences (ISHS) and the Canadian Society of Horticultural Science (CSHS). His passion is travelling and nature-walk.

Profile page (NB: will open in a new window, website external to BU).