Dept. of Biology

Using radio transmitters, scientists have gained new insights into the behaviour of medium ground finches in the Galapagos Islands. A study led by McGill University researchers reveals daily movement patterns covering an area equivalent to the size of 30 soccer fields.

Classified as: ground finch, Darwin's finches, Sustainability, behaviour, Galapagos Islands, Marc-Olivier Beausoleil, Rowan Barrett
Published on: 8 Jun 2022

Researchers at McGill University have made an important step forward in understanding the cause of a rare neurodegenerative disease noted for its occurrence in the Charlevoix and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean regions of Quebec.

Autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS) is a genetic condition that affects coordination and balance from early childhood. Most ARSACS patients require a wheelchair by the time they reach their 30s or 40s. There is no cure and current treatments provide only limited symptomatic relief.

Published on: 22 Dec 2021

Part 2: Considerations for Online Course Delivery

By Hilary Sweatman, Jacqueline Kort Mascort, Véronique Brulé, Jennie Ferris

Published on: 30 Sep 2021

Part 1: Engaging Students Online

By Jacqueline Kort Mascort, Hilary Sweatman, Véronique Brulé, Jennie Ferris

Published on: 28 Sep 2021

Milton Riaño, McGill’s Climate Change Artist-in-Residence, will curate the Faculty of Science’s Bicentennial Science/Art Exposition, billed as a “celebration of science in all its forms”.

The art show organizers are calling on all members of the McGill community to submit works in any medium, expressing what science means to them.

The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2021.

Published on: 30 Aug 2021

McGill University researchers have discovered a new way to track genetically modified animals using the artificial transgenes they leave behind in the environment. The discovery provides a powerful new tool to locate and manage genetically modified animals that have escaped or been released into the wild.

Classified as: genetically modified, animals, organisms, artificial transgenes, eDNA, environmental DNA, CSI, Charles Xu, Sustainability
Published on: 30 Aug 2021

In a recent study in PLOS ONE, researchers from 6 different countries, including Camilo Alejo and Catherine Potvin of the Department of Biology at McGill University, examined the importance of Indigenous Territories in climate change mitigation across Panama and the Amazon Basin.

Classified as: Indigenous territories, climate change, mitigation, adaptation, land use, Forest ecosystems, forest resources, Sustainability, Camilo Alejo, catherine potvin, panama, Amazon Basin
Published on: 17 Aug 2021

Researchers at McGill University have shown that a brain cell structure previously thought to be pathological in fact enhances cells’ ability to transmit information and correlates with better learning on certain tasks.

In a study published in Nature Communications, the team investigated swellings that occur in the axons of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. In results that contradict established expectations, they found that axons with swellings did a better job of conducting electrical signals than those without.

Classified as: mcgill research, brain cell, Department of Biology, Alanna Watt, Faculty of Science, behavioural analysis, brain cell structure
Published on: 8 Jul 2021

Climate change is exacerbating problems like habitat loss and temperatures swings that have already pushed many animal species to the brink. But can scientists predict which animals will be able to adapt and survive? Using genome sequencing, researchers from McGill University show that some fish, like the threespine stickleback, can adapt very rapidly to extreme seasonal changes. Their findings could help scientists forecast the evolutionary future of these populations.

Classified as: climate change, Sustainability, threespine stickleback, genome sequencing, natural selection, Darwin, Rowan Barrett, Alan Garcia-Elfring
Published on: 13 May 2021

Victoria Glynn, the public program representative from GARM (Graduate Association of the Redpath Museum), has won the prestigious Vanier Scholarship.

Published on: 13 Apr 2021

BIOL 201 students baked protein-shaped cookies so good even Chef Bruno Feldeisen from The Great Canadian Baking Show couldn't resist.

Published on: 24 Mar 2021

Many species might be left vulnerable in the face of climate change, unable to adapt their physiologies to respond to rapid global warming. According to a team of international researchers, species evolve heat tolerance more slowly than cold tolerance, and the level of heat they can adapt to has limits.

Classified as: climate change, heat, cold, tolerance, species, adaptation, jennifer sunday, Sustainability
Published on: 4 Mar 2021

The Faculty of Science is celebrating McGill’s 200th anniversary with a student art exhibition on the theme of “Science!”. McGill students at all levels and all faculties are invited to submit works in any medium, expressing what science means to them.

Faculty of Science bicentennial committee member, Torsten Bernhard, says the aim of the exhibition is to celebrate science in all its forms.

Published on: 12 Jan 2021

Henry Reiswig, the former Biology professor and curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Redpath Museum, died on July 4, 2020. You can read his obituary here:

His daughter Amy says: "He died in his lab in the garage, with microscope slides on the warmer, doing what he loved: science." 

Classified as: Public Outreach
Published on: 7 Jul 2020

The glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup has been found to trigger the loss of biodiversity among phytoplankton communities in freshwater ponds. In their experiments, scientists found that while some populations developed resistance to the herbicide and were able to survive exposure at high levels, this came at a cost, with a 40 percent loss in biodiversity.


"The ubiquitous presence of glyphosate in the environment has sparked concerns over its potential health and ecotoxicological effects," Andrew Gonzalez, from Canada's McGill University, said. 

Classified as: Andrew Gonzalez, biodiversity, agriculture
Published on: 4 Mar 2020

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