In completing my B.Sc. in Zoology at the U of Guelph, I realized that my main research interests are in how the world around us is affected by abiotic changes. This sparked my interest in two broad fields- entomology and ecology. In all of my research, I aim to study how insect populations and communities may be affected by our current climate crisis. These passions have directed me to work in some amazing labs in Integrative Biology, including those of Dr. Robert Hanner, Dr. M. Alex Smith, Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs, and Dr. Andrew MacDougall.

In 2018, I completed my undergraduate thesis in the Smith lab on comparing the lightness and body length of two biodiverse, cryptic insect groups across a neotropical elevational gradient. I was able to continue that research after my undergraduate where I added in a temporal element to this project and expanded my skills with both bioinformatics and phylogenetics.

I currently work as a lab technician in the Hanner lab where in collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, I DNA barcode a genus of tiny, pesky flies called Culicoides. These are important vectors of arboviruses that are detrimental to livestock populations worldwide and their distributions are changing and expanding in our climate crisis.

Twitter: @laurenashleyann