Graduate Students

Eleanor Spence

M.Sc. student, Carleton University (co-supervised with Drs. Hillary Maddin, Danielle Fraser)

Project: Gait variations and locomotory diversity of early tetrapods

Eleanor is originally from Mississauga ON. She completed her BSc in Biology at the University of Ottawa, with research in the areas of biomechanics and palaeobiology, both at uOttawa and the Canadian Museum of Nature. She is now interested in the interplay of these fields in the context of the evolution of early tetrapods. For her Masters, she will be looking at the Early Carboniferous tetrapod trackways of New Brunswick, with a focus on the biomechanics of these trackmakers. Outside of research, Eleanor enjoys playing squash, embroidery, and reading.

Funded by NSERC Alliance program, Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship


Trystan Warnock-Juteau

M.Sc. student, Carleton University (co-supervised with Drs. Danielle Fraser, Hillary Maddin)

Project: Palaeoecology of a Tournaissian fish assemblage

Trystan was born in Montréal where he obtained his first degree in the arts, which remains a passion of his. A lifelong fascination with paleontology and evolutionary history drove him to subsequently complete a BSc degree at Carleton University, where he redescribed a juvenile "duck billed" dinosaur for his Honours thesis. His current research is focused on fossil fishes from the Early Carboniferous Albert Formation of New Brunswick. He is interested in exploring functional morphologies in the Albert community with the aim of teasing out potential ecological diversity in this post-extinction fauna. When not working on research, Trystan likes to draw, listen to punk rock, and spend time with his cat Freyja.

Funded by NSERC Alliance program, Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship


Caleb Bohus

M.Sc. student, Carleton University (co-supervised with Drs. Hillary Maddin, Danielle Fraser)

Project: Anatomy of a Carboniferous colosteid and systematic review

Coming from the United States, Caleb earned their Bachelor's degree at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. While in southern Illinois, Caleb worked for the Illinois State Geological Survey, leading research on the local Carboniferous red bed deposits. Ultimately their work resulted in a review of the geology and faunal composition of a Late Mississippian tetrapod locality. Their master's research focuses on describing the anatomy of an exceptionally preserved colosteid skull from the same locality in southern Illinois, reviewing the family Colosteidae in general, aiming to explore and describe the deeper relations between them and early tetrapods.

Funded by NSERC Alliance program


Jeffrey Yee

M.Sc. student, Carleton University (co-supervised with Dr. Hillary Maddin)

Project: Mechanisms regulating the timing of limb development in amphibians 

Jeffrey hails from Calgary. He spent his undergraduate years at Mount Royal University and worked as a research assistant in a biomedical lab at the University of Calgary.  Inspired by a longstanding interest in paleontology and the diversity of specialized vertebrate limbs, Jeffrey is broadly interested in the molecular mechanisms that regulate limb development timing and morphology, and the origin of diverse morphologies among limbs. Current work is focused on genes determining limb identity, and their function in synchronously developing amphibian species: Eleuthyrodactlyus coqui and Plethodon cinereus.

Funded by NSERC NFRF program


Undergraduate Researcher

Alexandra Weber

I-CUREUS Fellow, Carleton University

Project: Digital dissection of mutant zebrafish

Alexandra hails from Mississauga, ON. She is a 2nd Year undergraduate student pursuing an honours biology BSC and recently began a minor in earth science, with hopes to open even more opportunities for learning. She is currently collaborating with Gillian Watson (another undergraduate researcher) on the snake project, and is beginning an adventure into the wonderland of CT reconstruction with fish scans done recently around the lab.

Lab Associates 

(Tetsuto serves on their supervisory committees)

Linfang Han

PhD candidate, University of Ottawa

Thesis advisor: Dr. Emily Standen

Olivia Vanhaesebroucke

PhD candidate, l'Université du Québec à Rimouski

Thesis advisor: Dr. Richard Cloutier

Ryan Lambert

MSc student, University of Ottawa

Thesis advisor: Dr. Marc Ekker

Jessica Robichaud

PhD student, Carleton University

Thesis advisor: Dr. Steven Cooke

Paulina Hanzelova

PhD student, University of Ottawa

Thesis advisor: Dr. Marie-Andrée Akimenko

Blue Hunter-Moffatt

MSc student, Carleton University

Thesis advisor: Dr. Danielle Fraser

Lab Alumni

Dr. Thais Condez

Carleton University (co-supervised with Dr. Hillary Maddin)

Project: Skeleton formation in direct-developing amphibians

Thais is a Brazilian amphibian specialist interested in taxonomy, systematics, and evolution. During her academic trajectory, she studied the Atlantic Forest herps. She has described six new species of direct-developing anurans, all of which were personally collected during her field expeditions to the remote mountains from coastal Brazil. She is really interested in biogeography, the origin of montane diversity, and the evolution of miniaturization in amphibians. As a new postdoctoral fellow, she aims to explore the conservation and novelties in skull bone derivation on direct-developing amphibian evolution.

Funded by NSERC NFRF program


Olga Wilk

Mitacs Globalink Scholar, the University of Warsaw

Project: Comparative analysis of sarcopterygian fishes from the Holy Cross Mountains

Funded by Mitacs Foundation, Olga is visiting the lab for Winter 2022. She is based at the University of Warsaw, Poland, where she obtained BSc and MSc degrees and now works on her PhD. Olga's professional interest has always revolved around early vertebrates, and has been building a career on the famous Devonian fish fauna from the Holy Cross Mountains. At CMN, she hopes to examine sarcopterygian fishes from the Canadian Arctic and elsewhere. Olga has also been collaborating with the Ahlberg lab at Uppsala University.  

Conrad Wilson

Ph.D. Student, Carleton University (co-supervised with Dr. Hillary Maddin)

Project: Evolutionary dynamics of early ray-finned fishes

Originally from Vancouver, Conrad completed a BSc. and MSc. at the University of Calgary. There, he described ray-finned fishes from the earliest Carboniferous of Nova Scotia with a view to better understanding end-Devonian mass extinctions and their consequences. These ray-finned fishes showed a wide range of functional diversity, raising more questions about their evolution. As a PhD student he seeks to investigate the evolution of Palaeozoic fish faunas more broadly. Outside of research, he enjoys mysteries, video games, and running with his dog.

NSERC CGS-D recipient 


Dr. Shreeharsha Tarikere

Carleton University (co-supervised with Dr. Hillary Maddin)

Project: Genomic basis of direct development in amphibians

Harsha came to Ottawa after a postdoc stint with Dr. Cassandra Extavour at Harvard University, where he looked at the regulatory mechanisms controlling the number of egg-producing structures in fruit fly.  His interest in evolution and specification of organs developed when he was in a college.  After Master's degree in microbiology and biotechnology at Bangalore University,  Harsha pursued PhD at IISER Pune India, using the developing silk moth wings as a model.  Now shifting his focus to vertebrates, Harsha is a versatile and experienced molecular geneticist ready to push many amphibian projects at the Maddin lab, while working closely with members of the Miyashita lab.

Funded by NSERC NFRF program


Gillian Watson

Undergraduate researcher, the University of Ottawa

Project: Coiling directions in snake embryos

Gillian is a 3rd year undergraduate student from the University of Ottawa. She is busy contacting collections managers and curators across North America to document coiling in snake embryos in ovo, testing whether this asymmetry varies in frequencies and directions within populations, between species, and across lineages.

Trystan Warnock-Juteau

Undergraduate researcher, Carleton University

Project: Phylogenetic reappraisal of coelurosaurian datasets

Joshua Wasserlauf

Directed Studies, Carleton University

Project: Skeletal reconstruction of anole lizards

Eleanor Spence

Co-op intern, University of Ottawa

Project: Inventory of the repatriated fossils

Like Alexandra, Eleanor came from Mississauga. As a new co-op intern supported by the Mosaic Company, Eleanor will be working with the Palaeobiology section of the Museum of Nature in Winter 2022. She is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, and has previous co-op experiences with Canadian Wildlife Services (on their caribou conservation program).  She will look into Canadian fossil specimens that have been repatriated to the care of the Museum.

Emily Dyer

Carleton University

Project: Ordovician vertebrate remains from the Ottawa Valley

Emily is a 4th year undergraduate from the Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University. Using SEM on hard-to-prepare samples, she searches for elusive Ordovician vertebrates that inhabited the ancient waters of National Capital Region – some of the earliest true fishes (the crown-group vertebrates) known from North America.

Former Lab Associates

Dexter Summers

PhD student, University of Ottawa

Thesis advisor: Dr. Emily Standen

William Matthias

MSc student, University of Ottawa

Thesis advisor: Dr. Emily Standen

Dana Korneisel

PhD candidate, Carleton University

Thesis advisor: Dr. Hillary Maddin