Posts tagged: News

New Cohort of Summer Undergrads

By , May 23, 2017

We have a fabulous group of undergrads joining the lab this summer.

Carrie and Kabeer are DURA fellows; DURA is the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award; it allows a select group of undergrads to carry out full time research over the summer.  Congrats Carrie and Kabeer for securing these highly competitive awards.

Jaafar, Dasha and Laura are also joining the lab this summer as Research At York (RAY) students.

So much excitement! Here is to a very productive summer!

 

L-R: Carrie, Alivia, Jaafar, Kabeer, Dasha, and Laura

L-R: Carrie, Alivia, Jaafar, Kabeer, Dasha, and Laura

Jacob R!

By , November 7, 2016

Finally managed to get a picture of Jacob R – our bioinformatics Research at York undergraduate – at a recent lab gathering.  Jacob has been with the lab since the summer of 2016.

Jacob R - Bioinformatics RAY

Jacob R – Bioinformatics RAY

New students and lab visitors!

By , September 20, 2016

This past year has been just a giant whirlwind! So many things, so little time… especially for the blog.  I am going to try to keep at it though, and what a better way to start than by introducing all of the awesome new students that have joined the lab this fall.  Where do we start… how about with the newest grad students. We have 5 new grad students this term. Current MSc student Katie D will be defending her thesis on wasp population genomics (her data are so exciting, but more on the #wasplove in another blog) later this fall and will molt into her PhD skin, studying the population of African honey bees.  Tanushree (PhD candidate), Harshil (MSc candidate and former Zayed lab undergrad) and Stephen  (MSc candidate) will carry out research on the gencetics of colony level traits for Genome Canada’s BeeOmics project.  We are also hosting Claudinéia Costa, a visiting PhD student from Dr. Tiago Mauricio Francoy’s lab at the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil).  Claudinéia will be working with us on a fun orchid bee population genomics project… cool!

[L->R] Grad studnets Harshil, Claudinéia, Tanushree, and Stephen

[L->R] Grad students Harshil, Claudinéia, Tanushree, and Stephen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, then there are the fabulous 5 undergrads that will be working with us this term. Leonardo (former RAY), Daniel (former NSERC USRA), and Jacob (former RAY) will be working as Research at York students this fall/winter term.  Jacob and Jaafar will work as Research Assistants.

[L to R]: Leonardo, Jacob, Daniel, Jaafar. Swag... hell ya!

[L to R]: Leonardo, Jacob, Daniel, Jaafar. Swag? hell ya!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then some familiar faces. Dr. Clement Kent has been back in the lab since last September, working as Senior Research Associate. Dr. Alivia Dey is also back as the BeeOmics project manager for the Zayedlab.

Finally, we have a sabbatical visitor – Dr. Charles Whitfield from the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois.

Dr. Charles Whitfield (Illinois) and Brock Harpur are cooking up a 'killer' project ;)

Dr. Charles Whitfield (Illinois) and Brock Harpur are cooking up a ‘killer’ project ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needless to say, the lab is brimming with excitement and energy. New faces, new data, new questions, and full steam ahead!

Best,
Amro

New cohort of Undergrads join lab

By , May 22, 2015

May is a very fun time of the year. Spring is in full swing and the bees are happy. It is also a time when a fresh cohort of YorkU undergrads join the lab. This year we have two new summer NSERC USRA scholarship winners joining the lab, Danny and Pratik. We also have zayedlab veterans Harshil (research assistant, summer 2014, and Honors thesis 2014/15) and Research at York student Sani (bioinformatics research assistant) who will continue to work with us this summer.
Welcome and hoping for a very productive summer.

Pratik, Harshil and Danny

Pratik, Harshil and Danny

 

New edited book on Sociogenomics!

By , April 8, 2015

Happy to report the publication of a new volume of Advances in Insect Physiology that i co-edited with Dr. Clement Kent, titled Genomics, Physiology and Behaviour of Social Insects. The book launched last week, and contains ten fantastic (in my slightly humble and obviously very biased opinion!) chapters on genomics-empowered research on the biology of social insects.  Clement and I strived for diversity and so we got honey bees, bumble bees, wasps, ants (ok… partial coverage on the ants) termites, and aphids… oh my! Check out the nice cover and table of contents here and below.AIP 48 front and back

It was a lot of work, but we had a group of fabulous and dedicated authors that really helped with meeting the very tight deadlines… Many of us worked over the December break and new years ; I remember doing some last min. editing on Christmas day, before the turkey!  Clement and I are very proud of the result, and we hope you enjoy it too!

Amro

Daria defends her MSc

By , January 29, 2015

Congrats to Daria Molodtsova for successfully defending her MSc thesis on the evolution of regulatory networks that influence honey bee worker behaviour. Daria started her MSc on September 2013. She co-authored the lab’s population genomics study on honey bees in PNAS, and she recently published her MSc thesis in Frontiers in Genetics. Daria is heading back to her motherland (Russia) to purse a career in biotech.

Well done Daria and congrats one the hard-earned MSc!

Samir and his Africanized ‘killer’ bees

By , September 8, 2014

Happy to welcome Samir Moura Kadri, a visiting PhD student from São Paulo State University from Botucatu, Brazil . We are hosting Samir here for the Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 terms to study the genetics of aggression in Africanized ‘Killer’ bees! Africanized bees are very defensive, and Samir studied variation in defensiveness across a large number of colonies in Brazil. He is here to apply genomics to understand the genetics of defensiveness in his colonies.

Here is a picture of Samir and a histogram of a measure of colony defensiveness in his study… the number of stings per minute!… yes, the upper limit is 100+ stings per minute… which is pretty nasty…

Thankfully, it was not 100 stings per minute that Samir actually received; he got the data by swinging a little suede-wrapped ball in front of the colonies… brave man! The range of defensive behaviour is very wide… about an order of magnitude difference between ‘happy go lucky africanized colonies ~ 20 stings per minute’ to ‘super aggressive killer bees – 120 stings per min’… bodes well for the genomic study!

Welcome Samir!
Amro

Samir and his 'killer' bees

Samir and his ‘killer’ bees

 

Tenure cake!

By , May 15, 2014

The lab threw me a surprise tenure party yesterday!… Here is a few pics of the celebration!

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Tenure Cake

Tenured Card

Tenured Card

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BeeUnit v.2014 L to R: Maisha, Jen, Keshna, Vijay, Nadia, Amro, Brock, Alivia, Sunny, Lior, Harshil. [Missing: Daria and Phil]

Tenurepro at last!

By , May 8, 2014

This will sound very cheesy, but all of my life I wanted to be a tenured prof; at least since 1998 when, as an undergrad, I finally discovered what an amazing gig my university professors had; a job where you get to do what YOU want to do, ask interesting questions, do cool experiments, and interact with bright students… who wouldn’t want that?

I remember walking into Laurence Packer’s office (my entomology prof turned PhD advisor) in 1998 and telling him half-jokingly: “I want to be like you when I grow up”. Then the long journey started. A 6 year PhD (2000 to 2006), a 3 year postdoc (2006 to 2009), then I started my tenure-track position on July 1st 2009. This however was not the end of the journey; Assistant Professors live in the Ivory tower, but they just rent it… they can be evicted from this glorious institution at any time!

And so, after five years of hard work, trials and tribulations, much less hair, a wife and 2 kids, I received THE letter today. I opened President Shoukri’s letter  with great anticipation. The text, as written, went something like “It is with pleasure that I accept the unanimous recommendations of the Adjudicating and Senate Review Committees that you be granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2014”.

In my mind, it played a bit differently…

Voice: ‘Kneel, Assistant Professor Amro Zayed

[i feel the weight of a heavy sceptre on my right shoulder and then on my left]

Voice: ‘Rise, Associate Professor Amro Zayed, White Knight of the Ivory Tower, Defender of the light, Keeper of bees

With your eyes… Amro!

By , April 30, 2014

I was very happy to be one of 21 Canadian faculty members to participate in the 2014 Science Leadership Program, organized by Dr. Ray Jayawardhana and the University of Toronto’s Science Engagement team. It was a two-day leadership/communication/engagement boot camp! Check out Elaine Smith’s UoT news story about this (see the picture in the link; I am the bold guy on the right, trying to balance a hula hop with 10 other fellows!). It was a great experience… Among other things, i have a lovely memory of 21 super-smart professors throwing a pink tennis ball around the room… with their eyes!

Amro