Postdoctoral positions in Ecological Genomics

By , July 31, 2023

Our group ( at York University’s Dept. of Biology (Toronto, Canada) has positions available for a postdoctoral fellow in Ecological Genomics with demonstrable expertise in genomics and bioinformatics for the following two projects:

  1. BeeCSI: Our group is leading a national Genome Canada-funded initiative called BeeCSI ( to develop stressor-specific biomarkers for honey bees. We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow with experience in transcriptomics and interest in honey bee biology to lead the analysis of a large RNAseq dataset consisting of 43 laboratory and 12 field experiments where honey bees were naturally and experientially exposed to a large number of relevant stressors, alone and in combination. The RNAseq datasets have been fully assembled and the successful candidate will be able to initiate the bioinformatics analyses immediately after starting the position. The goal of our research is to characterize the molecular machinery underlying the honey bee’s response to multiple stressors, and to discover diagnostic transcriptional signatures that can be used to predict exposure to stressors in the field.
  2. Genomics of Coral Resilience: A new research direction for the lab! The Postdoctoral fellow will use several ‘Omic tools to study the genomic basis underlying symbiont shuffling and tolerance to thermal-stress in reef-building corals, in collaboration with the Coral Resilience Lab at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter outlining their expertise, a CV, reprints of relevant papers, and contact information for 3 referees to We will evaluate the applications as they are received, with an application deadline of August 31st, 2023.

In addition to the honey bee lab, York University is home to the Center for Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (BEEc, Successful candidates will have a chance to interact with the diverse faculty, fellows and students at BEEc, and participate in BEEc activities and training initiatives.

Start Date: Fall 2023

Salary: Starting from $50,000 and Commensurate with experience.

Ultra Brief Sabbatical Update

By , July 31, 2023

I spent a good amount of time last year working @ the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology [long story… but briefly, i always loved corals and marine biology and decided to dip the proverbial but also actual toes in the salty water for my sabbatical]. Here is my research project described in a single picture / word:


2023 Lab Portrait

By , July 31, 2023

Instead of the usual lab photo, we tried something a bit… ahem … different this year.

Top Row: Aishu, Caroline, Darya, Pauline, Natalie, Oseaga (L-R)
Bottom Row: Mariana, Dova (sitting), Sarah, Lewis (sitting), Sydney, Mashaba (sitting), Mateus (yielding sharp knife… for dissection… he promises), Amro, Ida, Katie, Laura, Aidan (sitting) and Tanu.

Katie wins the Gold Medal!!!

By , July 31, 2023

So happy to share that Dr. Katie Dogantzis won the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal for best doctoral thesis at YorkU. Katie did her PhD and MSc in our group. We are so proud of you Katie!!!

Katie celebrating her gold medal with her family!

Martin Hasselmann Visits… Twice!!!

By , July 31, 2023

We were super excited to host Dr. Martin Hasselmann very briefly early this summer! Martin and I both worked on different aspects of complementary sex determination in bees during our PhD… I met him briefly in Germany in the early 2000’s and we’ve been good friends ever since. When he visited us in Toronto, i made these custom t-shirts for us… its an inside joke that maybe 20 to 30 people in the world would get (bees homozgyous at the csd gene are diploid males, and both Martin and I are also diploid males… ha ha ha… slow clap 🙂 I was really delighted when Martin told me that he wanted to spend a few weeks of his sabbatical in our group! yay!!! #homozygousatcsdforever!!!

Martin and Amro
Lab Brunch with Martin, June 2023
Clockwise, starting from 12 o’clock. Lewis, Oseaga, Aishu, Natalie, Amro, Martin, Katie, Mashaba, Caroline, Pauline, Sam, Sydney, Dova, Sarah, Aidan, Darya

2023 Undergrad Cohort!

By , July 31, 2023

Quick summer update! First off, very happy to welcome new and returning undergrads to the lab this summer. Lewis (Summer NSERC USRA, Pauline, Oseaga, and Natalie (Summer RAY students), Mashaba (Research Assistant) and Research Practicum Student, Darya!

Top Row: Oseaga, Natalie, Pauline [L->R]
Bottom Row: Lewis, Mashaba, Darya, Amro [L->R]
Never a dull moment 🙂

Congrats Katie and Aidan!

By , February 22, 2023

Big congrats for Katie for defending her PhD and Aidan for defending his MSc in 2022!

New postdoctoral fellows join the lab!

By , December 6, 2021

So thrilled to welcome a ‘tremendous’ trio of postdoctoral fellows to the group!

Dr. Bahar Patlar completed her doctorate on the evolutionary quantitive genetics of seminal fluid in flatworms in Bielefeld University, Germany and continued her seminal fluid research on fruit flies in Winnipeg. Can you guess what she will do here?

Dr. Syed Abbas Bukhari completed his PhD in informatics from the University of Illinois working on the genomics of social interactions in sticklebacks. He will be using genomics to study how multiple stressors ‘get under the skin’ of honey bees.

Dr. Sarah French competed her PhD in spatial ecology at the University of Toronto, studying the mechanisms that structure dragonfly communities. She will be studying how landscape and land use influence exposure to multiple stressors in honey bees.

Welcome Bahar, Abbas and Sarah! Can’t wait to see your diverse experiences and perspectives enrich the bee research realm!

Hot off the press: Where did the honey bee come from ?

By , December 6, 2021

Very happy to share this new paper from the lab on the evolutionary origin and adaptive radiation of the honey bee Apis mellifera.

Katie Dogantzis (PhD student in the lab) led this research with the help of several other current and former Zayed lab members, including Tanushree Tiwari (PhD student) and Ida Conflitti and Alivia Dey (Current and former Research Associates, respectively). The study also included collaboration with a large team of researchers from the US, Europe, Africa and Asia.

You can read the open access paper here. [Press release, NewScientist Story]

Congrats Katie!


KC wins ESC’s President Prize for best talk on Social Insects

By , November 22, 2021

Big congrats to MSc Student KC Galang for winning the Entomological Society of Canada’s President Prize for best student talk in the area of Social Insects, for her talk titled “The molecular basis of altruistic and selfish aggression in honey bees”

Congrats KC!