Posts tagged: Awards

A night full of awards

By , November 15, 2014

Thursday November 13th 2014 was a very memorable day for me

It started on a great note with Nadia successfully defending her MSc thesis and graduating with ‘distinction’. We had a fun little celebration with some honey-inspired treats (including my new favourite… honey goat cheese!). The  lab then took-off to sing the night away at a nearby Karaoke bar (….and yes the rumours are true… i sang Madonna, Toni Braxton and Tracey Chapmen … we all have an #InnerDiva).

I then left the karaoke session early to attend the Faculty of Science‘s 2014 Award Ceremony. The night honours profs, graduate and undergraduate students in the faculty.

I received the Faculty of Science’s Early Career Research Award – a great honour considering the number of super-talented researchers the Faculty boasts. More touching however was the large number of awards that Zayedlab members received – 10

Here they are (in order of announcement)

Brock Harpur (PhD candidate) – Elia Scholarship (Jan – Aug 2014)
Brock Harpur (PhD candidate) – NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship  (Sept 2014)
Lior Krimus (Undergraduate) – York U President Honour roll
Lior Krimus (Undergraduate) – NSERC Undergrad summer research scholarship
Vijay Sandhu (Undergraduate) – NSERC Undergrad summer research scholarship
Harshil Patel (Undergraduate) – Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship
Lior Krimus (Undergraduate) – Dean of  Science’s Honour Roll
Harshil Patel (Undergraduate) – Dean of  Science’s Honour Roll
Vijay Sandhu (Undergraduate) – Dean of  Science’s Honour Roll
Keshna Sood (Undergraduate) – Dean of  Science’s Honour Roll

Lior has been working with us since last year on the Great Canadian Honey Bee Genome Survey. He and Vijay teamed up with Brock and Samir (visiting PhD fellow from Brazil) to study the genetics of several honey bee traits this year.  Harshil and Keshna are part of a massive study on the affects of agrochemicals on bee health this summer, a study led by now PhD candidate Nadia Tsvetkov.

I was truly honoured. It is one thing to write papers and get grants – but to see the team get some much accolades was both fantastic and humbling… It is truly a pleasure to get to interact with so many talented and enthusiastic students every day.

To members and almuni of the Zayedlab – thank you!


The summer 2014 field team: Phil, Harshil, Keshna, Vijay, Lior [L->R]

The summer 2014 field team: Phil, Harshil, Keshna, Vijay, Lior [L->R]

A master of distinction!

By , November 15, 2014

Congratulation to Nadia Tsvetkov for successfully defending her MSc thesis on learning and memory in honey bees. Nadia’s wrote a very nice review on the genetic of learning and memory in honey bees and conducted a very neat study on how social interaction influence learning and memory. She also led the development of a very neat assay to measure spatial memory in honey bees.

Her MSc degree was awarded with distinction (Top 5%).

Nadia has decided to stick around and do her PhD in the Zayedlab… She is currently leading a large scale study on how agrochemicals affect brain gene expression and behaviour of honey bees in Canada.

Congrats Nadia!

Nadia Tsvetkov, MSc

Nadia Tsvetkov, MSc

Brock wins CSEE talk prize!

By , August 1, 2014

Congrats to Brock for winning the 3rd place award for best student talk at the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution’s meeting in Montreal last May. Brock presented some of his PhD research on population genomics of the honey bee.

Check out CSEE’s summer bulletin for the official announcement.

Ontario funds research on pesticides and bee health

By , April 27, 2014

Happy to report that the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture is funding our research on “The effects of sublethal neonicotinoid exposure on brain state and behaviour of honey bee workers”. We will study how exposure to some common neonicotinoid pesticides affect the brain state of honey bees, and how it affects aspects of their spatial memory and immunity.

Our research was one of five projects funded by Ontario to help investigate the province’s alarming bee declines.


Bahar wins William and Marguerite Davey Award!

By , November 14, 2013

Bahar with Dr. Sam Benchimol, Chair of the Department of Biology

Congrats to Bahar Madani, currently an honour thesis student in the lab. She won the Biology Department’s William and Marguerite Davey Award for a biology student that shows that greatest promise as a researcher.  Way to go Bahar!



Brock and Nadia win awards at ESC

By , October 23, 2013

Very happy to announce that Brock Harpur was awarded the entomological society of Canada’s president award for the best student talk in insect physiology and molecular biology. Nadia Tsvetkov received the runner-up award for best talk in insect behavior and biological control. Rounding off the awards was another York U’s grad Mariya Cheryomina (supervised by Laurence Packer and Bridget Stutchbury) who received the runner up award for best poster. Congrats all!


Laurence Packer (top) with Mariya, Brock, and Nadia

Call For Bees!

By , July 9, 2013


We are looking for beekeepers to participate in a research project on the genetics of Canadian honey bee stocks funded by the Canadian Honey Council’s Bee Research Fund. If you are interested, sign up at the following website  Participation is easy! We will send you a labeled prepaid envelop with collection tubes, and you send it back to us with a few dead bees from your yard.  We are hoping to sample honey bees from coast to coast; commercial beekeepers, bee breeders, and scientists / hobbyists are welcome.

Please see for more information and to sign up.

Thanks for helping us with our project,

Amro Zayed

Nadia awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship

By , April 17, 2013

Very happy to announce that Nadia Tsvetkov was  awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship for 2013.  Congrats Nadia!

Brock wins CAPA student merit award

By , January 28, 2013

Congratulation to Brock Harpur for winning the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists’ student merit award for 2013! The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the study of apiculture. More on the award here.  Also see this news post from the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association
Congrats Brock – well deserved!

Brock defends his MSc

By , August 20, 2012

Congrats to Brock for successfully defending his masters’ thesis today. Brock’s thesis was awarded with distinction (top 5%) and contained one published paper and one manuscript that is about to be submitted. Brock was very productive; he completed one published side project and several other experiments that will be written up this fall/winter.

All you bee fans out there – don’t despair! Brock is continuing his research in the lab as a PhD candidate this September.

Congrats Brock!