Posts tagged: Pictures

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

Tenure cake!

By , May 15, 2014

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


Tenure Cake

Tenured Card

Tenured Card


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

Brock successfully completes his prelims

By , April 1, 2014

Happy to report that Brock Harpur successfully completed his doctoral preliminary exam two weeks ago. Congrats Brock!


Brock contimplates Y?

Around the continent in 30 days.

By , February 26, 2014

… it started with a trip to Edmonton, Alberta, to attend the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists’ annual meeting. We managed to outline the research priorities for Apiculture in Canada over the next few years, and I gave a talk on the genetics of honey bees.

The CAPA brain trust [i am in the middle row, second in from the right]. Edmonton, Alberta, Jan 2014

Then back to Toronto for a week, then off to the Gordon Research Conference on Genes and Behaviour held at Galveston Texas for another week. There i rubbed shoulders with some of my citation heroes and gave a seminar on bee population genomics and behaviour.

Back to Toronto on Friday [after a 12 hour limbo @ Houston Airport], then delivered a public seminar for the Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science on Sunday. The talk was a great experience. I also got a kick from seeing my name before the amazing Canadian Astronaut, Colonel Chris Hadfield, who was slated to speak the week after me (he had cancelled earlier, but after the brochure was printed).  I showed my family – i told them that i was speaking before that ‘Guy from Space’ 🙂 I actually feel extremely fortunate to get invited to speak at such a prestigious event, with an amazing line up of speakers, which include York U’s incoming dean of science, Ray Jay!

Amro, then that guy from space!

Amro, then that guy from space!

Then, I left Toronto Sunday night for a much needed mini vacation in the Caribbean over reading break.

That is more than 15,000 KM traveled over 30 days!… i think i am going to hang around Toronto for the next little while.



Farewell Clement!

By , August 9, 2013

July was Dr. Clement Kent’s last month as postdoc in the lab; he will start a new position as a Senior Scientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus – probably one of the best places in the world to do neuroscience at the moment.  Clement was the first member to join my lab; he joined as a NSERC Postdoc fellow.  Congrats Clement; you’ll be missed!

Farewell Clement!

Farewell Clement!
top L-R: Maria, Catherine, Nadia, Daria, Clement, Jonathan, Brock, Phil, Lior
bottom L-R: Keshna, Amro, Ash, Kajendra, Bahar

Scary Science

By , November 5, 2012

Hmmm…. i am starting to have my doubts about this new grad student from Transylvania.  Her work habits are a bit unusual (working at night, sleeping by day)….. But she is very productive…. some would even say that she devours other students for lunch…

I want to drink your hemolymph


By , September 19, 2012

Today was a fine day.  We had a very important paper from the lab accepted in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), one of the top journals in our field.  I can’t tell you much about the work for now – it is embargoed until officially published by the journal – other than… it is very very very cool!  But, perhaps you can guess the topic after seeing our ‘PNAS Cake”! [feel free to send your guesses via the comment box below]

The cake-lady at highland farms had a good chuckle when i handed her fig. 2 of our manuscript at 8:45 am today 🙂












The paper, and tasty cake, were the results of massive efforts by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Clement Kent, with the help of  Shermineh Minaei and Brock Harpur (the latter two are recently minted MSc’s).

L-R: Brock, Amro, Clement, Nadia, Tabashir, Arash, Anna


The queen with no wings

By , September 14, 2012

We had a very interesting queen in our last graft of the season; she had some damaged wings (problems with development? virus?).  This is very bad, because virgin queens mate on the ‘wing’ !!! I was curious to see if the factors that affected her wing development also affected her reproductive abilities.  So I instrumentally inseminated her with sperm from a single drone; half expecting that she will quickly overthrown by her workers.  A month or so later, she is laying like a champ!

Also note the little primitively eusocial sweat bee Halictus confusus sneak into the honey bee cell while i was taking pictures of the queen – very cute!

Diversity in honey bees: Cover and Perspective

By , September 12, 2012

Our paper on the effects of management on genetic diversity of honey bees appeared in print today in Molecular Ecology – we also got the cover picture (a nice picture of a queen with her retinue of workers).  Also appearing in this issue is a very nice perspective on our research written by Dr. Ben Oldroyd from the University of Sydney Australia.  Dr. Oldroyd has been studying honey bee genetics for more than two decades, and it is a honour to have him comment on our research.

The full citation of the perspective is:

OLDROYD, B. P. (2012), Domestication of honey bees was associated with expansion of genetic diversity. Molecular Ecology, 21: 4409–4411. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05641.x

New students join the lab

By , September 11, 2012

My first cohort of grad students successfully fledged the nest last August – Brock and Shermineh both defended their Masters degree. Brock’s free time was incredibly short-lived, as he just started his PhD studies (on honey bee population genomics and health) last week!

Brock and Shermineh celebrate their shiny MSc degrees (note the gold stars!)

I also want to welcome Nadia – a new masters student in the lab. Nadia got to do serious bee work over the summer, where she figured out how to train honey bees to navigate through mazes! – very cool, check out this video! She’ll use this test to study the genetics of learning and memory in honey bees. Welcome Nadia!

Nadia; Only dedicated students inspect colonies in the rain with no gloves!!!

The lab also welcomes two Research at York Students; Anna and Jonathan, who will help us with some molecular biology and bioinformatics research respectively.


Fall Winter RAY’s:
Jonathan and Ann