top of page

Dr. Michael Wilkie, Principle Investigator and Associate Professor

Phone: 519.884.1970 ext.3313

Office Location: BA437


Teaches: Human Physiology, Fish Biology 
Research: Environmental Physiology and Toxicology of Ancient and Modern Fishes

 Principle Investigator 

 Post Doctoral Fellow 

Dr. Oana Birceanu, Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD (2014) - University of Waterloo

MSc (2009) - Wilfrid Laurier University

Hons BSc, co-op option (2007) - Wilfrid Laurier University

Oana Birceanu is a postdoctoral fellow in the Wilkie lab. Her current projects involve investigating forensic markers of lampricide toxicity and determining the long-term effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of lampricides on the stress response pathway in non-target fishes.


Her professional interests involve fish physiology, toxicology and the role that maternal transfer of chemicals impacts the endocrine regulation of development, growth and stress response in fish. 

 Graduate Students 

Adrian Ionescu, PhD Candidate (September 2014 - September 2018)

Adrian Ionescu completed his HBSc in Biology (animal stream) at York University. His undergraduate thesis was supervised by Dr. Andrew Donini and focused on the effects of CAPA (cardio acceleratory peptide) on secretion rates of Malpighian tubules in larval mosquitoes. This work resulted in Adrian’s first publication, the first to demonstrate an anti-diuretic action on Dipteran tubules. Adrian also earned his MSc in Biology in the Donini Lab, concentrating on the characterization of ammonia transport mechanism in the anal papillae of larval Aedes aegypti (yellow fever) mosquitoes. As a PhD candidate in Biological and Chemical Sciences, Adrian is currently studying the toxicological effects imparted by the lampricide 3-triflouromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM), on various non-target fishes of the Great Lakes. 


His interests include comparative physiology, marine biology, behavioral science and toxicology. With a passion for teaching, Adrian aspires to become a professor.  His general interests include nature, travel and photography.

Laura Tessier, PhD Student (September 2016 - September 2019)

Laura Tessier completed her HBSc (Biology) at Trent University, and earned her MSc under the supervision of Dr. Wilkie at WLU. Laura studied invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control in the Great Lakes and quantified their metabolic scaling physiology according to body size and life stage, relating this to their sensitivity to TFM. For her PhD thesis, Laura will focus on the effects of TFM to non-target species such as juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvenscens) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and examine how changes to the gill microenvironment (water chemistry: pH and alkalinity; ventilation strategies) influence the uptake and toxicity of TFM to these fishes.


Laura’s research interests include toxicology, physiology, metabolism, invasive species and marine biology. After her PhD, Laura plans on pursuing a career in research focusing on freshwater fish and ecosystems.

Alexandra Muhametsafina, MSc Candidate (May 2013 - April 2017)

Alexandra Muhametsafina completed her HBSc in Environmental Science at Carleton Univeristy. She became interested in fish after her second year and completed her thesis in the Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Steven Cooke. She is currently a MSc  candidate, examinng the effects of season and temperature  on the  sensitivity of larval sea lamprey to the lampricide 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM), used to control invasive sea lamprey in the Great Lakes.


Her general interests include fish, ecology, aquatic toxicology, telemetry, conservation biology, habitat protection and restoration, aquatic sciences, invasive and threatened species and community engagement, outreach and teaching.

Scott Hepditch, MSc Student (September 2015 - September 2017)

Scott Hepditch is an undergraduate student completing a BSc double degree in Biology and Physical Geography at Wilfrid Laurier University. Under the supervision of Dr. Michael Wilkie and Dr. Oana Birceanu, he is currently conducting a thesis on the toxicity and internal lethality of the common lampricides, TFM  (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol) and niclosamide (5-chloro-N-(2-chloro-4-nitrophenyl)-2-hydrobenzamide), on the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Scott hopes to pursue his studies in aquatic sciences to someday obtain a career involved in aquatic toxicology. 

Darren Foubister, MSc Student (September 2015 - September 2017)

Darren Foubister completed his honour BSc in Biology at Wilfrid Laurier University. As an MSc candidate in Integrative Biology, Darren is currently working on a collaborative project studying the forensic markers of lampricide toxicity and mortality in non-target fishes including Rainbow Trout, Bluegill and White sucker. Darren wishes to pursue a career in marine biology. 


Darren enjoys travels, sports, and long walks on the beach. 


Chris White MSc Student (September 2015 - September 2017)

Chris completed his Hon. B.Sc. in Biology at Wilfrid Laurier University prior to joining the Wilkie lab as a

M.Sc. candidate. Currently he is investigating how decomposition affects forensic markers of lampricides

in non-target fish, specifically rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Chris’ interest includes forensics, biochemistry, toxicology, and physiology. He hopes to obtain a career

working for the Ministry.


Julia Sunga MSc Student (September 2016 - September 2018)

Julia completed her H.B.Sc. in Zoology at the University of Guelph, and has now joined the Wilkie lab as an M.Sc. candidate studying lamprey physiology. She is currently working on a project investigating the nitrogenous waste excretion mechanisms of lamprey, and how these mechanisms differ between parasitic and non-parasitic lamprey.


Her research interests include environmental physiology, conservation biology, and endangered species management, and she hopes to eventually pursue a career in wildlife conservation.

 Undergraduate & Volunteer Students 

Alexandra Negotei BSc Student (September 2016 - September 2020)

Alexandra Negotei is completing her BSc with a major in Health Sciences. Currently, she is enjoying her time working and learning with an Undergraduate Student Research Award from NSERC. Her project involves examining the reversible effects of anoxia on the physiology of goldfish (Carassius auratus). Alexandra hopes to one day pursue her own thesis in the field of toxicology.

bottom of page