Past Lab Members


Graduate Students

EmilyEmily Missyabit McAuley (nee Whattam), PhD

(co-advised with Professor Ron Ydenberg at Simon Fraser University)

Emily completed her MSc at Carleton University in the Bertram lab, where she published six peer-reviewed publications on a host of different subjects pertaining to diet, condition, and sexual signalling. Emily then joined Ron Ydenberg’s lab at Simon Fraser University for her PhD where she investigated the cumulative effects of stressors acting over a range of spatial and temporal scales on harlequin duck breeding habitat usage. Emily returned to Ottawa in 2015 and re-joined the Bertram lab at Carleton. In 2016, she also began working full-time for the Science and Technology Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) where, as the Senior Indigenous Science Liaison Officer, she acts as a link between Indigenous communities and AAFC scientists. This role also supports AAFC’s Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative, which encourages Indigenous youth to explore an education and career in the sciences. Emily is a member of Lake Manitoba First Nation, and the mother of three young children.

Genevieve FergusonGenevieve Ferguson, PhD

As humans further encroach on wild habitats we become responsible for understanding how our footprint affects the animals inhabiting these areas. Current research documents many instances of adaptive responses by animals to human occupancy. Genevieve’s research focused on the interactions and consequences of human habitation to animal behaviour, especially acoustic communication and adult mating behaviour and how this relates to sexual selection pressures. Additionally, as much of adult behaviour is dependent on developmental environment, she was also interested in changes that occur within the acoustic rearing environment, and how these changes alter adult mating behaviour. Genevieve is currently on contract with the Canadian Federal Government.

Sarah CroppedSarah Harrison, PhD

Many studies in behavioural ecology have identified diet as an important determinant of organism phenotype, where for instance, levels of certain nutrients or diet quantity have been found to explain some of the variation in behaviours within a species. However, very few studies have comprehensively examined how the balance of multiple nutrients in the diet affects organism phenotype. Sarah’s PhD research explored how the ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and phosphorus in the diet affected reproductive behaviors and fitness related life history traits in field crickets. Sarah is currently completing a postdoc at Ontario Tech University and living in Vienna.

Lauren FitzsimmonsLauren Fitzsimmons (nee Reid), PhD

Central questions of Lauren’s PhD research included: do males honestly signal their quality to females, do males experience trade-offs in components of sexual behaviour (e.g. aggression and signaling effort), and do individuals behave differently when being watched by others? After completing a postdoc at University of Windsor, Lauren took time off to raise her young family. She is currently working at Lakefield College School.

Maria.pngMaria Doria, MSc

Maria’s MSc research focused on investigating the effects of the developmental stress hypothesis on male and female Texas field crickets. Specifically, she manipulated their juvenile diet by placing individuals on either a high protein or high carbohydrate diet and studied whether nutrition during this life stage influences various their spatial cognitive abilities in both male and female Texas field crickets, Gryllus texensis. She also investigated how cognition correlated with fitness related traits.

DonovanDonovan Tremblay, MSc

Donovan’s MSc research tested Zahavi’s Condition-dependent hypothesis. He investigated the relationship between secondary sexual traits and the ability to cope with increased stress. Donovan artificially stressed both males and females by attaching weighted backpacks to adult Gryllus pennsylvanicus. Individuals also had their diets manipulated to increase the natural variability in the population and to measure the effects of high carbohydrate and high protein diets on fecundity, signalling, and survivability.

MykellSmallMykell Reifer, MSc

Mykell investigated how dietary protein and carbohydrate availability during development and into adulthood influenced development, body size at adulthood, and acosutic mate attraction signalling behaviour using crickets as a model organism.

Amy VillarrealAmy Villarreal, MSc

Amy’s research examined the effects of the operational sex ratio (OSR) on female and male mate choice in the Jamaican field cricket, Gryllus assimilis. Social environment can play a huge role on sexual selection and how individuals choose a mate. If a female is exposed to a male-biased environment, where males are abundant, will she be more selective with the mate she chooses? And if a female is exposed to a female-biased environment, where males are scarce, will she less selective with her mate?

Michelle LorangerMichelle Loranger, MSc

Michelle received her undergraduate degree from Queens University.  Her MSc research was on: The effect of male-male fight observation on female choice and offspring quality in Gryllus assimilis. Michelle is currently working at the Museum of Nature in the Education division.

karenKaren Pacheco, MSc

Karen MSc research was on: “Quantifying female mate attraction preferences for acoustic mate attraction signals”. Karen currently works as an Administrator and Research Coordinator in Infectious Diseases at the Ottawa Hospital.

Ian ThomsonIan Thomson, MSc

Ian received his undergraduate degree from Carleton University. His MSc research was on: “Variation in cricket acoustic signaling explained by body morphology, energy stores, and muscle enzymes”. Ian is currently in medical school at Queens University.

VanessaVanessa Rook, MSc

Vanessa received her undergraduate degree from Carleton University. Her MSc research focusses on acoustic mate signalling, aggression, post conflict displays using Gryllus veletis as a model organism. Vanessa is exploring whether inter-sexual and intra-sexual behaviours are correlated. Vanessa is a high school science teacher.

LilyVLaksanavadee (Lily) Visanuvimol, MSc

Lily received her undergraduate degree from Carleton University. Her MSc research was on: “How differences in dietary phosphorus content influence insect fitness”. Lily is the coordinator of the Science Student Success Centre at Carleton.

Crystal VincentCrystal Vincent, MSc

Crystal received her undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto. Her MSc research was on: “The avoidance of parasitism by the parasitoid flyOrmia ochracea (Diptera: Tachinidae) in the Texas field cricket, Gryllus texensis (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). Crystal went on to obtain her PhD from  University of Toronto and is currently a postdoc in England.

EmilyEmily M. Whattam, MSc

Emily received her undergraduate degree from Carleton University. Her MSc research was on: “A test of multiple male sexual signals as multiple messages and their role in female preference in two species of field crickets”. Emily is currently conducting her PhD at Simon Fraser University (co-advised by me)

Undergraduate Students

Honours Thesis Students


Michelle Léviellée (co-advised with Professor Greg Bulté): Effects of underwater boat noise on northern map turtle basking
Danya Yaremchuck: How developmental diet influences mandible size


Thomas Moore: Quantifying female mating preference functions CR
Jesse Shenton: Quantifying female mating preference functions CF
Alyssa Froome: Quantifying female mating preference functions IP
Donovan Tremblay: Social environment and plasticity
Maria Doria: Cognition in female field crickets


Emily Aucoin: Quantifying female mating preference functions IP
Erin O’Hara: Quantifying female mating preference functions CF
Michael McTavish: Quantifying female mating preference functions AMP
Michael Blackburn: Quantifying female mating preference functions CR


Miriam Tepper: How mating preference influences offspring fitness
Savanna Boutin: Same sex sexual behaviour in crickets
Dana Kolenich: Effects of diet on resource defense on field cricket mating behavior


Deb Corlett: Mating preferences in Gryllus assimilis
Mykell Reifer: Do constrained individuals lay more eggs?
Kaitlyn Montroy: How female audience influences fights and victory displays
Krista McConnell: Do lab-reared sons behave and look like field-captured fathers?
Emily Burd: How does phosphorus, carbohydrate and protein influence aggression?


Eric Chin (Cal Poly Research Student; Co-Supervised with Professor Gita Kolluru) Giardinus metallicus mating behavior
Catalina Dunmeyer (Cal Poly Research Student; Co-Supervised with Professor Gita Kolluru) Giardinus metallicus mating behavior


Chris Séguin: Relationship between ploidy and signaling
Sami Majdalany: Relationship between metabolic rate and signaling
Josh Profitt: Relationship between energy stores and residual mass


Louis Gagnon: The effects of high effort mating behaviours on Bufo americanus
Robert Watkins: The mechanics of the split-pulse in Gryllus veletis
Hailey Masiero: Factors influencing science student success in mathematics
Susan Boratynska: Variation in sperm traits and potential trade-offs
Paul Khazzaka: Victory displays and audience effect


Valerie Nichols: Influence of fertilizers on crop and pest growth and development
Samantha Klaus: Relationship between pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection
Katrina Williams: Factors predicting success in first year mathematics courses


Ian Thomson: Cricket and fly host parasitoid interactions
Moyosore (Moyo) Abimboye: Influence of dietary phosphorus on insect fecundity
Kenneth Belanger: Behavioural syndromes and fitness
Valerie Nichols: Function of multiple sexual signals in Gryllus texensis


Tsone Boyo: Acoustic mate attraction signalling and anatomy in crickets)
Amanda Smith: Influence of phosphorus on cricket mate signalling and survival
Laura Haley: Do crickets give victory displays following aggressive interactions?


Ryan O’Meara: How neighbours influence male cricket sexually selected traits
Amber Zabarauskas: Influence of diet on cricket mate preferences).
Rachel Bennett: Dietary influences on female cricket lifetime reproduction).
Laksanavadee (Lily) Visanuvimol: Influence of diet on cricket body lipid stores
Emily M. Whattam: Influence of dietary phosphorus on cricket calling behaviour

Research Assistants


Katheryn Hunt (Work-Study)
Jillian Sims (Work-Study)
Jory Curry (Work-Study)
Sean Neave (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Angelica Ramos Camacho (Work-Study)


Savanna Craig (Work-Study)
Westley Partington (Work-Study)
Alyssa Froome (Work-Study)
Michelle Léviellée (CUROP & NSERC USRA)
Laura Phillips (NSERC USRA)
Angelica Ramos Camacho (Work-Study)


Laura Phillips (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Tanner Kyle (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Angelica Ramos Camacho (Work-Study)
Alyssa Froome (Work-Study)
Dana Darwish (Work-Study)
Brittany Sullivan (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Maryann Wu (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)


Synclair Calder (Work-Study)
Alicia Cable (Work-Study)
Karla Martinez-Silva (Work-Study)
Natasha Osborne (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Maryann Wu (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Alexa Derksen (NSERC USRA)
Deepro Chowdhury (NSERC USRA)


Synclair Calder (Work-Study)
Alicia Cable (Work-Study)
Rebekah Vice (Work-Study)
Zachary Cronk (Work Study)
Katie Petrie (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Sarah Endenburg (NSERC USRA)
Michelle Vala (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Savanna Boutin (NSERC USRA)


Savanna Boutin (BIOL 4901 Independent Researcher)
Francis Wong (iCUREUS Researcher and Work Study Student)
Dana Kolenich (Work-Study Student)
Zachary Cronk (Work-Study Student)
Mykel Reifer (Research Credit)
Deb Corlett (Research Credit)
Krista McConnell (Research Credits)
Kathryn Dufour (NSERC USRA)


Ashley Millar (Work-Study)
Nathan Robertson (Work-Study)
Kathryn Dufour (NSERC USRA Fellow)


Susan Boratynska (I-CUREUS Student)
Kathryn Dufour (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Louis Gagnon (Work-Study)
Ashley Millar (Work-Study)


Robert Watkins (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Christopher Gillen (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Andrew Mikhail (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Jaijia Liu (Volunteer)
Owen Hovey (Volunteer)
Haroun Zayed (Volunteer)
Maru Karuneswaran (Work-Study)
Oghenetega Enauhwo (Work-Study)


Andrew Mikhail (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Sarah Harrison (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Samantha Klaus (CFI/ORF Fellow)
Gary Bourque (Volunteer)
Ian Thomson (Volunteer)
Michael Francisco (Volunteer)


Ian Thomson (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Bourne August (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Christopher Gillen (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Amisha Agarwal (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Heather Bocz (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Andrew (Drew) Rouble (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Kanchan Gautam (Volunteer)
Samantha Klaus (Volunteer)
Louis Gagnon (Volunteer)
Brent Thompson (Work-Study)
Nop (Moo) Ariyaphanneekun (Work-Study / Grant Funded)
Xuejing Xing (Work-Study)


Ian Thomson (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Bourne August (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Christopher Gillen (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Christopher Séquin (Dean’s Summer Research Intern)
Ioana Nicolau (Volunteer)
Nop (Moo) Ariyaphanneekun (Work Study / Grant Funded)
Amanda Goth (Grant Funded)


Emily Whattam (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Rachel Bennett (NSERC USRA Fellow)
Nop (Moo) Ariyaphanneekun (Work-Study / Grant Funded)
Christopher Lauzon (Work-Study / Grant Funded)
Laksanavadee (Lily) Visanuvimol (Grant Funded)
Amanda Goth (Grant Funded)