Student Employment Opportunity - Herbarium

Description of Organization
The Claude E. Garton Herbarium includes a near-complete collection of gymnosperm,
angiosperm, bryophyte, pteridophyte, and lichen species found across northern Ontario along
with housing a large collection of species from all over Canada and around the world. This
extensive collection, acts as an ecological catalogue of Northern Ontario, allowing for trends in
biodiversity to be tracked over time through the detailed mapping of collected specimens. The
curated collection acts as a reference for identifying species and attributing new taxon changes
to species currently under review. The C.E.G. Herbarium plays a supporting role in research
involving botanical aspects, through the use of our collection and expertise, we are able to
instruct researchers on appropriate identification, collection, and preservation techniques to
further their own objectives. The C.E.G. Herbarium participates in a variety of outreach events
involving elementary and high-school students in order to educate and attempt to pique interest
in the ecology and biology of plants. The herbarium is also a resource for organizations such as
EcoSuperior, Thunder Bay Field Naturalists, National and Provincial Parks. Our website is:

Description of Position
The individual, under the direction of the Acting Curator and working closely with other staff and
researchers will be devoted to the bryophyte collection. The successful candidate will focus on
cataloging collection of bryophtyes (and hepatics) including the development of a database and
digitization of the vouchers. This position will include the identification and updating of
taxonomic changes in addition to the collection, preservation and maintenance of vouchers.
Responsibilities would also include contributions to and the development of herbarium projects
through iNaturalist, provide auxiliary support to other researchers at Lakehead University, and
general upkeep of the facility.

The ideal candidate is highly dedicated and detail-oriented with the ability to work as a member
of a team. An individual is sought who has basic knowledge of plant taxonomy and systematics
with interest/experience in bryophytes an asset. Previous experience in digital macro
photography would be ideal but training will be provided. The candidate will be expected to
adhere to herbarium protocols, communicate with their supervisor and colleagues effectively.

To be considered for this position, please send your resume with a cover letter to:

Kristi Dysievick, Acting Curator
Claude E. Garton Herbarium
Centennial Building CB3027
phone : (807) 343-8593
Deadline for application: September 25, 2019

Introducing a New Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) Club!

The Department of Biology is excited to welcome a new LUSU club to the Thunder Bay campus: The Lakehead University Applied Life Sciences Club (LUAPLS).

The Executive Team is currently looking for additional members to join their team.

Available positions include:

• Events Coordinator (1)
• 1st-year Representative (1)
• 2nd-year Representative (1)
• 3rd-year Representative (1)
• 4th-year Representative (1)

Application Deadline: Friday, January 25, 2019

To express your interest in an available position, please email LUAPLS President, Nikisah Hendrickson-Alexander, at and include the following in your email: 

1. Subject line: LUALPS Executive Position,

2. Information about yourself, and

3. Why you'll be an excellent fit for the team.

Thank you to both the Lakehead Association of Biology Students (L.A.B.S.) and LUAPLS for enriching student life!

EcoSuperior Summer Day Camps Visits the Biology Department

The Department of Biology hosted the EcoSuperior Day Campers for an afternoon of botanical discoveries.  After touring the Claude E. Garton Herbarium (LKHD) to learn about plant preservation, archiving, storage, and digitization, the campers learned about plant identification.  With dichotomous keys in hand, teams headed to the John W. Haggerty Arboretum for a scavenger hunt activity.

Special thanks to our summer student and Biology Major with a Concentration in Plant Sciences,  Myles Cummins, for helping out the biology technicians (S.Walford, K.Dysievick) with the planning and running of this activity.  We are hoping to see some of the camp participants here at Lakehead University in a few years!




December 2018 - January 2019 Holiday Office Closure

Please be advised that Lakehead University’s 2018 holiday closure period will be as follows:

University offices will be closed beginning on Monday, December 24, 2018, re-opening on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Regular office hours will resume on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

2019 NSERC USRA Program: Internal Departmental Deadline: Friday, January 18, 2019

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Undergraduate Student Research Awards Program (USRA)

WHAT ARE THESE AWARDS? “The Undergraduate Student Research Awards are meant to stimulate your interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage you to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields. If you would like to gain research experience in an academic setting, these awards can provide you with financial support through your host university. NSERC encourages qualified Aboriginal students to apply to this program."


• The 2019 NSERC USRA application package is currently available at

• The Department of Biology’s internal deadline for both Applied Life Sciences (APLS) and Biology undergraduate student applicants is: Friday, January 18, 2019, at 23:59 PM

• The APLS award representative is Dr. Heidi Schraft, APLS Program Coordinator & Academic Advisor. Please email your questions to Dr. Schraft at

• The Biology award representative is Dr. Azim Mallik, Professor. Please email your questions to Dr. Mallik at

• Click here to download a list of potential NSERC USRA researchers for APLS applicants.

• Click here to download a list of potential NSERC USRA researchers for Biology applicants.




Herbarium Projects Available

Dr. Lada Malek, Emeritus Professor, Department of Biology, is willing to supervise students interested in projects that will benefit our Claude Garton Herbarium (LKHD) and provide you with experiential learning opportunities.

As a component of all projects below, students will participate (20-40% of time) in plant database and imaging projects related to herbarium collections. However, overall focus will be to enhance herbarium availability and participation by local citizen groups, organizations and students. All projects to include a search for existing programs and tools, in order to avoid duplication of effort.

Project 1

Google Earth (GE) mapping of LKHD historic collections. In order to understand changes in plant distribution in the Thunder Bay District, develop GE tags for collections preceding the availability of computers. Investigate the possibility of achieving this goal in other pre-existing programs such as iNaturalist. Initial focus on threatened or charismatic plant families.

 Project 2

Develop skills in the use of iNaturalist program and app, with the objective to achieve curatorial status. Develop iNaturalist instructional tools for (1) elementary school students, (2) high school students and (3) adults. Deliver one or two public presentation on the use and utility of iNaturalist. This could be based not only on LKHD plant collections (vascular, moss, lichen) but on any other group of organisms currently supported by iNaturalist.


Project 3

Develop an instructional module on nature photography (macro for plants and insects, telephoto for wildlife and birds). Develop “mini-manuals” for the use of imaging equipment available through the herbarium. Compare the utility of basic cell phone technology with sophisticated specialized digital imaging systems. Deliver one or two presentations to target community audiences.


Project 4

Start developing a database of local vascular plants with “difficult” taxonomy, outlining specific features of each species used for taxonomic differentiation. Select one group and develop a model for imaging these organisms, showing their differences. Develop a presentation outlining to citizen groups or students the way in which different disciplines define “species”. Evaluate critically the use of biological, geographic and morphological criteria in defining and naming of species.

 Project 5

Focusing on “disjunct” populations of plants, and those at the edges of their normal distribution, primarily prairie or parkland species (less importantly Carolinian or Arctic species), develop a database of plants potentially requiring local protection. Investigate COSEWIC criteria for identifying rare and threatened species. Investigate and list NW Ontario Conservation Reserves protected by OMNRF from logging (list specific “values” being protected). Investigate strategies for funding to protect additional land in NW Ontario ( Prepare a public presentation (to TBFN?) on a strategy to be used locally to identify important additional localities in TB District worthy of protection.


Project 6

Collate information on old forests in NW Ontario, with focus on the Greenwood Lake Conservation Reserve. In collaboration with NRM faculty and TBFN digitize species lists and other unique features of the reserve, develop a list of potential research projects investigating the biology of this unique old growth forest. Develop contacts and possible collaboration with “”, local hiking club and OMNRF (current owners of the reserve). Give presentation on findings.



For more information about the Herbarium, visit

Health and Safety Training for New Employees!

Just a reminder to faculty and staff that any new graduate students and employees must undergo Lakehead's New Employee Health and Safety training.

Dates are posted HERE!

TEACHING ASSISTANT (TA) Postions Available for 2018-2019!

Are you a 3rd or 4th year Biology student interested in being a teaching assistant?  Are you a recent graduate of Biology or related program?  Did you receive at least a B average posted biology courses?  Are you looking at providing 1st and 2nd year students with exciting and informative field/laboratory experiences?  If you answered yes then you should consider applying for one of our Teaching Assistant (TA) positions on the Thunder Bay campus.

Positions are available until filled.  Incomplete packages are not considered.  Available positions are updated daily.  New TAs should be available for our Biology TA training session September 7th (3:30 pm CB3013).

See complete package requirement and details on our Employment Page!