Lab Members

Current Graduate Students

Matthew Gilbert
PhD candidate


Matt is in his 4th year of his PhD in the Farrell lab working on research investigating Arctic char physiology involving local adaptation and temperature tolerance, as well as the possible effects of climate change on this species.


Olivia Adams
MSc Student


Olivia is a MSc student in the Department of Zoology at UBC. She studies the thermal acclimation capacity in rainbow trout with the Farrell lab group, with a focus on how fish will be able to adapt to climate change and rising temperatures.



James Marchant

James Marchant
PhD candidate

Website: Machester Lab – James Marchant 

James holds a bachelors in general biology obtained from the université de Bretagne occidentale, Brest, France, and a Masters in Marine Biology obtained from L’institut universitaire Européen de le mer, Brest France. His research interests lays in physiological responses of the cardiovascular system in ectotherms to global change, more specifically the electrophysiological remodelling of the fish heart in temperature adaptation.



Yangfan Zhang
PhD candidate


Yangfan’s research interests address the fundamental question of how the cardiorespiratory system of animals has evolved to meet metabolic demands. He aims to decipher the impacts of environmental factors on fish such as water temperature, low oxygen, viral infections and others, using a comparative approach to advance the understanding of how the cardiorespiratory system of animals has evolved to meet their metabolic demands.



[to top]

Former Lab Members



Georgina Cox

M.Sc student, July 2007 – February 2010 | Ph.D student, February 2010 – 2015



RESEARCH TOPIC: Coronary circulation in fishes.


Chen Zhongqi

Ph.D student, September 2010 –


RESEARCH TOPIC: Genetic basis of temperature tolerance in salmonids.




Chris Wilson

Ph.D student, September 2007 –


RESEARCH TOPIC: Excitation-contraction-coupling in cardiac myocytes and cardiac pacemaking in hagfish.




Helen Drost

Ph.D student, September 2010 –


RESEARCH TOPIC: Food web resilience with changing oceanographic conditions in the Canadian Arctic Ocean.




Sabine Lague

PhD student, September 2011 –


RESEARCH TOPIC: Cardiovascular adaptations to high-altitude hypoxia in bar-headed geese and environmental hypoxia in tilapia.




Hamid Safi

M.Sc student, September 2013 –


RESEARCH TOPIC: Thermal tolerance of killifish hearts.



Rachel Sutcliffe

M.Sc student, September 2013

RESEARCH TOPIC: Pacemaker channel expression in salmon hearts. 

Katja Anttila


Post-Doctoral Fellow, May 2010 – August 2012

RESEARCH TOPIC: The effect of climate change on the molecular physiology of fish.





Matt Casselman


M.Sc student, September 2009 – February 2012

RESEARCH TOPIC: Thermal optimums and critical limits of juvenile salmon.





Zoe Gallagher


M.Sc student, May 2008 – October 2011

RESEARCH TOPIC: Ontogeny of salinity tolerance in larval and juvenile salmon.





Erika Eliason


Ph.D student, August 2006 – August 2011

RESEARCH TOPIC: Effect of temperature on the swim performance of Fraser River sockeye during spawning migration.





Gina Galli


Post-Doctoral Fellow, July 2008 – October 2010

RESEARCH TOPIC: Cellular mechanisms that underlie the turtle heart’s remarkable resistance to anoxia and acidosis.





Sebastian Pieperhoff


Post-Doctoral Fellow, May 2008 – June 2010

RESEARCH TOPIC: Ultrastructural changes in heart muscle architecture during spawning migration of semelparous salmonid species – cell contacts of salmonid and other fish heart muscle cells





Mike Sackville


M.Sc student, April 2007 – January 2010

RESEARCH TOPIC: Sub-lethal effects of salmon lice (L. salmonis) on ionoregulation in juvenile pink salmon (O. gorbuscha)





Honours and Awards in the lab

NSERC Post Graduate Scholarship, Ph.D. (2015-2019) M. Gilbert

NSERC Post Graduate Scholarship, Ph.D. (2010-2014), G. Cox

GES Star Fellowship, Ph.D. (2010-2014), G. Cox

NSERC Post Graduate Scholarship, Ph.D. (2010-2014), M. Sackville

Research Abroad Grant, Academy of Finland (2010-2012), K. Anttila

Coho Society Partnership (2010-2012), M. Casselman

DFG Fellowship, German Science Foundation (2009-2011), S. Pieperhoff

NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship, M.Sc. (2009), A. Azzam

Community Stewardship Bursary, Pacific Salmon Foundation (2009), M. Casselman

Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (2009-2010), E. Eliason

NSERC Industrial Post-graduate Scholarship (2007-2009), C. Verhille

McLean Fraser Summer Research Fellowship (2009), E. Eliason

Killam Post-doctoral Fellowship (2008-2010), G. Galli

Gov. of Canada Post-Doctoral Fellowship, DFAIT (2008-2009), S. Pieperhoff

Cameron Award for Best Ph.D. Thesis in Canada (2008), J. A. W. Stecyk

1st Place, Land and Food Systems Poster Competition (2008), M. Nomura

NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (2007-2010), E. Eliason

Killam Post-doctoral Fellowship (2007-2009), T. D. Clark

Pacific Salmon Forum Grant (2006-2007), E. Eliason

UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for Service (2006), E. Eliason
[to top]