The Rollinson Lab 

Evolutionary ecology, maternal effects, herpetology, conservation


Njal Rollinson - Principal Investigator  (download cv)

My research program aims to understand how life histories are influenced by the environment. Previously I worked with Dr. Ron Brooks (MSc. U. Guelph), Dr. Jeff Hutchings (PhD. Dalhousie U.), and Dr. Locke Rowe (PDF University of Toronto). Much of my work has focused on understanding the evolutionary ecology of early life stages and parental investment patterns, particularly in reptiles and fish. My research has taken me to some far off places, including Africa and Nicaragua, but my current research program is based out of Algonquin Park here in Ontario.


Graduate Students


Hollis Dahn - PhD Student (co-supervisor Bob Murphy)
Hollis is interested in how organisms diversify and evolve in dynamic geographic arrangements and environments. She holds a long-time enthusiasm for herpetology as well as Chinese culture and language. An advocate for scientific outreach, cultural exchange, and international scientific collaboration, she will continue to travel to China and collaborate with researchers there.


Patrick Moldowan - PhD Student

Patrick is interested in evolutionary ecology, herpetology, conservation, and natural history. His research is based at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station where he focuses on the sensitivity to environmental change in the spotted salamander and the long-term life history study of turtles. Patrick is the recipient of several awards, including Canada’s New Noah Scholarship, and he is a strong proponent of scientific research, evidence-based policy, and stewardship programming to raise public awareness for conservation.


Melanie Massey - MSc Student
Melanie's interests lie in the exciting field of "eco-evo-devo", which is concerned with the interactions between environment, genes, and development of organisms. Having spent months at the Redpath Museum, mapping embryonic traits of chickens onto dinosaur phylogenies, Melanie will be moving into the deep woods of Algonquin Park to work on temperature dependent sex determination in snapping turtles. Melanie is also a talented artist, creating everything from paleontological drawings, t-shirt designs and logos, and even a children's book about geckos! Read more about Melanie here.


Undergraduate Students


Jessica Santilli - Thesis Student 
Jessica is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Genome Biology, with a minor in Psychology. She is currently completing a research project investigating the association between life-history characteristics  and the strength of Bergmann clines in North American turtles.



Lucian Wang - Thesis Student
Lucian is a third year student majoring in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. He is currently performing an experiment with assistance from the Krkosek Lab that tests the relationship between seasonality and the evolution of investment per offspring in Daphnia. He has previously worked on guppy and rhizobia-legume systems, and hopes to begin working with reptilian systems in the future.







Bridget Sparrow-Scinocca - Research Volunteer
Bridget is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Animal Physiology. She has worked on the development of a reptile and amphibian island-size database and is currently working on creating a database on temperature-dependent sex determination in turtles. She is also assisting Melanie and Patrick on identifying deformities in turtle embryos as part of a turtle incubation experiment.


Jennifer Reilly - Research Volunteer
Jennifer has been involved with the expansion of the reptile and amphibian island-range database, and she is currently working with Melanie and Patrick on identifying deformities in turtle incubation experiments. Further, Jennifer is starting to work on creating a database for a temperature-dependent sex determination meta-analysis.


Christopher Reid - Center for Global Change Science Summer Intern
Chris is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Science. He is currently investigating the relationship between ambient temperature and juvenile growth rate of painted turtles in Algonquin Park to better understand how northern turtle populations may respond to climate change. Chris is working with the Rollinson Lab as part of the Centre for Global Change Science’s summer internship program.

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