The Rollinson Lab 

Evolutionary ecology, maternal effects, environmental change


Njal Rollinson - Principal Investigator

I am interested in maternal effects and the evolution of life histories, especially among ectothermic vertebrates that inhabit time-constrained environments. 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.


Post Docs

Megan Greishar (co-supervisor Nicole Mideo)
Megan is broadly interested in the strategies parasites use to make a living within a host. She focuses on malaria parasites because they show some very curious behavior, including synchronized cycles of blood stage infection (where parasites invade red blood cells, develop, and burst out in unison) and reproductive restraint, meaning that parasites seem to invest preferentially in proliferating within the host (growth) rather than transmitting to new hosts (reproduction). Megan will be working on life-history evolution in malaria, and on theoretical models of parental provisioning under time constraints.


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‚Äôs 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.

Recent Undergraduate Students & Research Topics

Jessica Santilli - (Bergmann's Rule in Turtles)
Lucian Wang - (Evolution of maternal effects in Daphnia)
Christopher Reid - CGCS scholar (Climate change and early growth of turtles)
Dana Berg - CGCS scholar (Climate change and phenology of turtles)
Vivian Shum -
NSERC USRA (Evolution of senescence in Daphnia)
Carter Rouleau - (Evolution of thermal reaction norms in turtles)
Deborah Hawkshaw - (Evolution of sexual weaponry in turtles)