Up-to-date news on the Mandrak Lab members.

January 9, 2023: Congratulations Thais on successfully defending you PhD thesis!

January 1, 2023: Congratulations Piata on your new faculty position at the University of Buffalo! Good luck! And don’t forget your Canada Goose parka!

December 16, 2022: Congratulations Emily on successfully defending your PhD thesis!

December 7, 2022: Congratulations Ben on successfully defending your MSc thesis!

June 9, 2022: Congratulations Erik on being awarded the DPES Teaching Assistant Award!

June 7, 2022: Congratulations Meagan on successfully defending your PhD thesis! Well done!

May 2022: Our second in-person conference in two months! Ben, Edina, Erik, Jennifer, Markelle, Nick, Noelle, and Piata attended the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

May 2022: Lab retreat to L-Lake, Old Ausable Channel, Rondeau Bay, and Sydenham River.

May 1, 2022: Welcome PhD student Stephanie to the lab! An congratulations to being named to the National Advisory Committee on Biodiversity!

April 2022: We went to our first in-person conference in a LONG time! Erik, Justin, Meagan, Nick, Noelle, Paul, and Thais attended the International Conference for Aquatic Invasive Species in Oostende, Belgium. Noelle won an award for her oral presentation. Congrats Noelle!

March 26, 2022: Congratulations Nick on being awarded the AFS-OC Outstanding Mentor Award.

January 30-31, 2022: Drs. Paul and Piatã present at the Black Canadians in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine & Health 2022 conference ( Paul was a moderator for the Ecology and Evolution session, and presented “Investigating species specificity in an acoustic fish deterrent deployed in a wetland”. Piatã, with other mentors from the Odu Initiative (, led a discussion on the recruitment of BIPOC students to STEMM in the “Young, Gifted, and Melanated: mentoring youths of colour in STEMM” networking session.

December 8, 2021: Congratulations Paul on winning the Canadian Aquatic Resources Section of AFS Peter A. Larkin Award for Excellence in Fisheries at a Canadian Institution  (

July 23, 2021: Congratulations Paul on defending your PhD thesis!

May 1, 2021: Welcome new members of the lab: Edina, Dominique, Jennifer, and Markelle!

April 29, 2021: Congratulations to Noelle for being awarded the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Fellowship from the School of the Environment!

March 31, 2021: Congratulations Nick on winning the Principal’s Research Award

February 3, 2021: Congratulations to Meagan and Paul! At the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Paul won the Janice Lee Fenske Memorial Award (  for Outstanding Student and Meagan was a finalist.

September 23, 2020: Congratulations Kavi on successfully defending your MSc thesis! Two for two in September.

September 15, 2020: Congratulations Justin on successfully defending your MSc thesis!

August 13, 2020: Nick leads 4-year, $1.8M, multi-partner Canada NatureFund project on threat mitigation and habitat restoration of endangered fish species

July 28, 2020: Congratulations Tej on defending your PhD thesis! Well done Dr. Sporty!

July 22, 2020: Nick co-authors “Scientists’ warning on invasive alien species”

End of March, 2020: Nick and Paul unexpectedly return from their South African adventure due to COVID. 😦

February 2, 2020: Nick and Paul head off on their South African adventure to conquer carp! 🙂

January 14, 2020: Congratulations Courtney on defending your Masters thesis! 3 for 3 in 2020!

January 10, 2020: Congratulations Sara! Great job on defending your PhD thesis!

January 9, 2020: Congratulations Alex Leclair on successfully defending your Master’s thesis! What a great way to kick off the year and decade!

October 28-31, 2019: Thaïs Bernos, Paul Bzonek, Rowshyra Castañeda , Tej Heer, Justin Hubbard, Meagan Kindree, and Nick attended and presented their research at the International Conference for Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS) held in Montreal, Quebec.

September 17, 2019: Paul successfully passed his appraisal! Congrats!!

September 5, 2019: Congratulations Fielding on successfully defending your PhD dissertation!!! Two for two!

September 4, 2019: Congratulations Rowshyra on successfully defending your PhD dissertation!!!

August 19, 2019: Nick was an invited panelist on the Asian Carp Public Information Session at Point Pelee National Park. The event was covered by CBC, CTV, and Windsor Star (

June 20, 2019: Mandrak lab research is featured in The Biodiversity Resiliency Network blog.

June 12, 2019: Team Canada and Team USA tie 2-2 at annual Defy Cup fame at IAGLR annual conference in Brockport, NY. Team Canada included lab members Tej (T.J.) Heer, Justin Hubbard, Fielding (Taylor) Montgomery, and Nick. The game was covered by The Buffalo News (

June 1, 2019: Nick presents invited talk in What the Carp? workshop at Ontario Nature AGM, Hamilton, ON.

April 10, 2019: Meagan Kindree passed her Appraisal Exam. Congrats MEAGS!

March 2019: Congrats to both Tej Heer and Fielding Montgomery for winning Best Student Paper at the 2018 IAGLR Conference!

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 11:00 AM EST: Paul Bzonek and Tej Heer will be hosting a webinar on:

Overview of Canadian Research on Asian Carp Prevention.

To sign up for the webinar click here. Their presentations will surely knock the carp out of the water!

January 3-6, 2019: Mandrak Lab members (Thaïs Bernos, Paul Bzonek, Erik Dean, Kavishka Gallage, Tej Heer, Meagan Kindree, Alexandra Leclair, Nick Mandrak, Fielding Montgomery, Lindsay Potts) attended and presented their research at the Canadian Committee on Freshwater Fisheries Research (CCFFR) held in London, Ontario.

December 18, 2018: Congratulations to winner Rowshyra Castaneda and runner-up Thaïs Bernos of the Peter A. Larkin Award for Excellence in Fisheries.

October 31, 2018: Two PDF positions available in Mandrak lab. See descriptions under Research tab.

October 6, 2018: Congratulations to Sara Campbell and Andrew (A.J.) Masson on their nuptials!

September 4, 2018: The Mandrak Lab welcomes new PhD students Thais Bernos, Erik Dean (co-supervised by Dr. Andrew Drake), and Kyla Greenham, and M.Sc. students Kavi Gallage (co-supervised by Prof. Nathan Lovejoy), Alexandra Leclair (co-supervised by Dr. Andrew Drake) and Courtney Leermakers (co-supervised by Prof. Marc Cadotte)!

August 14, 2018: PhD Student Tej Heer passed his Appraisal Exam. Congrats Tej!

June 30, 2018: Sara Campbell won best departmental EEB paper for Campbell and Mandrak. 2017.  Dissecting spatio-temporal patterns of functional diversity through the lens of Darwin’s naturalization conundrum. Ecology and Evolution 7: 3861–3869.

June 20, 2018: Team Canada, with lab members Tej Heer, Nick Mandrak, and Fielding Montgomery, defeat Team USA in the annual IAGLR Defy Cup game.

June 18-22, 2018: The Mandrak Lab members (Paul Bzonek, Rowshyra Castañeda, Tej Heer, Meagan Kindree, Nathan Lujan, Nick Mandrak, Fielding Montgomery, and Noelle Stratton) attended and presented their research at the International Association for Great Lakes Research held at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

May 24, 2018: Nick Mandrak awarded the 2018 GLFC Jack Christie/Ken Loftus Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions toward Understanding Healthy Great Lakes Ecosystems.

September 5, 2017: The Mandrak Lab welcomes a new PhD student Noelle Stratton (co-supervised by Prof. Nicole Klenk)!

August 18, 2017. Brett Allen successfully defended his Master’s thesis on historical changes in the fish communities of the Credit River. Well done Brett!

July 17, 2017: Shannon Ritchie successfully defended her Master’s thesis on Blanding’s Turtle. Congrats Shannon!

May 15-19, 2017: The Mandrak Lab members (Brett Allen, Paul Bzonek, Rowshyra Castañeda, Emily Chenery, Tej Heer, Meagan Kindree, Fielding Montgomery, Shannon Ritchie, Yiminxue Zheng) attended and presented their research at the International Association for Great Lakes Research held in Detroit, USA.  Paul Bzonek won the IAGLR Best Student Paper Award for 2016!

May 13-15, 2017: We had our Mandrak Lab retreat at the Pinery Provincial Park. After our hike we spent two half days BioBlitzing the Sydenham River.

May 7-11, 2017: Rowshyra Castañeda presented some of her research at the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution meeting in Victoria, BC.

March 2–4, 2017: Three Mandrak Lab members (Tej Heer, Meagan Kindree, and Yiminxue Zheng) attended the American Fisheries Society-Ontario Chapter Annual Meeting in Geneva Park, Orillia, Ontario. Tej was awarded the E.B. Crossman award for best student talk. Well done Tej!

January 13th (a Friday), 2017: Fielding Montgomery successfully passed her Appraisal Exam. This was due to her obvious intelligence and her great time-management skills!

December 20, 2016: MSc Candidate Paul Bzonek passed his Master’s thesis defence. He is now a Master of Asian Carp behavioural barriers. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with him as he begins his PhD in January!

December 19, 2016: PhD Student Rowshyra Castañeda passed her Appraisal Exam. We now have two PhD Candidates in the Mandrak Lab!

November 22, 2016: PhD Student Sara Campbell passed her Appraisal Exam. Well done Sara!