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The Honours Thesis in Biology


The honours thesis (BIOL4499) is highly recommended for anyone thinking about going to graduate school or who think they may be interested in research. By doing honours thesis research you will get a taste for what hands-on research is all about.


"Conducting an honours research project provided me with previously unmatched educational opportunities, and enabled me to engage in both scientific and self exploration - it was a learning experience unlike any other"                                                                                                  B. Milligan (2011)


"Doing an Honours degree at Mount Saint Vincint University gave me the opportunity to experience research first-hand. I gained not only valuable skills in the lab, but in writing, organization, and trouble-shooting. It opened new doors to new opportunities and I was better prepared for unlimited possibilities"                                                                                       S. Edsall (2009)


We are proud of our honours students, who have entered the graduate programs at University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, Memorial University; entered the Veterinary program at UPEI; and entered the Medical School at Dalhousie University.


For more information, please speak to one of the Biology Faculty members.

BIOL 3999 Biology Colloquium 

0.5 unit
Prerequisite: Any 2000 level BIOL course
Development of skills in literature research, critical thinking, and evaluation of scientific presentations. Students will be required to make presentations using several different modes of communication.

This course is highly recommended to students wishing to improve their lab report, essay writing and class presentation grades.

Reasons for doing honours:

·       To conduct your own research project

·       To learn to work independently in the lab

·       To gain hands-on experience

·       To be part of a research team

·       To learn valuable scientific skills (writing, presentation skills, critical thinking etc)

·       To find out if you like research

·       To get to know the faculty

·       And to have immense fun…

If you are interested in finding out more about our Honours program,

Please email


For Program Requirements Click here


Previous Titles of Honours Thesis




Establishing in vitro culturing and determining the effect of inhibitors on bone development in chick embryonic eye tissue



Gregory Haller

(Supervisor: Dr Franz-Odendaal)


Interactive effects of temperature, watering regime, and mycorrhizae on growth and physiological characteristics of mung bean (Vigna radiata)



Alexis LeFait

(Supervisors: Drs Qaderi & Kernaghan)

The individual and interactive effects of temperature, ultraviolet-B radiation, and salicylic acid on pea (Pisum sativum L.)



Ashley Martel

(Supervisor: Dr Qaderi)

Interactive effects of temperature, carbon dioxide and abscisic acid on growth and development of mung bean (Vigna radiata) plants



Megan Reardon

(Supervisor: Dr Qaderi)

Geographic variation in the song of the Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)



Brianna Burns

(Supervisor: External)



A comparative shape analysis of the lower jaw of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) and the Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus)



Christine Hammer

(Supervisor: Dr Franz-Odendaal)

Investigating scleral ossicle development using fluorescent dye labeling and alkaline phosphatase staining



Kaitlyn Wilson

(Supervisor: Dr Franz-Odendaal)

Maternal environmental effects of temperature and exogenous gibberellic acid on evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) seeds



Britanie LeFait

(Supervisor: Dr Qaderi)


Transmission electron microscopy as a tool for studying cell dynamics in early osteogenic condensations: Trials and tribulations of a classic approach



James Jabalee

(Supervisor: Dr Franz-Odendaal)

Combined effects of temperature and light quality on canola (Brassica napus) seedlings



Kuranda Slauenwhite

(Supervisor: Dr Qaderi)


Nesting habitat differentiation of Nova Scotia’s three small cavity-nesting raptors, with an emphasis on the Boreal Owl (Aegolius funureus)



Kathleen MacAulay

(Supervisor: External)

Patterns of organic nitrogen utilization in fungal root endophytes



Erica Fraser

(Supervisor: Dr Kernaghan)


A descriptive and comparative analysis: Morphological ontogenetic growth of the mandibular and gill arches in Danio rerio and two morphs of Astyanax mexicanus



Brittni Milligan

(Supervisor: Dr Franz-Odendaal)





An investigation of spatial variation in the dietary niche breadth of little brown and northern long-eared bats in eastern Canada using stable isotope analysis


Ryan Hearn

(Supervisor: External)





Assessing the resource allocation regime between sexual reproduction and vegetative growth of a population of Scirpus longii that has suffered introgression from Scirpus cyperinus (Cyperaceae)



Scott Dickey

(Supervisor: Dr MacKay)


Fishy bone development: Methods of observing bone growth and remodelling in Teleosts


Sara Edsall

(Supervisor: Dr Franz-Odendaal)



Development of butyrylcholinesterase neuroimaging substrate analogues for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease



Eric Joy

(Supervisor: Dr Pottie)


A comparative study of scleral skeletal elements in modern and fossil sharks and fossil Arthrodires



Brettney Pilgrim

(Supervisor: Dr Franz-Odendaal)


Ontogenetic changes in tolerance to herbivory in three ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana


Caroline Tucker

(Supervisor: Dr Avila-Sakar)



The effects of new technologies and natural antimicrobials on the control of micro-organisms and maintenance of food quality



Deana Sharpe

 (Supervisor: External)