Honours in Biology

Are you considering graduate school or interested in developing research skills? The honours thesis (BIOL 4499) provides you an opportunity to experience hands-on scientific research. We are proud of our honours students, many of whom have entered the graduate programs at the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, Dalhousie University (Biology and Medical), Saint Mary’s University, Memorial University, and the Veterinary program at UPEI.

**Deadline for applications for admission to honours 2025-2026: March 1, 2025**

To apply, students must do the following prior to the application deadline:

Students are also required to take BIOL 3999 (Biology Colloquium) and BIOL/CHEM 3501 (Introductory Biochemistry).

For more information, contact biology@msvu.ca

Benefits of a BSc Hons:

  • Conduct your own research project
  • Learn to work independently in the lab
  • Gain hands-on experience
  • Participate on a research team
  • Develop valuable scientific skills (writing, presentation, critical thinking, etc.)
  • Discover whether or not research is for you
  • Build relationships with faculty, other honours students, and graduate students
  • Have fun!

Find out more about Biology Program Requirements

Comments from Honours Alumni

“In completing the biology honours program at MSVU, I have gained and improved upon many skills such as scientific writing, public speaking, problem solving, and scientific research in general. My experience with the program has allowed me to grow as a scientist and has provided me with assets that will aid me throughout my career. To anyone interested in scientific research, I would highly recommend the honours program.” Nicholas Zinck (2019)

“The Mount’s biology honours program was an amazing opportunity that allowed me to design and conduct a research project, while developing invaluable skills in problem solving, writing, and data collection and analysis. Through the honours program, I also gained useful experience presenting my work at a conference, which helped me improve my communication skills. Overall, I would highly recommend the honours program to any biology student wishing to become more well rounded, and especially, those interested in research.” Sage Dixon (2018)

“The biology honours program at the Mount provided me with an unparalleled learning experience. I was able to apply my classroom knowledge to a real research setting while developing practical skills that I will use for the rest of my career. I would highly recommend the honours program to anyone interested in working as researcher.” Amanda Griffin (2016)

Please explore the previous titles through the expandable list below.

  • The Role and Regulation of ASPM Throughout the Cell Cycle; Maria Burns, supervised by Dr. Borgal
  • Effects of temperature and water on the vegetative and reproductive growth of canola (Brassica napus L.); Alyssa Babb, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Investigating the relationship between CDK1 and Asp in mediating transit amplification of stem cell progeny in the Drosophila germline; Hope Gorveatte, supervised by Dr. Borgal
  • Understanding the relationship between Asp and calmodulin at spindle poles; Aynsley McDermott, supervised by Dr. Borgal
  • Understanding the potential germline stem cell-specific regulatory role of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) during spermatogenesis of Drosophila melanogaster; Jessica Thompson, supervised by Dr. Borgal
  • Quantifying the morphology of tracheal cartilage and neck elasticity of chicken embryo; Langston Tench, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • The potentially nitrogen-fixing bacteria associated with ectomycorrhizae and sphagnum moss; Samantha Beaton, supervised by Dr. Kernaghan
  • The individual and interactive effects of temperature and supplemental methane on canola (Brassica napus L.); Courtney Strugnell, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Using EEG alpha oscillations and microstate dynamics to chart maturation of functional brain networks; Sierra Hedges, supervised by Dr. van Noordt
  • Effects of temperature and blue light on plant growth, lignin biosynthesis and methane emission of canola (Brassica napus L.); Brooke Dauphinee, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • The individual and interactive effects of temperature, carbon dioxide, and urea on canola (Brassica napus L.); Cameryn Evans, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Individual and interactive effects of temperature and watering regime on growth, physiology, and fatty acid composition of canola (Brassica napus L.); Emma McDormand, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • The effects of microgravity on the resorption and deposition of scales in Danio rerio; Keely MacLellan, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • Assessing the protein expression patterns of MMP-1 and MMP-2 in Gallus gallus scleral tissues; Romman Muntzar, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • Effects of increased muscle load on skeletal development in zebrafish (Danio rerio); Shea McInnis, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • The effect of fungal melanization on the feeding preferences of soil microarthropods; James Gailey, supervised by Dr. Kernaghan
  • Abundance of actinomycetes on decomposing pine ectomycorrhizae; Kaylee Boyle, supervised by Dr. Kernaghan
  • Exploring the effects of blue light and abscisic acid on leaf surface wax and methane emissions from canola plants grown under sterile conditions; Cassidy-Rae Creelman, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Exploring scleral cartilage development in Danio rerio: the roles of BMP and Wnt signaling; Nicholas Zinck, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • The individual and interactive effects of temperature, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen on canola (Brassica napus L.); Sage Dixon, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Cell dynamics in a novel in vitro culturing technique for embryonic chicken eyes; Daniel Andrews, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • An investigation of the extracellular matrix in the development of the scleral ossicle system; Megan Lawson, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • Tannic acid tolerance in dark septate endophytic fungi; Amanda Griffin, supervised by Dr. Kernaghan
  • Does water stress affect growth, ethylene evolution and methane emission in sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)?; Anna Jessop, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Combined effects of carbon dioxide, temperature and water stress on growth and chemical constituents of flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) seedlings; Jamie MacDonald, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Does abscisic acid regulate growth and physiological responses of canola (Brassica napus) to temperature and water stress?; Sarah Pickrem, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Establishing in vitro culturing and determining the effect of inhibitors on bone development in chick embryonic eye tissue; Gregory Haller, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • Interactive effects of temperature, watering regime, and mycorrhizae on growth and physiological characteristics of mung bean (Vigna radiata); Alexis LeFait, supervised by Drs. Qaderi & Kernaghan
  • The individual and interactive effects of temperature, ultraviolet-B radiation, and salicylic acid on pea (Pisum sativum L.); Ashley Martel, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Interactive effects of temperature, carbon dioxide and abscisic acid on growth and development of mung bean (Vigna radiata) plants; Megan Reardon, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • Geographic variation in the song of the Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia); Brianna Burns, supervised by an external supervisor
  • A comparative shape analysis of the lower jaw of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) and the Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus); Christine Hammer, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • Investigating scleral ossicle development using fluorescent dye labeling and alkaline phosphatase staining; Kaitlyn Wilson, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • Maternal environmental effects of temperature and exogenous gibberellic acid on evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) seed characteristics; Britanie LeFait, supervised by 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, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • Combined effects of temperature and light quality on canola (Brassica napus) seedlings; Kuranda Slauenwhite, supervised by Dr. Qaderi
  • A descriptive and comparative analysis: Morphological ontogenetic growth of the mandibular and gill arches in Danio rerio and two morphs of Astyanax mexicanusBrittni Milligan, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • Patterns of organic nitrogen utilization in fungal root endophytes; Erica Fraser, supervised by Dr. Kernaghan
  • Nesting habitat differentiation of Nova Scotia’s three small cavity-nesting raptors, with an emphasis on the Boreal Owl (Aegolius funureus); Kathleen MacAulay, supervised by an external supervisor
  • 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, supervised by an external supervisor
  • Fishy bone development: Methods of observing bone growth and remodelling in Teleosts; Sara Edsall, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • 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, supervised by Dr. MacKay
  • Ontogenetic changes in tolerance to herbivory in three ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana; Caroline Tucker, supervised by Dr. Avila-Sakar
  • A comparative study of scleral skeletal elements in modern and fossil sharks and fossil Arthrodires; Brettney Pilgrim, supervised by Dr. Franz-Odendaal
  • Development of butyrylcholinesterase neuroimaging substrate analogues for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease; Eric Joy, supervised by Dr. Pottie
  • The effects of new technologies and natural antimicrobials on the control of micro-organisms and maintenance of food quality; Deana Sharpe, supervised by an external supervisor