Alexandrine Frappier, MSc, Université de Montréal
I am a student at Université de Montréal doing my MSc in Quantitative and Computational Biology. My work with Dominique will examine how the completeness and reusability of open datasets in ecology and evolution is linked to transparency in the reporting of methods and results in published papers. Open data are thought to increase transparency and reproducibility in science but there is limited empirical evidence in support of this claim. I will use an existing database on the archiving quality of open datasets in the repository Dryad and examine metrics of transparency in the associated papers to assess whether there is a relationship between good data sharing and reporting practices .
Sarahdghyn Louissaint, MSc, Université de Montréal
I am a master student in the Quantitative and Computational Biology program in the Department of Biology at Université de Montréal. For my thesis, I am examining the availability of open data and code for approximately 1000 studies in animal behaviour and comparative physiology over the period 2010-2021 to examine changes in these research practices over time. I will be comparing studies in these two disciplines and in journals with different data sharing policies. Information about data and code sharing practices typically has to be collected by manually assessing papers - I will be exploring the potential to use text mining to speed up data collection.
Collaborations with PhD students
Do open data improve error corrections in ecology and evolution?
Mechanistic understanding of habitat preference in cleaner and non-cleaner gobies (Elacatinus spp)
Simple decision rules underlie collaborative hunting in yellow saddle goatfish (link to paper)
An experimental test of biological market theory in the cleaner fish, Labroides dimidiatus
Mutualistic cleaner fish maintains high escape performance despite privileged relationship with predators (link to paper)
Learning opportunities influence decision rules of bluestreak cleaner wrasse in a biological market context (link to paper)
Personality and metabolic phenotype mediate physiological defence responses in flatfish (link to paper)
Laura Bone, Honours, Carleton University
I am a 5th year undergraduate student in environmental science with a concentration in ecology, biodiversity, and conservation. My honours thesis aims to determine how often biodiversity data from open access databases such (e.g., eBird,GBIF) are is used in published studies using text mining. I am co-supervised by Dom and Dr. Richard Schuster from Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Sierra Davis, Honours, Carleton University
I am a 4th year student in the Environmental Science program at Carleton University. I am working on my Undergraduate Honours Thesis with Dominique Roche (Carleton U) and Rachel Buxton (Carleton U). My research aims to identify and compile information that conservation managers need to develop effective species-at-risk recovery projects, focusing on Canadian species. Examples of key information that is needed includes threats to species, costs associated with recovery, and conservation benefits . A lot of this information is missing from the published literature or is not up to date. One aim of my project is also to develop a metadata standard for publishing this type of species data to ensure better data management practices going forward.
Rim Bouchoucha, MSc, Université de Montréal
As part of my Masters in Quantitative and Computational Biology at Université de Montréal, I am working with Dominique Roche (Carleton U) and Sandra Ann Binning (UdeM) to study the changing composition of coral reef fish communities in Ras Mohammed National Park, in Egypt. The reefs in this park have the particularity of not having undergone major disturbances and can therefore constitute a basic model for better understanding the consequences of anthropogenic disturbances on other coral reefs. Data on the richness and abundance of fish species were collected over two decades : in 1997, 2007 and 2018. My objective is to analyze these data using a new method developed by Professor Pierre Legendre (adespatial::TBI.R) to examine changes in beta-diversity over time.
Fares Dhane, MSc, Université de Montréal
I am completing a MSc degree in Quantitative and Computational Biology at Université de Montréal. My work with Dom is funded by a NSERC NSE grant to examine the repeatability of data sharing practices among Canadian researchers in ecology and evolution. With the help of three other students, I have assessed the completeness and reusability of >300 open datasets to investigate whether data sharing practices by researchers are repeatable trough time and across journals with different open data policies. I will also examine differences in data sharing practices among men and women and researchers at different career stages.
Aurelia Green, MSc, Université de Neuchâtel
I completed my BSc degree in Psychology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. I then decided to undertake a Master’s degree in Cognitive Science at the University of Neuchâtel, which offers an interdisciplinary program at the intersection of the biological and social sciences, and allowed me to gain a broader perspective on animal behaviour and cognition. After becoming more familiar with Professor Redouan Bshary’s work, I became particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms and the evolution of cooperative behaviours in humans and non-human animals, specifically why individuals exhibit helping behaviours that benefit other individuals, despite enduring costs to themselves. Such behaviours are fascinating and present a challenge for classic evolutionary theory. My master thesis project is to investigate whether human cooperation is generalizable and if humans display stable cooperative behaviours across different contexts and over time.
Alexa Ouellette, MSc, Western University
I am completing a Masters of Environment and Sustainability student at Western University's Centre for Environment and Sustainability. My research with Dom and Stephanie Avery-Gomm (Environment and Climate Change Canada) looks at trends in data visualization in the field of conservation biology. There have been recent calls to improve data visualization in published papers (i.e., avoid bar graphs, adequately show variation) - I am looking at whether conservation scientists have heeded this advice given the applied nature of the field and the need to clearly communicate research results to stakeholders to maximize their usability.
Marie-Claire Robitaille, MSc, Université de Montréal
I am enrolled in a MSc program in Sustainable Development and the Environment at UdeM. As part of this program, I am doing an internship with Dom and Sandra Binning (Biology, UdeM) looking at trends in data visualization in the field of conservation biology. Alexa Ouellette and I are examining figures in a total of 330 papers published between 2010 and 2020 across five journals in conservation biology. We are looking at whether the data presentation in the figures is adequate given the statistical analyses in the paper and whether authors are increasingly adopting best practices in data visualization.
Sandrine Soeharjono, MSc, Université de Montréal
I am Master's student in Quantitative and Computational Biology at Université de Montréal. I worked with Dom and other students in his group to evaluate the repeatability of data sharing practices by Canadian researchers. I also led a survey of Canadian faculty members working in ecology and evolution to assess the costs and benefits of publicly data sharing research data. My results are published as an EcoEvoArxiv preprint and have been submitted to a journal - check them out here! Currently, I work as a data scientist at My Intelligent Machines, using data mining techniques applied to triple-negative breast cancer research for population segmentation and clinical prognosis prediction studies. I am passionate about interdisciplinary sciences, education and scientific communication.
Félix Lauzon, Honours, Université de Montréal
I am an Honours student working with Dom and Sandra Binning (Biology, UdeM) on open data in ecology and evolution. I was part of a team that assessed the completeness and reusability of >300 open datasets in E&E. My thesis examined the recovery rate of 'missing' open data (incomplete open datasets) by editors of journals with and without a strong editorial open data policy. I started a masters at McGill in Fred Guichard's lab in Sept 2020.
Melvyn Staiff, MSc, Université de Neuchâtel
After my BSc degree in Biology at the University of Lausanne, I decided to undertake a MSc in Neuchâtel. I am interested in studying animal behaviour and ecology in natural systems. In Neuchâtel, I was immediately drawn to the Eco-Ethology lab led by Redouan Bshary. For my Master Thesis, I plan on working with cleaner wrasse behaviour at the Lizard Island Research Station in Australia. My MSc thesis will investigate individual variation in physiological and behavioural traits of cleaner wrasse and the potential effect of these inter-individual variations on cooperative behaviours. This project is a follow-up on Lorraine Delisle's MSc project in 2016 and will allow to test inter-annual repeatability of these variations. In addition, I will look at juvenile cleaner wrasse to describe potential ontogenetic changes in individual variations.
Lorraine Delisle, MSc, Université de Neuchâtel
I finalized my BSc in Natural Resources Management (University of Applied Science of Western Switzerland Hepia, Geneva 2014) by a rewarding thesis in Tanzania, assessing the conservation value of two protected areas. As part of an Engineer in Natural Resources Management program, I joined a fieldwork team from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) studying prairie dog phenotype. Individuals of this species interact a lot, which drew my attention and I wished to learn more about general behaviour and specific cooperation strategies. Therefore, I started a MSc in Biology at the University of Neuchâtel (2015) with two specialties: animal behaviour and parasitology. My MSc thesis with Dominique explores individual variation in physiological and behavioural traits of cleaner fish and whether this variance might explain differences in cooperative behaviour that we observe in the wild.
Michelle Lampe, MSc, Radboud University of Nijmegen
I am a student from the Radboud University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where I completed my BSc and am currently doing my MSc in Biology. I am specializing in animal behaviour, ecology and cognition, but also have an extensive background in genetics and population biology. For my MSc thesis, I did a project at the Wolf Science Center in Austria. I fell in love with the concept of cognitive testing, in which you interact with the animals on a whole different level than in the wild. For my graduation project, I wanted to do something in the field of Marine Biology, preferably with a diving component. I have always been fascinated by the underwater world and my favorite vacations have been snorkeling in the Red Sea in Egypt. I contacted Dominique and Renata to do my project on cleaner gobies in the Caribbean, where I tested their swimming performance when escaping from a threat. I compared closely related cleaner and non-cleaner gobies and tested whether cleaner gobies exhibit a lower escape performance due to a reduction in the need for such a trait. I intend to submit this study for publication in 2021.
Malika Rinsoz, MSc, Université de Neuchâtel
I did my BSc in Biology and Ethnology at the University of Neuchâtel, a program designed to bridge natural sciences with human sciences because many scientific questions revolve around humans and their relationship with the natural environment. During this time, I worked on wolf reintroductions in Switzerland and biodiversity assessments in Swiss vineyards. For my MSc, I changed focus and decided to study animal behaviour and parasitology, also at the University of Neuchâtel. My thesis examined the effects of parasitic infections on the cognitive abilities of animals using meta-analysis. This statistical approach combines the results from different studies on a given topic to evaluate the consistency of their findings and draw a general conclusion. Published studies on human and non-human animals report both positive and negative consequences of parasites on cognition and my thesis aimed to shed some light on this interesting question. I hope to publish my results imminently.
Fausto Quattrini, MSc, Université de Neuchâtel
I am from the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland (Ticino) and I completed my BSc at the University of Neuchâtel. I completed my master’s thesis project in Neuchâtel, where I studied group living and the oddity effect in marine fishes. For that, I travelled to Australia to work at the Lizard Island Research Station. There, I studied group choice in three species of reef fishes to see whether their decision to join different groups is influenced by the presence of an “odd individual”. I also investigated correlations between behavioural lateralization (i.e. a side bias when turning) and the tendency of fishes to swim in a polarized fashion (i.e. to form shoals or schools). My first chapter in currently in revision and should be published in 2018. The first chapter of my MSc thesis was just published in Behavioral Ecology! Link here
Maïwenn Jornod, MSc, Université de Neuchâtel
I did my Bsc and my MSc at the Uni of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. For my MSc in Biology of Parasites and Behavioural Ecology, I spent three months at the Lizard Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef, in Australia. I studied the mutualism between the cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, and its 'client' reef fishes. Combining field observations and lab experiments, I evaluated the relative importance of traits that might influence cleaning service quality offered by cleaner wrasses to their 'client' species. I submitted my thesis in Feb 2016 and I am currently working on manuscripts while I figure out what I want to do next! Check out this paper in Biology Open on a neat side project I completed during my masters.