(a.k.a. students)

Sabina Henry – MSc Candidate
(F2022 – present)

I am a MSc Biology student with a focus on forest ecology and evolution studying the adaptive potential of different Black Spruce provenances. To define adaptive potential, I will link individual performance, intra-provenance trait covariation and a climatic gradient. Personal interests include camping, cooking, and caring for my many houseplants.  

Nick Pianosi – Coop research assistant
(F2022 – present)

Hi I’m Nick! I’m a third year environmental science student with a specialization in ecology. Some of my interests are rock climbing, dungeons and dragons, and music!

Johnny Hernes – Part-time research assistant
(F2022 – present)

My name is Johnathan Hernes and I am a biochemistry student with a passion for plant science. I have an interests in agriculture; varying from the production of GMOs to working hands on farming duties, as well as forest ecologies such as the systematic communities involved in healthy ecosystems. I want to continue my studies involving plants to make a positive difference for all communities.

Tanya Sarin – Coop research assistant, USRA awardee
(W2022 – present)

Tanya is an undergraduate student studying Honours Biology with a minor in French at the University of Waterloo. She enjoys going into the field to get hands-on experience, and also helping analyze samples and data in the lab. She spends her spare time painting, exploring trails and travelling.

(a.k.a. alumni)

Lina Aragón РMSc
(W2020 – F2022)

Lina studied the relationship among functional traits, performance and climate gradients in temperate trees using a greenhouse experiment. She is now doing her PhD with Dr. Feeley at U. Miami.

Reshani Abayasekara – Research assistant
(F2021 – S2022)

Reshani completed her Honors in Life Sciences with minors in mathematics and biology University of Waterloo. She is now doing an MSc in Statistics at U.Toronto.

Victoria Stapells – Coop research assistant
(W2022 – S2022)

Jahanvi Chauhan – Coop research assistant
(S2022 – present)

Jahanvi is an undergraduate student studying Biology with a minor in Music at the University of Waterloo. She helped with lab and field work on two research projects. She is now gaining experience with veterinary work with the goal of attending vet school.

Leila Forsyth РLab Manager
(S2021 – S2022)

Leila was the lab manager from May 2021 to May 2022. She is now at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. You can find her on Google scholarLinkedIn, or twitter.

Cynthia Nomanee – Research assistant

Cynthia finished their BSc in Biology in W2022. They completed their honors thesis in paleolimnology and diatoms. They hope to pursue their Master’s in Ecology. They are currently passionate about plants, writing, and weightlifting.

Ramisa Sekander – Coop research assistant

Ramisa worked her first co-op term with the Messier Lab in F2021. She enjoyed helping Leila and Lina with their sample processing and hopes to pursue biological research in the future. On her days off, you can find her painting, with friends, or sipping pumpkin cream cold brews at your nearest bakery.

√Čmilie Seyer-Lamontagne – MSc Student
(2019 – 2021 _ incomplete)

√Čmilie studied functional trait variation in the ectomycorrhizal communities associated with fir saplings. She was based at the Universit√© de Montr√©al in the Chagnon lab. She is now a Laboratory Analyst at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Christina Rossi – Lab Technician, USRA Awardee
(W2019 – S2021)

For her honor’s thesis, Christina tested the best methods for measuring tree growth from rings in eccentric tree cross-sections. She is now working on her MSc research on plant immunity at Laurier U. in the Castroverde lab. She also busies herself writing up her Honor’s research for publication. As a lab technician, Christina managed the day-to-day on the Arabidopsis pilot projects.

Natalie Vuong – Lab Technician
(W2019 – F2021)

For her honour’s thesis, Natalie explored the relationship between tree ecophysiology and hosted communities of epiphytic bryophytes and lichens. She is currently continuing with the analyses and writing this up for publication. As a lab technician, she oversaw the Messier Lab garden, Green Labs Initiative, this website and assisted with daily activities including Lina’s 2021 greenhouse experiment. On her off time, Natalie enjoys climbing, chicken nuggets, and general chaos.

Arunemathi Shanmugam – Research assistant

Arunemathi Shanmugam is a student at the University of Waterloo studying Environmental Sciences with a specialization in Ecology. As a research assistant, she helped with projects in the greenhouse.

Justin Yu – Coop research assistant

Justin is a student at the University of Waterloo studying Environmental Science with a specialization in ecology. As a research assistant, he helped with various projects compiling and cleaning data and doing literature reviews.

(a.k.a. collaborators)


Dr. Mark Vellend, Universit√© de Sherbrooke, Canada
Dr. Cyrille Violle, CNRS, France
Dr. Brian J. Enquist, University of Arizona, USA
Dr. Martin J. Lechowicz, McGill University, Canada
Dr. Brian J. McGill, University of Maine, USA


Dr. Sam Wuest, Agroscope Switzerland

Dr. Bob Muscarella, Upsalla University, Sweden
Dr. François Vasseur, CEFE CNRS, France
Dr. Adrien Taudière, CEFE CNRS, France
Dr. Andrew Siefert, UC Davis, USA
Dr. C√©cille Albert, CNRS, France
Dr. Daniel D. Kneeshaw, Universit√© du Qu√©bec √† Montr√©al, Canada
Dr. Daniel Laughlin, University of Wyoming, USA
Dr. Jens Kattge, Max-Planck-Institute, TRY database, Germany
Dr. Kechang Niu, Nanjing University, China


Dr. Louise Comas, USDA – my root traits resource
Dr. John Sperry – my plant hydraulics resource
Dr. Melvin Tyree – my plant physiology resource
Dr. David Killick – my microscopy resource


Field Assistants:
Florencia Cappiello (2018), Nikola Tutic (2016), Anke Roth (2014), √Čmilie Lavoie (2012), Natasha Salter (2012), Andr√©anne Ferland (2011), Carol Mordy (2011), Ricardo Cossio (2008)

Lab Assistants:
Christina Rossi (2019), Natalie Vuong (2019), Mariette Laumond (2018), Gabriel Bergeron (2017), Sarah Gaignard (2016), Sierra Kaszubinski (2014), Sanga Shir (2014), Surbhi Patel (2013), Margretta Murphy  (2012-2013), John Lacson (2012-2013), Kevin Wang (2012-2013), Sarah Schwenck (2011-2012), Anjeanette McKay (2012), Casey Knoks (2012),  Meghan Iacuelli (2011-2012), Shahrzad Badie (2012), Irene Liang (2011), Jordyn Celaya (2011), M√©lisanne Loiselle-Gascon (2008)

All of you make my research possible. Thanks for inspiring and motivating me.