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Bryan Cassone

 Associate Professor

Ph.D. University of Notre Dame

M.Sc. University of Guelph

B.Sc. University of Western Ontario

Graduate Students 


Oluwadara Elebute

B.Sc. Carleton University

M.Sc. Candidate (2017 - Present)

Research interests: Computational biology and bioinformatics, genetics.

Likes: The 90s, music, action movies.

Dislikes: Canadian winter, anything smaller than a tennis ball that flies. 


Cody Koloski

B.Sc. Brandon University

M.Sc. Candidate (2018 - Present)

Research interests: My research deals with how DEET repellents work in repelling ticks at the genetic level. I am interested in tick/mosquito ecology and pathogen interactions. In the summer months I work for the  Manitoba Mosquito Surveillance Program. I am currently involved in a 3-year study on neglected tick and mosquito pathogens in Manitoba!


Ivan Drahun

B.Sc. University of Winnipeg

M.Sc. Candidate (2018 - Present)

Research interests: Coming from a background revolving around the ecological and behavioural aspects of medical entomology, I wanted to broaden my expertise and tackle the agricultural side of entomology after my undergraduate studies. My main focus throughout my Master's degree was assessing the risk that wireworms pose to crop production in Manitoba through field surveillance, molecular genomics and behavioural bioassays. My interests now lie in both medical and agricultural entomology; specifically the competence of arthropod vectors that transmit pathogens to humans, along with integrated pest management.

Likes: Spending time with my family and friends; sci-fi and fantasy movies and shows; music that can transcend the confines of time and space (or has a killer beat); falling asleep during thunderstorms; learning new skills; and helping those around me.

Dislikes: Being stuck in traffic; movie trailers that spoil the best parts of the movie; insects that do not respect my personal space; birds that sing outside my window when I am trying to fall asleep; and that we exist in a world without dinosaurs or dragons.

Harald Grove

B.Sc. Brandon University

M.Sc. Candidate (2018 - Present)

Research interests: I'm interested in how metabolic changes emerge from a cellular and sub-cellular level, how they interact, and how they are regulated. These consequences are interesting at a particular stage of development or when perturbed by an environmental influence. Finally, I am interested in comparing these metabolic processes across various domains of life. 

Likes: Outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, and camping. Music and cooking. 

Dislikes: Decaffeinated Coffee. 

Cole Baril

B.Sc. University of Winnipeg

M.Sc. Candidate (2020 - Present)

Research interests: I am interested in arboviruses in the context of public health and climate. I am currently working on a three year study on neglected mosquito-borne viruses (California serogroup viruses) in Manitoba.

Likes: Cold black coffee, nature and baking.

Dislikes: Hot coffee, country music and sitcoms with laugh tracks.


Paola Geronimo

B.Sc. University of Winnipeg

M.Sc. Candidate (2020 - Present)

Research interests: I am interested in studying different aspects of communicable and non-communicable diseases that are relevant to humans. By employing molecular biology techniques, I hope to contribute in the field of medical entomology to find a means of intervention against the transmission of arthropod-borne pathogens. I am also looking forward to investigating the various underlying genetic factors that contribute to the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as cancer using different animal models.

Likes: Taking risks, international cuisine, animals, spending time with family and friends.

Dislikes: Birds when they attack.


Undergraduate Students

Patrick Gohl

Research interests: Right now I am mainly interested in gaining general research experience and learning new lab techniques. I do hope, however, that working in the lab here will guide me towards a field of research that suits me. 

Likes: I enjoy Reading (Tolstoy, Goethe, Tolkien...), scuba diving, hiking, and when my bees/insectoid slaves make tons of honey 

Dislikes: I hate having to wear shoes, winter, and CS tear gas.


Jessica Sparrow


Research interests: As an undergraduate student my main focus is gathering as much research experience as possible to help me make an informed decision of what type of education I would like to pursue next (currently interested in infectious diseases). So far I have enjoyed doing various types of field work and running molecular experiments in our labs (ex: PCR, DNA extractions) and I am excited to learn more techniques this summer and in the fall as I begin my honours project.

Likes: Hiking, animals, warm weather, Netflix, and helping out.

Dislikes: Littering, spiders, things that sting, PCR contamination, and drivers who get too close to pedestrians.


Carlyn Duncan

Research interests: In general I am interested in human health and disease. Dr. Cassone’s insect vector lab offers the perfect environment to learn about an array of important species which impact human health as viral vectors and as agricultural pests. Over the summer and coming year I look forward to developing my biochemical and behavioral assay skills.

Likes: My favourite things in life are chocolate, dogs and art. I enjoy music, movies and spending time at Clear Lake, preferably with friends and family!

Dislikes: The state of our world.


Katherine Hunt

Research interests: My goal in this lab is to obtain a greater understanding of animal vectors that can impact human health and agricultural efficiency. With participation in Dr. Cassone’s lab, I hope to develop my laboratory skills and further my knowledge to assist me in future laboratory work or help me towards my chosen career path! 

Likes: Coffee, working out & sports, podcasts, baking & cooking, going to the lake & hiking, chocolate, plants & gardening, Disney movies, and travelling! 

Dislikes: Negativity, being disorganized, and being scared! 

Elise Poole

Research interests: My interests are primarily in the genetic and metabolic basis of human disease and drug response. My prior research experience in ribosome assembly and barley genomics has exposed me to a variety of molecular biology, biochemistry and genomic techniques and analysis. I am looking forward to applying and expanding on my skills in a new area of research, and gaining field work experience.

Likes: Cold brew coffee, airports, indoor cycling, hot yoga, and Disneyland. 

Dislikes: Coconut, complacency, and waking up on an even number. 


Kensuke Ohara

Research interests: My research interests lie somewhere in the field of biological sciences and I hope that spending time in Dr. Cassone’s lab will help me narrow these interests. I am excited to gain valuable research experience working with Dr. Cassone and his team this summer, and look forward to strengthening my skills in biomolecular techniques and behavioural assays.

Likes: Aside from school I love playing soccer and spending time outdoors. I also enjoy cooking, but mostly for the eating part that comes afterwards. 

Dislikes: I am not a fan of horror movies, and I dislike when groups of people, walking the opposite way, decide not to share the sidewalk forcing you to walk around them on the grass or street. 

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