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Lab Members


Dr. Olivia Wilkins

Principal Investigator

Dr. Olivia Wilkins leads the Plant Systems Biology research group at the University of Manitoba. She received her PhD from the University of Toronto in 2010. From 2011 to 2015, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology at New York University. In 2015, she was a Visiting Scientist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. In 2013, she was awarded a Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development Award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2016, she joined the Faculty at McGill University, and in 2019 she joined the Faculty at the University of Manitoba. She serves on the editorial boards of multiple scientific journals and is an active participant in the Graduate Women in Science Fellowship Committee.

@oli_wilkins on Twitter


Arshani Alukumbura

Research Technician

2022 MSc Department of Plant Science, University of Manitoba

2018 BSc Honours in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

I love working in molecular biology laboratories doing research and am always excited to try something new in the lab. I am working on several research projects to understand plant gene expressions in response to climate change stressors, in different plant tissues and individual cells using transcriptomic, proteomic and genetic engineering techniques.


Sean Robertson

PhD Student

2020 Bachelor of Science: Biology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada


Wisdom Akandwanaho

MSc Student, co-supervised with Dr. Claudio Stasolla

2022 Bachelor of Science: Agricultural Biotechnology Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana (West Africa)

Wisdom has a passion for plant molecular biology. He is investigating how individual cells in the root apical meristem of the Arabidopsis plant respond to conditions of high moisture and low oxygen. He is working toward an MSc degree in the Department of Plant Science.


Sakariyahu Solihu Kayode

MSc Student, Co-supervised with Dr. Mark Belmonte

2019 Master of Science: Plant Breeding, Pan African University, Institute of Life and Earth Sciences University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2015 Bachelor of Science: Biology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria


Elisa Gan

Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry) Student

Spatial heterogeneity in drought stress responses


Amy Fernando

Bachelor of Science (Hons.) Student co-supervised with Dr. Joseph Gordon

Honours thesis title: Alternative Bnip3 splicing in pediatric alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma

People: Lab Members


Postdoctoral Researchers

Rajiv Kumar Tripathi (2020-2021)
Md Bulbul Ahmed (2017-2018) McGill

PhD Students

Jack Lamont, co-supervised (2016-2017) McGill

MSc Students

Jérôme Gélinas-Bélanger (2019) McGill
Ruite Chen (2019) McGill
Olivia Haley, co-supervised (2017) McGill

Undergraduate Researchers

Geoffrey Pagcaliwagan, NSERC USRA (2021)
Aaron Shalev, NSERC USRA (2020) co-supervised
Aaron Nedéléc, USRA (2020) co-supervised
Arlo Reichert, USRA (2020) co-supervised
MinJeong Kang, Project Student (2019, 2020)
Jonathan Sangiovanni, Project Student (2018, 2019) McGill
Azriel Abraham Lopez Jauregui, MITACS Globalink Scholar, Tecnológico de Monterey (2018) McGill
Raúl Ernesto Flores González, MITACS Globalink Scholar, Tecnológico de Monterey (2018) McGill
Vincent McCarty, NSERC USRA (2018) McGill
Cesarée Morier-Gxoyiya, Project Student (2018) McGill
Phillip Rosenbaum, NSERC USRA (2017, 2018) McGill
Jérôme Gélinas-Bélanger, NSERC USRA (2017) McGill

Co-op Students

Sarah Campbell (Fall 2020, Winter 2021)
Joohee Lee (Winter 2020)
Sean Robertson (Winter 2020)

Honours Students

Vincent McCarty (2018-2019) McGill

People: Lab Members
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