The Science Advisory Board (SAB) is comprised of international research leaders who provide advice on the scientific direction of the CBG, reviewing current research activity and proposing areas for development.
Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Biological Sciences
University of Edinburgh
Mark Blaxter is Director of Edinburgh Genomics, whose 35 staff and large installation of sequencing and informatics equipment make it the second-largest genomics facility in the UK. His research exploits next generation sequencing platforms to both determine the genome sequences of little-studied taxa and to investigate organismal diversity in complex environments.
Kevin Cash trained as an ecologist with a specialization in evolutionary biology and behavioural ecology. He received a PhD from the University of Calgary and, following completion of a Postdoctoral Fellowship, began his career with Environment Canada in 1998. Within Environment Canada, he has held the position of Research Scientist and various management positions and is currently part of the Water Science & Technology Directorate within EC’s Science and Technology Branch. His research interests relate to the impacts of human activities on wildlife and aquatic ecology, the development of improved water quality monitoring programs, and the impact of predicted climate change on wetlands.
Professor and Chair of Environmental Genomics
University of Birmingham
John Kenneth Colbourne joined the University of Birmingham in August 2012 and holds its inaugural Chair of Environmental Genomics. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, a founding member and head of the international Environment Care Consortium, of the Daphnia Genomics Consortium and Director of the Joint Centre for Environmental Omics in partnership with the China National GeneBank. John has helped to pioneer the application of genomics for the study of how the environment influences gene structures, interactions and gene functions, primarily using the freshwater crustacean Daphnia as an evolutionary, ecological and toxicological model system. His presence in Birmingham has sparked an industrial approach at obtaining comprehensive knowledge on the effects of synthetic compounds and emerging advanced materials on biology, using new genomic model species. He received the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2012 for this work.
Canada Research Chair, Department of Biology
Melania Cristescu is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at McGill University and Canada Research Chair in Ecological Genomics. Her research addresses fundamental questions about the evolution and maintenance of biological diversity in aquatic systems. She has made contributions to research in three main areas: 1) the genetics of aquatic invasions and habitat transitions; 2) the nature and scale of recombination and mutation rate variation across genomes, populations, and species; and 3) speciation in ancient lakes. Her current research goals continue the advancement of these research directions while investigating the evolutionary consequences of multiple stressors in freshwater ecosystems.
Royal Ontario Museum
Mark Engstrom has served as the Royal Ontario Museum’s Deputy Director of Collections & Research (DD C&R) since 2003, and is responsible for maintaining the integrity and quality of the Museum’s intellectual capital, namely its collections and curatorial research programs. Managing an annual budget of over $8.5M and a staff of 115 curators, technicians, conservators, registrars, and librarians, Dr. Engstrom is responsible for day to day operations, long-term strategic planning, and integration of “back of house” curatorial operations with the Museum’s initiatives in education, public programming, and exhibits. He is also responsible for maintaining the rigour and funding of the Museum’s international academic research in World Cultures and Natural History.
Distinguished University Professor
Jeremy McNeil is a Distinguished University Professor and the H. Battle Professor of Chemical Ecology at Western University. He has published >200 papers and received numerous awards, including the Entomological Society of Canada’s Gold Medal, the Canadian Society of Zoologists Fry Medal, the Silver Medal of the International Society of Chemical Ecology, and the Delwart Prize in Chemical Ecology (Belgium). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and currently serves as its Foreign Secretary. In 2014, he was appointed to the Order of Canada for his research and dedication to increasing public appreciation of science.
Professor, Department of Computer Science
University of British Columbia
Raymond Ng oversees an extremely active research program in data mining and data bases with a focus on genomics and text data. He is also Chief Informatics Officer for PROOF, a Network of Centres of Excellence that is focused on the biomarker panels associated with organ failure.