MacMillan Lab

Mahmoud El Saadi (volunteer), Kaylen Brzezinski (MSc), Mat Roloson (work study), Dawson Livingston (volunteer), Hirva Patel, (honours), Heath MacMillan (PI). Not present: Mirvat Noubani (honours), Marshall Ritchie (volunteer).


Heath MacMillan (Principal Investigator)

I completed my PhD at the University of Western Ontario (London, Canada) with Brent Sinclair and Jim Staples. My first postdoctoral fellowship was with Johannes Overgaard at Aarhus University (Aarhus, Denmark), which was followed by a Banting postdoctoral fellowship with Andrew Donini at York University (Toronto, Canada). I strongly recommend all of these individuals as mentors. 

I am broadly interested in the mechanisms underlying thermal performance and stress-related injury. My primarily focus is on terrestrial arthropods, but I also dabble in projects on aquatic crustaceans.

See the Publications page for a look at our research history or the Research page to see what we are currently up to in the lab. Prospective lab members should see the Positions page.

email Heath

 Google Scholar     ResearchGate     Carleton University Profile


Kaylen Brzezinski (MSc)

Kaylen joined the MacMillan lab at Carleton University following the completion of her undergraduate degree in Biology at Queen’s University. During her undergraduate career, she successfully completed an honour’s thesis project under the guidance of Drs. Adam Chippindale and Mel Robertson. There, she examined the evolution of anoxia tolerance in populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Now, as a Master’s student in the MacMillan lab, Kaylen is shifting gears, focusing instead on locusts in order to determine how temperature affects paracellular barrier permeability in gut epithelia.

email Kaylen


Mirvat Noubani (HBSc)

Mirvat recently completed her undergraduate degree in general Biology at Carleton University. She joined the MacMillan Lab as an honours student to study Drosophila melanogaster and have her first experience in lab-based research. Mirvat is interested in whether chilling affects hemolymph pH balance in insects, and how rapid cold-hardening affects the ability of flies to defend hemolymph pH in the cold.


Hirva Patel (HBSc)

Hirva is a fourth year undergraduate student at Carleton University majoring in Biology with a concentration in Health Sciences. Now, as a honour's thesis student in the MacMillan lab, she is examining insect paracellular junctions and their roles in stress tolerance using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. Hirva's research focuses on determining how cold stress affects paracellular barrier permeability in the gut epithelia of flies. Hirva is also doing a directed special study (BIOL4901) under the supervision of Dr. MacMillan.


Gil Yerushalmi (MSc)

Cosupervised with Andrew Donini at York University

Gil joined the Donini lab at York University as a practicum student during the 3rd year of his undergraduate degree in Biology. Initially, Gil localized ammonia channels in the mosquito Aedes aegypti via immunohistochemistry. In the final year of his degree, Gil successfully completed an honour's thesis project with Heath in Dr. Donini’s laboratory. In his thesis, Gil assessed the effects of dietary salt intake on cold tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster, where he found that salt stress improves cold tolerance. Now, Gil is Master’s student in the Donini lab and is working to determine how ion-motive ATPases in the Malpighian tubules and gut epithelia contribute to thermal plasticity in Drosophila.