MacMillan Lab

Back row: Hannah Davis, Mads Andersen, Dawson Livingston, Serita Fudlosid, Rosmary Hill, Front row: Heath MacMillan, Mahmoud El Saadi, Kaylen Brzezinski, Sarah Chalmer, Alex Cheslock. Not pictured: Marshall Ritchie, Bassam Helou, Erica O’Neil.


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


Mads Andersen (Postdoctoral Fellow)

I completed my PhD (and a brief postdoc) at Aarhus University (Denmark) with Johannes Overgaard where I focused on understanding the neuromuscular and renal adaptations that underlie variation in insect cold tolerance. I was then awarded a Carlsberg Foundation postdoctoral fellowship to continue my studies in the MacMillan Lab. 

My current research is focused on understanding how the coma-inducing phenomenon known as spreading depolarization is initiated at low temperature in insects, what mechanisms underlie variation in the onset temperature, and if it has any adverse effects on CNS and whole-organism performance. 

Email Mads    Google Scholar    ResearchGate


Hannah Davis (PhD candidate)

Hannah joined the MacMillan Lab as a PhD student after completing her MSc in Biology at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she worked on social immunity in the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. She is interested renal adaptation and acclimation to cold stress in insects, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model in the first phase of her research. Her other interests include protozoa, viruses, and anything with six or more legs.

Email Hannah ResearchGate Twitter

Serita Headshot.jpeg

Serita Fudlosid (MSc candidate)

Serita joined the MacMillan lab in 2018 as an honours undergraduate thesis student and decided to stay! In the lab, Serita is quantifying the effects of neuropeptides on chill tolerance, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model.

Email Serita


Mahmoud El Saadi (MSc candidate)

Mahmoud joined the MacMillan lab in the fall of 2017 as a vollunteer and stuck around as a research assistant and honours student throughout 2018 and 2019. Currently, Mahmoud is an MSc student. Mahmoud’s current research is focused on how repeated cold exposures affect hemolymph ions, survival, and reproduction in D. melanogaster.

Email Mahmoud


Sarah Chalmer (Honours student)

Sarah is an undergraduate honours thesis student in her final year of a Biochemistry degree. Her research is focused on seasonal adaptation of cold tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster, and where and how essential ions are stored in the bodies of cold-adapted and cold-acclimated flies.

Email Sarah

Alexandra Cheslock (Honours student)

Alexandra first joined the lab in fall of 2018 as a directed special studies student before staying in the lab as an NSERC USRA student in the summer of 2019. Her interests lie in the effects of cold exposure on the central nervous system, and the subcellular mechanisms that influence spreading depolarization. Alex investigated this topic over the summer on fruit flies and will continue to do so during her undergrad thesis this year in the MacMillan lab.


Dawson Livingston (Honours student)

Dawson joined the MacMillan Lab in the the spring of 2018 as a volunteer, and has since then completed two directed special studies. He is currently an Honours student in the lab. For his thesis, dawson is currently examining the effects of Gal4-UAS genetic knockdowns of genes coding for septate junction components on the onset of spreading depolarization and chill coma in D. melanogaster.

Email Dawson


Marshall Ritchie (Honours student)

Marshall, is a 4th-year BSc Biology student with a concentration in health science and a minor in psychology. Marshall’s primary goal is to become a scientific researcher, and his current research is focused on the role of diet and biological membranes in shaping insect thermal tolerance. As a volunteer and work study student, Marshall has also served a number of roles in the lab and currently helps with the maintenance of the locust collony and cooking fly food.

Email Marshall

MacMillan Lab Alumni


Genevieve Ferguson (2018-2019)

MSc students

Kaylen Brzezinski (2017-2019; Now a contract instructor at Carleton)

Gil Yerushalmi (2016-2018; York University, Co-supervised with Andrew Donini; Now in medical school at the University of Toronto)

Honours students

Irfan Dhanidina (S2019)

Mahmoud El Saadi (S2019; Now an MSc in the MacMillan lab)

Serita Fudlosid (F2018/W2019; Now an MSc in the MacMillan lab)

Ravneet Hansi (F2018/W2019; Now an MSc student at UBC in Vancouver)

Jessica Carrington (F2018/W2019)

Mirvat Noubani (F2017/W2018)

Hirva Patel (F2017/W2018)