Jeffrey Marus, Biological Sciences, Canada Research Chair
Jeffrey Marcus, Biological Sciences, whose research involves butterflies, is the latest Canada Research Chair appointed to the Faculty of Science.

Posted 25 September 2009
Adapted from article written by Katie Chalmers-Brooks on 23 September 2009

The butterfly fluttering around your backyard this past summer might have provided a pleasant distraction from your gardening. But for biological sciences researcher Dr. Jeffrey Marcus, this pretty insect offers incredible insight.

With support from new government funding, the University of Manitoba associate professor is studying the origins, organization and evolution of butterfly colour patterns. The latest Canada Research Chair in Phylogenomics, Marcus develops new methods for mapping and manipulating genomes, which includes creating the world's first genetically modified butterflies.

Marcus is one of three new Canada Research Chairs from the University of Manitoba. Chairholders are research leaders or rising stars in natural sciences and engineering, health sciences, or social sciences and humanities.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) today in Ottawa announced funding for the new Chairs, in addition to renewed support for three others.

"Canada's government is investing in science and technology to strengthen the economy, improve Canadians' quality of life and create the jobs of tomorrow - today," said Goodyear. "The Canada Research Chairs Program helps attract and retain the best researchers from the country and around the world to Canadian universities, which has direct benefits for our communities."

These six awards - worth a combined $4.8 million plus infrastructure support - have a big impact not only within specialized research fields but on the greater population who benefit from the discoveries coming out of the University of Manitoba, said Vice-President (Research) Dr. Digvir S. Jayas.

"We congratulate these remarkable scientists and scholars," Jayas said. "These awards represent a significant vote of confidence in their abilities and are further testament that the University of Manitoba is home to outstanding researchers."

The Faculty of Science now has eight Canada Research Chairs.