BIOL 4100 Honours

Ellyne (2017-2018, advisor K. Fraser) measuring and banding purple martin nestlings at Oak Hammock Marsh, Manitoba (Photo credit: Ken Stewart).


Honours students experience scientific research, from the inception and planning stages through experimental execution, data analysis, written reporting and oral communication. They receive support from and are evaluated by their Honours committee which consists of an advisor and two additional committee members.

2017-2018 Course Information

Information session, Thursday, March 30, 2017. 315 Buller Building at 5:45 pm.

2017-2018 Orientation Presentation, 2017-2018 Course Outline

Awards for Outstanding Honours Work

Shirley Ann Akins Undergraduate Thesis Proposal Prize

Up to three awards of $500 each will be awarded to the top applicants to support their honours thesis work. Candidates must be enrolled in BIOL 4100 and will be required to submit an electronic application to Jillian Detwiler at deadline = September 22, 2017 by 4:30 pm

The application should include:

  1. A summary of the Honours research proposal (maximum 500 words) written exclusively by the student.
  2. A signed note from the thesis supervisor confirming that the student has written the proposal summary without input from the supervisor and will implement the thesis research.

Dr. Lane Graham Prize for Best Honours Thesis

An annual ~$1000 award for the best honours thesis, which is decided by the Honours Committee after the final oral defense. Upon his retirement from the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr. Graham set up an endowment to support this award. Dr. Graham came to the University of Manitoba in 1970, and taught Introductory Biology, Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology. He always considered the Honours Thesis to be an important component in the training of a scientist in Biology, and felt strongly that the best and brightest young students should be recognized for their achievements. See this webpage for more information.


The Ronald K. Stewart-Hay Memorial Bursary

Available for students who have completed year 3 of study in BSc Honours and are currently enrolled full time in the Honours programme. It requires demonstrated academic excellence (no minimum GPA cut-off), and demonstrated financial need. See this website for more information.


Guidelines for Honours Supervisors

Students receive feedback from their committee during two formal meetings before the final defense. Forms to be completed by each committee member:

Proposal Evaluation form

Progress Report form

Final Evaluation form


See the variety of topics 46 honours students have pursued: 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and the variety of field locations where alumni did their research.

Neil Balchan (2nd from left; 2017-2018, advisor K. Fraser) gave an oral presentation "Snakes on a Plain: Fall Phenology at a Northern Communal Hibernaculum" at the International Herpetological Symposium in Rodeo, New Mexico, USA. He was awarded a Junior Herper Award that covered conference fees, airfare, and accommodations.



Tim Gingera (2012–2013, advisor M. Docker) published a first author paper in Journal of Great Lakes Research (2016, 42: 649–659).

Laura Eliuk (2016-2017, advisor J. Detwiler) won best undergraduate oral presentation at the Rocky Mountain Conference of Parasitologists Sept 8-10, 2016 at the Cedar Point Biological Station, Ogallala, NE, USA.

Paige Anderson (2015-2016, co-advisors S. Renault and J. Markham) presented her research at the 2016 Canadian Botanical Association Conference, Botany on the Edge, in Victoria, BC.

Matthew Martens (2015-2016) won the bronze prize for his poster presentation at Child Health Research Day hosted by the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.

Alex Quijada-Rodriquez (2011-2012, advisor D. Wiehrauch) published a first author paper in the American Physiology Journal (2015, DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00482.2014).

Rachel Donnelly and Nikola Svitlica (2014-2015, advisor J. Detwiler) presented their honours projects as oral and poster presentations, respectively at the 2015 American Society of Parasitologists meeting in Omaha, NE. Rachel received the Marc Dresden Travel award from ASP and Undergraduate Travel Support from the University of Manitoba to attend this meeting.

Stephanie Hans (2012-2013, advisor D. Wiehrauch) published a first author paper in Marine Biology (2014, 161:1179 - 1193).

Ashley Haverstick (2015-2016, advisor J. Marcus) won the Deborah McCallum Prize in Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology, which is for achieving the highest degree grade point average in an Honours or Major degree program specializing in Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology in the Dept. of Biological Sciences.


Tristan (2017-2018, advisor K. Campbell) visualizing myoglobin DNA fragments from mammals.

Important Dates

March 30: Good Friday (University Closed)

April 1: Easter Sunday (University Closed)

April 6: Last day of classes for Winter term

Upcoming Seminars

General seminar: Stephanie Tkachuk, MSc Defense: “A forward genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans pharyngeal gland cell defects and characterization of mutagenized strains with a homozygous viable gland cell under migration” — Friday, March 23 at 2 p.m., 304 Biological Sciences.

General seminar: Dr. Virginia Trimble: “TBA” — Friday, March 23 at 3 p.m., 527 Buller.

General seminar: Timothy Gingera: “Timothy Gingera M.Sc. Defense "Environmental DNA monitoring of invasive zebra mussels..."” — Monday, March 26 at 2:30 p.m., 304 Biological Sciences.

General seminar: Dr. Paul Cremer: “TBA” — Friday, April 6 at 3 p.m., 527 Buller.