Russell H Easy BSc, MSc, PhD
I am a comparative biologist Curriculum Vitae with broad research interests. My experience is in the field of molecular biology exploring gene signatures and proteins of vertebrate and invertebrate species. Other projects include examining the effects of parasitic manipulation at the molecular level and phylogenetic determinations of parasites. The focus of my lab is to identify changes in target molecules in animals in response to environmental stressors using advanced molecular and proteomic methods. I constantly strive to answer the question, "Stress, what is it good for?"
My career in science started with Health Canada in Ottawa, Ontario where I worked with bacterial pathogens in the molecular characterization of toxin and antibiotic resistance genes. I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba where I helped establish the molecular diagnostics lab at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health. At this time I successfully completed the required exams for Registered Microbiologist at the Canadian College of Microbiology. However my passion for marine science drove me to Halifax, Nova Scotia for a position with the National Research Council – Institute for Marine Biosciences (NRC-IMB). There I was involved in research exploring fish pathogens. While at the NRC I successfully completed a Masters degree in Molecular Parasitology at St. Mary’s University in Halifax. Using advanced molecular techniques I identified a new species of Myxozoan parasites in fish. Following this I entered a PhD program at Dalhousie University exploring molecular signatures of stress in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). I was able to integrate my knowledge of molecular biology with proteomics to create a novel thesis with several scientific applications. I identified changes in acute phase proteins in Atlantic salmon epidermal mucus in response to different stressors. When the NRC-IMB moved from animal health into algal biology I voluntarily left my Government position to continue research in marine animals and to teach. I successfully completed my PhD while working as a part-time professor at St. Mary’s University, Halifax where I taught advanced molecular techniques and graduate modules and developed a third year course in Environmental Microbiology. My Post doctoral work continued with the theme of stress exploring parasitic manipulation of invertebrates and the role of environmental stressors in fish health. I have a passion for science education and as a volunteer member of scientists in schools (SITS) and similar organizations for more than 15 years I have presented the world of science to students from the elementary to the University levels. I have given presentations in numerous locations from Argentina to Nunavut, Iceland to Alaska and in rural and urban areas of China. In my ‘spare’ time I spend as much time as possible on the water in my kayak or in my music room playing a variety of instruments. I am the proud father of three daughters and live by the sea in Chester Basin, Nova Scotia with my wife and two dogs.