Zoë Migicovsky

Dr. Migicovsky (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in Biology and Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Agri-Food and Sustainable Agriculture at Acadia University. She draws on a decade of experience with perennial fruit crops to study variation in plant diversity at both a trait and genomic level. Of particular interest are consumer perception related traits such as fruit quality, nutritional content, and appearance. In addition to cultivated agricultural plants, her work examines variation in crop wild relatives for use as rootstocks, breeding, and conservation.

To view her publications visit her Google Scholar page. She can be reached at zoe.migicovsky[at]acadiau[dot]ca

Blake Hewens Higgins

BSc Biology Honours Student (2023-2024)

Blake Higgins (he/him) is a fourth-year honours biology student at Acadia University. His passion for biology stems from a lifelong fascination with the natural world, in particular, the native flora and fauna of Nova Scotia. His academic interests revolve around using bioinformatic techniques to uncover the secrets of the Omics. Blake's current research focuses on using genetic mapping to identify genetic markers associated with colour variation in apple.
 

Alison Purcell

Tissue Culture Technician (2023-2024)

Alison (she/her) is working in the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre as a Tissue Culture Technician in partnership with the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia (CTCNS). She is an Acadia University biology alumni and has been working in government and industry research roles focused on agronomy, plant breeding, and extension before joining the Migicovsky lab. Her role in partnership with CTCNS focuses on somatic embryogenesis and cryopreservation of Balsam fir genetic lines. The work is part of a larger genetic improvement project breeding for trees with later flushing dates, improved needle retention and needle colour, tree size and tree shape. Alison’s interests outside of the lab include gardening, growing houseplants and collecting vintage.

Mckenna Batsone

Honours (2024-2025), Previously Research Topics (Winter 2024)

Mckenna Batstone (she/her) is a third year undergraduate student at Acadia University. She is majoring in biology and women’s and gender studies. After completing fieldwork during her exchange semester in Australia, she is excited to be doing research at Acadia. She is currently working on inventorying Malus (apples) found in botanical gardens across Canada as a part of a conservation and climate adaptation strategy for Canadian apples. Away from class, Mckenna enjoys playing and coaching hockey, watching soccer, reading, and walking her dog, Zoey.
 

Justine Haziza

Research Skills (Winter 2024)

Justine Haziza is a second year biology major with a minor in biotechnology at Acadia University. She is completing a research skills course in the lab working on apple leaf image analysis as well as assisting Alison Purcell in the tissue culture lab on Balsam fir. She is interested in a career in viticulture and biopharmaceuticals. She has a lifelong love of horses and botany and is the co-vice captain of Acadia’s equestrian team.

Lachlann Simms

Honours (2024-2025), Previously Research Topics (Winter 2024)

Lachlann Simms (he/him) is a fourth-year biology student at Acadia University. He is currently completing a Research Topics project in the lab using image analysis to examine diversity of leaf shape across over 30 Malus (apple) species. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in the healthcare field. Outside of the lab, he enjoys spending time outdoors regardless of the season, as well as playing various sports.