xwang37's picture    

Mary Wang

Position/Title: M.Sc. by thesis
email: xwang37@uoguelph.ca


B.Sc. (Hons.) – Animal Biology (University of Guelph, 2020)

Exchange semester at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU, F17)

Relevant Research Experience

Undergraduate Thesis Project, University of Guelph (2019-2020)

Took courses on Research in Animal Biology (I and II; ANSC*4700 and ANSC*4710) and conducted an in-depth literature review on the topic of butyrate in aquaculture, as well as designed an experiment to observe the potential benefits of butyrate in zebrafish during a toxin challenge.

Current Education

I am currently completing my M.Sc. by thesis under the supervision of Dr. Niel Karrow. For my Master’s project, I am assessing the impacts of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid with positive implications on the gut health of mammalian species, in aquaculture species, using zebrafish as an animal model. In the second year of my undergraduate career, I did an exchange semester at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) in Norway, where there is a heavy focus on the aquaculture industry. It was there that I was first exposed to and developed a passion for working in the field of aquaculture.

There are two main research objectives for my Master’s project: 1) to extract and analyze the mRNA from larval zebrafish exposed to varying concentrations of sodium butyrate (NaB) during an endotoxin challenge using lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and 2) to assess the effects dietary NaB has on survival in adult zebrafish during an LPS challenge. The results from my undergraduate thesis have shown that NaB offers a survival advantage to larval zebrafish during a following LPS challenge, so my Master’s project will delve deeper into those results and explore mechanisms by which this protection is occurring, and if these results can be replicated in adult zebrafish via their diet. Results from my Master’s project will offer data on the genetic profile of larval zebrafish exposed to both NaB and LPS, and if dietary NaB is proven to improve survival during an LPS challenge in zebrafish, this is a product that can directly be marketed by the aquaculture industry to promote fish health. Knowledge from this study can be used to prevent losses from bacterial infections in future aquaculture production systems.

Moving forward, I would like to contribute my knowledge to either the aquaculture or biotechnology industry, wherever life takes me. In my free time, I enjoy travelling and exploring new places, reading books, and spending time with friends and loved ones.