Our Group

We have the privilege of working with an talented group of interdisciplinary researchers from all over the globe.


Dr. Erin Bertrand (she/her)

Associate Professor

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Marine Microbial Proteomics. Erin's research is driven by her passion for connecting molecular-level processes with global scale implications. Before Erin moved to Halifax, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Scripps Inst. of Oceanography and the J. Craig Venter Institute in California and earned her PhD from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. When Erin isn't in the lab, classroom or at sea, you can find her running on beautiful Nova Scotia trails or listening to live music in Halifax.


Dr. Elden Rowland (he/him)

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Elden originally hails from Newfoundland and completed his PhD research on proteolysis in Arabidopsis chloroplasts at Cornell University where he used N-terminal proteomics to identify chloroplast protease substrates and specificities.
In the Bertrand Lab, Elden performs targeted mass spectrometry of marine meta-proteomes and metabolomes. We endeavor to detect the smallest possible amounts of proteins in complex microbial communities in order to assess metabolic responses to changing environmental conditions and nutrient availability.


Dr. Insa Rapp (she/her)

OFI Postdoctoral Fellow

Insa started as an Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) postdoctoral fellow in the Bertrand lab in September 2019 and is interested in how Greenland’s ice melt is influencing Arctic phytoplankton communities and their metabolic function. She is investigating microbial proteins as indicators of nutrient stress and in collaboration with the LaRoche lab is also assessing the potential for nitrogen fixation in the Arctic.  Insa completed her PhD at GEOMAR in Kiel (Germany) where she worked on marine trace metal biogeochemical cycling in tropical oxygen minimum zones


Scott McCain (he/him)

PhD Candidate

Scott (he/him) grew up in Toronto, moved to Halifax to complete an MSc in Biology, and started a PhD in the Bertrand Lab in January 2017. Scott is interested in how microbial communities function, and how these functions influence oceanographic processes. He’s currently working on computational tools for metaproteomics; examining how metal limitation shapes microbial communities in the Southern Ocean; and thinking about the collective metabolism of a microbial community. Scott likes to cook, surf/snorkel/windsurf, and sample the many craft breweries in Halifax!


Loay Jabre (he/him)

PhD Candidate

Since completing his B.Sc.H in biology at Acadia University, Loay has developed a keen interest in chemical ecology and studying the interactions between organisms and their biotic and abiotic environments. He is especially curious about the impacts of climate change on marine phytoplankton populations. While keeping in mind the climate change induced alterations to ocean temperature and nutrient distributions, his Ph.D takes a proteomics approach to understanding the co-varying effects of trace metals and temperature on the physiology and ecology of phytoplankton. As a part of his Hugh Morris Fellowship, he will travel to numerous labs and research groups in five different countries to explore phytoplankton cell biology and ecology.


Catherine Bannon (she/her)

PhD Candidate

Cat grew up on Prince Edward Island before completing her Honours in B.Sc. Biology (’17) at Mount Allison University. She then went on to obtain a M.Sc. in Microbiology and Biotechnology (’19) at the University of Alberta, where she investigated the application of microbial interactions on biofuel production. She is now pursuing her interest in microbial ecology and how microbial interactions can control the composition and productivity of marine microbial communities. For her PhD in the Bertrand Lab, Cat aims to monitor the spatio-temporal patterns of the cobalamin cycle, and other B-vitamins, in the North West Atlantic Ocean using metabolomic approaches. She is also interested in the metabolic consequences of cobalamin and nitrogen co-limitation on a community and individual organism scale. Cat enjoys spending her free time sea-weed hunting on the beach or in the sun, with a good book and a great cup of coffee.


Scott Pollara (he/him)

PhD Candidate

Scott grew up in Massachusetts before completing a BSc in biology (’19) at

Haverford College outside of Philadelphia PA. At Haverford, Scott studied the

impacts of bacterial quorum sensing molecules on marine phytoplankton. Scott joined the Bertrand lab in 2021 as part of a collaborative project characterizing biological carbon pump activity in the Labrador Sea. His research focuses on using proteomics to characterize microbial interactions impacting biological carbon pump activity in the Northwest Atlantic. When not in the lab, you can find Scott running, hiking, or brewing his own cider and beer. 


Catalina Albury (they/them)

MSc Candidate

Catalina is an MSc candidate in the Bertrand lab. Originally from the Bahamas, they are interested in exploring the interactions between important environmental variables such as temperature and micronutrient availability and how they shape diatom physiology in a changing ocean.  Their current research uses high-throughput proteomic and metabolomic approaches to provide insight on the molecular responses to vitamin B12 availability and changing temperatures in the polar diatom, F. cylindrus. When they’re not in the lab, you can find them teaching, cycling, or cooking.

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Megan Roberts (she/her)

MSc Candidate

Megan grew up on the coast of British Columbia and returned to Halifax and the Bertrand lab to start her MSc after completing her honours project in the lab (BSc ’17). Her MSc project uses a proteomic approach to examine the influence of glacial input on marine primary productivity in the Canadian Arctic and is a part of a multidisciplinary project in collaboration with glaciologists and oceanographers. Megan likes to spend her free time playing her fiddle or taking her bike for a nice long ride.

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Lena Beckley (she/her)

MSc Candidate

Lena’s research experience began with fisheries science in New Brunswick. The underlying question driving her interest in river research was: what are the drivers of productivity? This question eventually led her to become fascinated by marine productivity, and phytoplankton. Her master’s work in the Bertrand Lab investigates how the nutrient dynamics of the High Latitude North Atlantic affect primary productivity. Outside of the lab you can find Lena hiking or painting.


Patrick White (he/him)

MSc Candidate

Patrick completed a BSc in biology at Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia where he worked on evolutionary processes driving life history traits in fish. Patrick joined the Bertrand lab in 2021 and is co-supervised by Maya Bhatia at the University of Alberta. His research focuses on characterizing the geochemical signature of glacial meltwater and measuring it’s downstream evolution and biological impact as it enters the marine environment in the Canadian High Arctic. When not in the lab, Patrick enjoys photography, hiking and cycling.


Julia Cantelo (she/her)

Honours Student

Julia is in the 5th year of her undergraduate degree where she is pursuing a Major in Biology and a Minor in Statistics. She is an honours student in the Bertrand Lab whose research project focuses on the effects of increasing temperature and light levels on the physiology and photosynthetic protein response of the polar diatom, Fragilariopsis cylindrus. Julia has a strong interest in the conservation of marine biodiversity and understanding how climate change-induced variation in light availability and temperature will influence phytoplankton growth and primary productivity. In her free time, Julia loves hiking, reading on the beach, and checking out local record stores.


Anna Gleason (she/her)

Research Assistant

Anna grew up in Michigan and Ontario before coming to Dalhousie University, where she is currently an Undergraduate Research Assistant with the Bertrand Lab. She has been fascinated by marine microbiology, and this passion has since grown. Anna is currently researching the influence of heat on cobalamin dynamics in heterotrophic bacteria in the Northwest Atlantic and hopes to continue researching marine microbiology in her further education. Anna enjoys spending her free time hiking, swimming, and reading a good book in the outdoors.

Lab Alumni

Maria Soto, MSc Candidate

Gianpaolo Cardellini, Experiential Learning Student 2020 and Research Assistant

Tor Kitching, Honours Student 2019 and Research Assistant

Kira More, Research Assistant

Miao Wu, Postdoctoral Scholar

Hugo Arriojas, Honours Student 2017

Rebecca Aucoin, Honours Student 2016

Meghan Chen, Honours Student 2016