Adamo Lab

Invertebrate Behavioural Physiology

Hello there! I'm Diana, a fourth-year student completing my degree in Medical Sciences with a minor in Neuroscience and certificates in Human Physiology and Medical Humanities. I've been a member of the Adamo Lab since Winter 2022, assisting with various projects ranging from Tick Overwintering to Electroshock. For my honours project, I'm currently investigating if neuroinflammation is present in the nervous system of parasitized Manduca sexta, which would give us insight into how the parasitic wasp Cotesia congregata manipulates the immune system. I'm grateful for the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience and hope to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding behavioural changes in parasitized M. sexta.

Diana won a Rhodes Scholarship in the 2023 Competition.  See to hear about Diana's scholarship, and see video of the lab.

Diana Adamo

Hi there! My name is Steph, and I'm in my fourth and final year of a Combined Honours B.Sc. in Biology and Psychology, with a Certificate in Animal Behaviour. I have always had a special interest in animal behaviour, which has led me to join Dr. Shelley Adamo's lab for my honours project. I'm investigating the caterpillar Choristoneura rosaceana, a prevalent apple pest in Nova Scotia, and how its foraging behaviour, growth, and development are influenced by heat waves as well as chemical control. Specifically, I want to determine how their growth and developmental rates are affected by short but intense periods of heat. I also want to determine whether C. rosaceana is able to detect pesticides by foraging selectively to avoid tainted food, and whether this foraging behaviour is influenced by environmental stressors like extreme heat. The goal of my research is to gain insight on how C. rosaceana may respond to our warming climate, and to help inform apple growers regarding the most effective time to apply pesticide.  

Stephanie Agnew

Hello! My name is Brianna and I am a HUGE insect lover, so I jumped at the opportunity to help raise some Manduca sexta caterpillars in the Adamo lab. I am currently in my fourth year of biology, with the hopes of delving deeper into entomology in the future. I have done a lot of work with ticks and looking at the rates of bacteria and viruses that the population in Nova Scotia carry. Working with Manduca sexta has been such a privilege and I have learned so much about insect behaviour and patterns since starting here. Everyone I work with is so knowledgeable, so I am learning from them every single day! 

   Oh! And in case you are wondering, my favourite insects are beetles (but I cannot choose just one species!)

Brianna Fitzgerald

Hello! My name is Abirami Ilavajady. I am currently in my second year, majoring in Microbiology and Immunology and Biology. and I was drawn to the Adamo lab by the unique opportunity for an insight into insect immune systems and the pathogens that affect it. As of September 2023, I am a part of the Animal Care Team for the Manduca sexta caterpillars, and a volunteer for Oblique-Banded Leafroller research. 

Abirami Ilavajady