The Cristescu Lab

Lab Members

Guang Kun Zhang
Lab Technician

Early detection of aquatic invasive species (AIS) using next-generation sequencing

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) have negatively affected the health of aquatic communities. The expansion of international trades cause higher risk of AIS introductions via ballast water. During my MSc degree, I will work on the early detection of AIS. I will be using next-generation sequencing and barcoding approaches. Next-generation sequencing can rapidly generate sequencing data at a low cost, and it is becoming a universal tool for various biological questions in evolution and ecology. The goal of my project is to develop a systematic approach to detect aquatic invasive species from community genetic data.

Scholarships and Awards

  • Graduate Excellence Award, McGill University, Montreal (2014-2015)
  • The Diana and Ron Watson Award, York University, Toronto (2012)
  • York University Renewable Entrance Scholarship (2009-2012)
  • Dean’s Honour Roll, York University (2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2013-2014)
  • Catherine Cragg Bursary for Women in Science, York University (2011) 2011


Zhang GK*, Masood S*, Stutchbury B, and Sharma S (2013). Effects of acid rain recovery on wood thrush abundance. Conservation Biology. In preparation.

*Co-joined first authors

Poster Presentations

Masood S, Ruppert J, Zhang GK, Rodgers A, and Sharma S (2013). Altered landscapes and future climate: implications to woodland caribou distribution in Ontario. Association of Graduate Students in Biological Sciences (AGSBS) symposium, York University.

Zhang GK, Ruppert J, McKinnon E, Stutchbury B, and Sharma S (2013). The impacts of climate, habitat alterations, human disturbance, and biotic interactions on wood thrush populations. The Ontario Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution Colloquium (OE3C), University of Guelph.


Contact Information
Guang Kun Zhang

Department of Biology
McGill University
1205 ave Docteur Penfield Room N6/9
Montréal, Québec

Lab: (514) 398-1622
FAX: (514) 398-5069