The Cristescu Lab

Lab Members

James Bull
M.Sc. Candidate

Spontaneous-mutation spectra and fitness loss of Daphnia pulex mutation-accumulation lines exposed to chronic, sub-lethal concentrations of heavy metals
My research interests lie in investigating the forces that promote, generate and maintain biodiversity in natural systems, and in how we can use this knowledge to preserve natural systems in a changing world. In my proposed project, I will use a combination of the Daphnia model system, mutation accumulation experiments, life history tables and next-generation sequencing to gain insights into how chronic exposure to low levels of heavy metals affects mutation rates in Daphnia. Such knowledge is important for evaluating the long term risks of heavy metal pollution, which is common in some parts of Canada, to populations and for understanding the evolutionary responses of populations to such stressors.

Scholarships and Awards

  • 2015: NSERC Graduate Scholarship
  • 2015: McGill University, Graduate Excellence Award
  • 2011: Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Research Grant for Doctoral Candidates and Young Academics and Scientists
  • 2010: Monash University, A. R. Wallace Prize
  • 2010: Monash University, Medal of Undergraduate Academic Excellence - Faculty of Science
  • 2009: Monash University, Jubilee Honours Scholarship

Bull JK, Heurich M, Schmidt K, Fickel J, Förster D (accepted) Genetic assessment of reintroduced Eurasian lynx populations in the Bohemian-Bavarian Forest ecosystem and in the Vosges-Palatinian mountains. Conservation Genetics

Harrisson KA, Pavlova A, Gonçalves da Silva A, Rose R, Bull JK, Lancaster ML, Murray N, Quin B, Menkhorst P, Magrath MJL & Sunnucks P (2016) Scope for genetic rescue of an endangered subspecies though re-establishing natural gene flow with another subspecies. Molecular Ecology 25: 1242–1258

Kvistad L, Ingwersen D, Pavlova A, Bull JK, Sunnucks P (2015) Very Low Population Structure in a Highly Mobile and Wide-Ranging Endangered Bird Species. PLOS ONE 10: e0143746

Bull JK & Sunnucks P (2014). Strong genetic structuring without assortative mating or reduced hybrid survival in an onychophoran in the Tallaganda State Forest region, Australia. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 111: 589-602

Bull JK*, Sands CJ*, Garrick RC, Gardner MG, Tait NN, Briscoe DA, Rowell DM & Sunnucks P (2013) Environmental Complexity and Biodiversity: The Multi-Layered Evolutionary History of a Log-Dwelling Velvet Worm in Montane Temperate Australia. PLOS ONE 8: e84559. *These authors contributed equally to this work

Faber PA, Kessler AJ, Bull JK, McKelvie ID, Meysman FJR & Cook PLM (2012) The role of alkalinity generation in controlling the fluxes of CO2 during exposure and inundation on tidal flats. Biogeosciences 9: 4087-4097

Norgate M*, Chamings J*, Pavlova A, Bull JK, Murray ND & Sunnucks P (2009) Mitochondrial DNA Indicates Late Pleistocene Divergence of Populations of Heteronympha merope, an Emerging Model in Environmental Change Biology. PLOS ONE 4(11): e7950. *These authors contributed equally to this work


Contact Information
James Bull
MSc Candidate

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




Last update: Sept. 24, 2014