Curriculum Vitae



September 2018 - August 2022

Ph. D. in Biology, Dalhousie University

I am broadly interested in how temperatures influence organisms, and especially in how temperatures experienced in early life-history stages can have effects that cascade into the later life of an organism, and in thermal fluctuations. I am currently conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Hutchings.

September 2016 - August 2018

M. Sc. in Ecology and Evolution, University of Toronto

During my M. Sc., I studied the effects of temperature on sex determination and growth in embryonic Snapping Turtles under Njal Rollinson.

September 2010 - December 2014

B. Sc. in Biology, Minor Natural History, McGill University

I completed my B. Sc. at McGill with a focus on development and paleontology. I did undergraduate research with Hans Larsson on chick development.


Awards & Recognitions

2019 - 2020

Dalhousie President's Award

Awarded to outstanding Ph. D. students in their first two years; covers tuition (Appx. $11,000 per year)


Killam Doctoral Scholarship

Awarded to Ph. D. students on the basis of academic excellence, research potential, and leadership. ($30,000 per yr)


Alexander Graham Bell CGS Doctoral Award.

National scholarship awarded by NSERC. ($105,000)


Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Scholarship

Provincial scholarship from the Nova Scotia Government. ($60,000).


Alexander Graham Bell CGS-M Scholarship

National scholarship awarded by NSERC. ($17,500)


William J. “Jack” Christie Graduate Scholarship In Ecology And Evolutionary Biology

Awarded to an outstanding graduate student in the EEB department. ($2000)


A. Murray Fallis Graduate Award In Zoology 

Awarded to an outstanding graduate student studying zoology at the University of Toronto. ($1300)


Imar Talvila Graduate Scholarship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Awarded to an outstanding graduate student in EEB. ($830)


Margaret and Nicholas Fodor Fellowship

Awarded to a graduate student on the basis of leadership and academic performance. ($500)


Harold H. Harvey Travel Award, University of Toronto

Awarded to attend a graduate conference. ($400)


EEB Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award 

Awarded to two outstanding teaching assistants based on student and teaching supervisor reviews.


Frederick P. Ide Graduate Scholarship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Awarded to an incoming graduate student on the basis of academic merit by the University of Toronto. ($1,550)


Friends & Alumni Entrance Scholarship

Awarded to an incoming graduate student based on academic merit by the University of Toronto. ($4000)


Redpath Museum Excellence Award

Awarded to a student who has shown outstanding leadership, academic excellence, and outstanding contributions to the Redpath Museum by McGill University ($300)


Biodiversity Science Discovery Award

A research grant awarded to an undergraduate researcher based on academic excellence and project potential by the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science ($3000)


Women Associates of McGill Scholarship

 Awarded to new students of McGill University based on academic merit and leadership ($3000)


Women Associates of McGill Scholarship

 Awarded to new students of McGill University based on academic merit and leadership ($3000)


Governor General’s Academic Medal

Awarded to the top student entering post-secondary studies from a Canadian secondary school by the Federal Government of Canada


 National Book Award

Awarded to an outstanding scholar entering post-secondary by the University of Toronto


Teaching Experience

January 2019 - Current

Biology Teacher, King's View Academy

I currently teach Biology part-time to students from Grades 7-12 in accordance with the Nova Scotia curriculum guidelines. King's View Academy is a private school whose focus is on self-directed learning.

February 2019 - January 2020

Tutor, Oxford Learning

I currently tutor Grades 1-12 in math, literacy, and the sciences at Oxford Learning. Oxford's learning model is based on self-motivation, inquiry, and building on foundational knowledge.

September - December 2018

Lab Instructor, Mount Saint Vincent University

I taught two lab sections of Introductory Biology and managed two teaching assistants as a part-time faculty member of Mount Saint Vincent University.

Winter 2018

Senior Teaching Assistant, Diversity of Birds, University of Toronto

I was responsible for giving lab lectures, grading, and assisting students in the Diversity of Birds course (300 level).

Fall 2017

Teaching Assistant, Organisms in the Environment, University of Toronto

I was responsible for managing the population ecology software labs and marking. I also gave a guest lecture on turtle ecology.

Winter 2017

Teaching Assistant, Diversity of Birds, University of Toronto

I was responsible  for assisting students in lab and in the field.

Fall 2016

Teaching Assistant, Evolution and Adaptation, University of Toronto

I gave lab lectures, marked students' work, and supervised labs. I won the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for this position.

2015 - 2016

Mad Scientist, Mad Science

I taught after-school and lunchtime elementary classes on general science, by using fun experiments and hands-on activities.


Conference Presentations


Departmental Talk

Massey, M. and Hutchings, J. A. "Lessons from an Inconstant World: Studying Thermal Variability". FISH Seminar Talk, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. Nov. 8. 2019. [Talk]


Conference Presentation

Massey, M. and Hutchings, J. A. "A review of thermal fluctuations in the laboratory." Canadian Society of Zoologists Meeting, Windsor, ON, May 18 2019.


Poster Presentation

Massey, M., and Hutchings, J. A. “An empirical test of the scale transition theory of thermal performance in the Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus)”. Lett Symposium, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. Apr 5, 2019. [Poster]


Public Talk

Massey, M, Rollinson, N. “Climate Change and Snapping Turtles.” Sigma Xi Society Lecture Series, Toronto Public Library, Toronto, ON. Oct 11 2017. (Invited speaker).


Conference Talk

Massey, M., Brooks, R.J., Rollinson, N. “The Effects of Climate Change on Sex Determination and Growing Time in a Northern Population of Snapping Turtles”. Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Meeting, Victoria, BC. 9 May 2017.


Conference Talk

Massey, M., Brooks, R.J., Rollinson, N*. “Long-term monitoring of hatchling sex ratios in a species with temperature-dependent sex determination during a period of rapid climate change.” Wildlife 70 Symposium, Trent University, Peterborough, ON. 3 May 2017. *Presented by Njal Rollinson.


Symposium Talk

Massey, M., Brooks, R.J., Rollinson, N. “The Effects of Climate Change on Sex Determination and Timing of Developmental Events in a Northern Population of Snapping Turtles”. Atwood Colloquium, University of Toronto. Toronto, ON, Canada. 9 Apr. 2017. (Invited speaker)


Public Talk

Massey, M., Rollinson, N., Brooks, R. J. “Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination in a Northern Population of Snapping Turtles.” Learning Unlimited Oxford, Woodstock, ON, Canada. 29 Mar. 2017. (Invited speaker).


Conference Talk

Massey, M., Brooks, R. J., Rollinson, N. “Modeling the effects of climate change on temperature-dependent sex determination in the Common Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina.” Canadian Herpetological Society Conference. Toronto Zoo, Toronto. 15 Sept. 2015.


Presentations and Workshops

I develop presentations, workshops, and other educational media for the public and students.


Massey, M. “The Story of How I Tried Out a Bunch of Stuff and Found Out What Worked.” Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Undergraduate Panel Presentation, University of Toronto. Nov 28 2017. (Invited speaker.)

Guest Lecture

Massey, M. “The Embryonic Thermal Environment in Oviparous Reptiles.” Organisms in the Environment (BIO375) Guest Lecture, University of Toronto. Nov 22 2017. (Invited speaker.)


Massey, M. “Fix and Release.” Canadian Association for Girls in Science. Oct 28 2017. (A pre-screening of the nature documentary Fix and Release, with a talk by the director and CBC filmmaker Scott Dobson, and Ontario Turtle Trauma Centre Manager Donnell Gasbarrini.)

Public Talk

Massey, M. “Science Literacy Week: Climate Change and Snapping Turtles.” Toronto Public Library. 19 Sept 2017. (Invited speaker.)


Massey, M., and Astudillo-Clavijo, V. “Scientific Illustration”. Canadian Association for Girls in Science, Royal Ontario Museum. 27 May 2017. (Invited speaker.)


Massey, M. “Snapping Turtles: Conservation and Nesting”. Beacon Elementary School, St. Catharine. 23 Nov. 2016. (Invited speaker.)

Public Talk

 Massey, M. “Climate Change and Sex Ratios in Snapping Turtles”. Ingersoll District Nature Club, Ingersoll. 13 Sept 2016. (Invited speaker.)

Featured in the Woodstock Sentinel Review on Sept. 12, 2016. Available at:

School Presentation

Massey, M. “Dinosaurs and the Earliest Birds”. Beverely Central Elementary School, Troy. 1 Apr. 2015. (Invited speaker.)

Non-Scientific Article

Massey, M. 2016. Consolidating grief and criticism after Bowie’s Passing. In The Newspaper, University of Toronto.

Available at:


School and Community Involvement

January 2020 - May 2020

Team Captain, Seadogs Inner Tube Water Polo

I was the captain of the Seadogs (Dalhousie Biology and Oceanography) intramural inner tube water polo team for the Winter semester.

2019 - 2020

Lett Symposium Coordinator, Biology Organization of Graduate Students, Dalhousie University

I am responsible for coordinating the annual Biology Lett Symposium, a celebration of graduate student work. I am co-organizing the symposium with Chad Simmons.

2017 - 2018

Undergraduate Mentor, University of Toronto

I was a panelist for talks assisting undergraduates with applying to graduate school, applying to NSERC, and navigating a career in science. I also mentored and co-authored a paper with undergraduate student (now M. Sc. student) Carter Rouleau on turtle hatching.

2017 - 2018

Social Coordinator, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Students Association, University of Toronto

I was the social coordinator for our department, and created events such as the yearly Halloween party, trivia nights, yoga, and other social events.


Volunteer, Ontario Turtle Trauma Centre

I worked with the Ontario Turtle Trauma center to help feed and maintain recovering turtle housing.

2013 - 2014

Redpath Museum Club Illustrator and Event Planner

I illustrated media such as the Redpath Museum Club logo, lab manual illustrations, and the Natural History Minor T-Shirt design. I also organized movie nights for the club.


©2019 by Melanie Massey