Environmental Physiology Lab

Back: Dr. Pat Wright

Front L to R: Andy Turko, Kristin Bianchini, Cayleih Robertson & Mike Wells

Welcome to the Environmental Physiology Lab at the University of Guelph led by Dr. Patricia Wright.


We are interested in how animals cope with changes in the environment. We are exploring how the amphibious, skin-breathing mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus, formerly killifish) are capable of surviving for weeks out of water, either as embryos or adults. We have conducted work in Belize where mangrove rivulus reside in crab burrows in the forest floor. Learn more at Research


  Mangrove rivulus (Photo credit: Scott Taylor)                Members of the Wright lab in Belize 

Check out our video of the mangrove rivulus jumping out of the water in our lab !






We are also fascinated by how the early rearing environment shapes the destiny of physiological responses in later stages of development. Aquatic environments with low oxygen (hypoxia) have a profound impact on the entire hierarchy of orgnaization from genes to whole animals. Learn more at Research.

             Trout embryo raised in hypoxia 

Research in our lab for many years has been focused on nitrogen metabolism and excretion. Elevated ammonia in the environment is toxic to fish. Recently, we have studied the mechanisms of ammonia transport across fish gills, skin and kidney. We have been interested in the pathways for ammonia detoxification in the brain and other tissues. Also, we have examined the pathways for urea transport and excretion. Learn more at Research. 



Wright Lab News:

Winter (2013):


Position Available: MSc in Environmental Physiology 

Fall 2013 of Winter 2014

For more information see Opportunities 


Members of the Wright lab were off to Belize in December. Check out this video of the mangrove rivulus in the field. You can see several fish jumping in and out of a crab burrow and in the last 30 seconds the owner of the burrow shows up for a cameo!





                     Supplementary material from Wright, 2012


Congratulations to Andy Turko for being awarded an Ontatrio Gaduate Scholarship for his PhD!


Congratulations to Mike Wells for being awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science & Technology!


Welcome back to the members of the Wright Lab who returned from exciting field work in Long Caye, Beleize


                                             Belize Dec.2012 (Photo credit: Scott Taylor)


(Fall 2012):

Congratulations to Kristin Bianchini and Cayleih Robertson for successfully defending their MSc. theses in Fall 2012


Welcome to Dr. Fern Galvez from Lousiana State University



Congratulations to Andy Turko for the acceptance of his MSc work for publication in the Journal of Experimental Biology


(Spring 2012):


Congratulations to Andy Turko for being awarded the Integrative Biology PhD Scholarship at the University of Guelph!

Check out this link for more info on Graduate student funding options at the U of G



Congratulations to Hadi Dhiyebi for the acceptance of his MSc work for publication in the Journal of Fish Biology!