McMaster University will continue to host undergraduate academic activities remotely for the Spring/Summer/Intersession term with only a few exceptions for courses that need student access to specialized equipment.

Wage Subsidy Still Available To Hire Co-op Students

75 offThere is still time to hire a Faculty of Science co-op student and secure a wage subsidy of 75 percent of the student's wages.

Science Career & Cooperative Education (SCCE) has partnered with the Information Communications Technology Council (ICTC) to secure wage subsidies for 70 Faculty of Science students through the WIL Digital Program. The subsidy will cover 75 percent of a student's wages up to a maximum of $7,500. WIL Digital is an innovative work-integrated learning program funded by the Government of Canada's Student Work Placement Program that helps employers grow their businesses by providing financial assistance for hiring post-secondary students.

To access the 75 percent subsidy:
Contact with your interest in hiring a winter co-op student with the 75 percent wage subsidy.
The SCCE team will walk you through the process and apply for funding on your behalf.
Please don’t delay; we currently have nine students available. The Federal Government has committed to allowing post-secondary employers to avail of this funding until the end of April, 2021.
Find out more about ICTC and the WIL Digital program here.

Welcoming New Executive Assistant to the Dean and Acting HR Strategic Partner

Susanne JanischSusanne Janisch joins the Faculty of Science as the new Executive Assistant to the Dean beginning Jan. 18 and can be reached at

Susanne is currently the Executive Assistant and Office Manager for Institutional Research and Analysis. Prior to joining McMaster University in January 2018, Susanne was the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies at Brock University and served for 12 years with Deloitte as an Operations / Finance Manager, Supervisor of Administrative Assistants and Executive Assistant for the Director of Operations for Audit & Assurance.

Susanne earned her degree in business management/administration from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.

Susanne is taking over for Jacob Brodka who became the Administrator in the School of Interdisciplinary Science last November. Susanne will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the Dean’s Office, providing administrative and analytical support, coordinating activities on the Dean's behalf, acting as a liaison to senior management across campus and providing lead hand supervision to administrative staff within the Dean’s Office.


Natasa JavniNatasa Javni is serving as Acting HR Strategic Partner for the Faculty of Science on a secondment to the end of May and can be reached at

Reporting to Kathleen Blackwood, Director of Finance & Administration and Franca Berti-Bogojevic, Director of HR Strategic Partnershps & Initiatives, Natasa is supporting the Faculty's leadership team in assessing and ensuring the delivery of HR operational activities and developing new strategies to advance equity, diversity and inclusion along with talent planning initiatives. 

Natasa joined McMaster in 2013 and most recently served as Senior HR Advisor in McMaster's HR Service Centre where she led the implementation of the new HR Service Desk.  Natasa has experience with HR operations, strategic planning, analytics, client service, payroll, benefit and pension administration. Before joining McMaster, Natasa worked for 10 years as an administrator with Alternative Processing Systems in Toronto. 

Natasa has a Human Resources Management Diploma from McMaster CCE, a Financial Services Management Diploma from George Brown College and recently received her certification as a Strategic HR Business Partner from the Human Capital Institute. 


Faculty of Science Newsmakers

Image of a tweetKudos to Ed Reinhardt for having the most viewed Brighter World story of 2020. The story, which showcases Ed's research with an international team in the underwater caves of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula had been viewed nearly 360,000 times by the end of December.

Congratulations to Jianping Xu on receiving the Genome Publication Award. Jianping's paper Fungal species concepts in the genomics era was selected the the Genome editorial board as one of the 5 best papers published in the journal in 2020. Genome is an international journal for genetics and genomics.

Three more McCall MacBain Postodoctoral Fellows have been published in The Conversation Canada. Congratulations to Leanne Grieves ("Birds sniff out potential mates who are genetically different"), James Barnett ("Glass frogs, ghost shrimp and clearwing butterlies use transparency to evade predators") and Cayleih Robertson ("Baby mice 'shut down' to survive extreme cold on the highest mountain tops") are the latest to showcase their research in the online journalism site. Postdoctoral Fellows in the teaching and leadership program supported by the McCall MacBain Foundation submit guest columns to The Conversation Canada to further hone their science communication skills.

The International Journal of Exercise Science has published research by Martin Gibala and McMaster kinesiologists together with researchers at the Mayo Clinic. Their research, which was also featured in the New York Times and on Brighter World, shows the health benefits of brief and intense body-weight workouts at home - an important finding at a time when the pandemic has closed gyms and fitness centres.

The Heart and Circulatory Physiology Podcast invited Dean Maureen MacDonald to talk about her research into the impact of sleep disorders on cardiovascular health. Maureen, who was joined by Karyn Esser from the University of Florida, was interviewed by Editor-in-Chief Dr. Irving Zucker.

Bhagwati Gupta left and Avijit Mallick

Research by Associate Dean Bhagwati Gupta (left) and Avijit Mallick, a Ph.D. candidate in Bhagwati's lab, was published in the peer-reviewed Cell Press journal iScience. McMaster's Brighter World also showcased Bhagwati and Avijit's research into whether the axin protein could hold the key to a longer and healthier life.

Biology Department Assembles Home Lab Kits For More Than 1,700 Students

Assemblying lab kitsLast summer was a warm-up for the BIO1A03 team.

After mailing lab kits to 120 Biology students in early June, the team began assembling kits during the fall term for more than 1,700 first-year students from across Ontario.
The kits, which filled eight shipping skids, were packaged by Lab Technicians Tracy Rerecich, Julie Freund-Zimmerman and Natalie Mari with help from Biology and Engineering students Marry Nissan, Kyle Amaral, Alia Voss, Veronica Rerecich and Labib Kazi.

"The students were amazing," says Rosa da Silva, Assistant Professor and Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Biology. "We couldn't have done this without them."

Other staff and faculty played key roles, says Rosa, including Rebecca Woodworth who collected student addresses, printed off 1,737 shipping labels and coordinated getting the kits out the door, Stan Zolinski who helped with shipping, and the core BIO1A03 Course Team who decided what to put in the kits.

Over the winter term, students will use their kits to conduct three experiments that will be livestreamed with their teaching assistants and labmates. Students will also complete online virtual simulations and perform data analysis.

The BIO1A03 Course Team plans to survey students at the end of the term to get their perspectives on the at-home lab kits.

Tracy's advice to colleagues who are thinking about creating at-home kits for their students? "There's far more involved than just assembling kits and sending them out the door. This was a months-long process that involved a lot of planning and coordination by the entire BIO1A03 Course Team in collaboration with amazing colleagues from across the whole university. We had tremendous support from McMaster's Equity and Inclusion Office, Environmental and Occupational Health Support Services, legal advisors, Shipping and Receiving, Customs and Traffic, the Campus Store, the Office of the Provost and our Dean Maureen MacDonald who was a champion of this project from the very beginning. Our team is incredibly grateful for the help provided by everyone"

"Together, we're giving students a unique opportunity to do science at home," says Rosa."We hope they have a great learning experience and we can't wait to welcome them to our labs on campus once the pandemic ends."

Biology lab

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