Dr. Craig's research program is aimed at gaining a fundamental understanding of multiple, mixed stressors found within the environment and the impact its having upon aquatic species, specifically model (i.e., zebrafish) and native (i.e., rainbow darter) fish species.
Dr. Craig's research takes an integrative approach, crossing all levels of biological organization, from epigenetic regulation (the mechanisms controlling how the genome expresses itself) to whole animal responses, to making predictions regarding the impact of mixed stressors on species health and abundance.
- Comparative and environmental animal physiology
- Phenotypic responses to multiple environmental stressors
- Molecular and epigenetic analysis, including microRNA and methylation profiling
- Energetics and metabolism
Dr. Paul Craig's current research focuses on abiotic factors associated with climate change (temperature/hypoxia) in combination with emerging organic pollutants (pharmaceuticals), which have been demonstrated to target numerous fish species.
A unique and novel aspect of Dr. Craig's research is examining the epigenetic mechanisms driving the altered phenotypes found in teleosts exposed to multiple stressors. Epigenetics is defined by examining the inheritance of variation beyond changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic regulation, through DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA may profoundly alter transcriptional and translational effects of gene expression, and it is now clear that these mechanisms are influenced by environmental stressors, both natural and anthropogenic, acting as the interface between the genome and the environment.
Dr. Craig uses a number of different techniques to address these questions, including next-generation sequencing, qPCR and microarray analysis, cell culture, protein abundance and enzymatic activity, cell respiration and reactive oxygen species production, and measurements of whole animal metabolism and performance.
Active research themes in the Craig Lab
- The role of epigenetic regulation on phenotypic responses to environmental stressors in teleosts
Studies here involve the profiling of epigenetic responses (DNA methylation, microRNA) in zebrafish and rainbow trout to environmental stressors and how they dictate the phenotypic response.
- Transgenerational epigenetic responses to environmental stressors
Studies here examine the heritability of epigenetic mechanism from paternal and maternal sources, both intra- and inter-generationally, in teleosts
- Application of epigenetic profiling to local species and conditions
Studies here build upon Themes 1 & 2 and apply epigenetic profiling in local fish species found along the Grand River in effort to predict future responses to emerging organic contaminant threats.
If you are interested in pursuing Honours thesis or graduate work in these exciting areas of environmental physiology and epigenetics, please contact Dr. Paul Craig by email.
Professor Craig offers both undergraduate and graduate level courses. Course offerings have included:
- BIOL 130 - Introductory Cell Biology
- BIOL 370 - Comparative Animal Physiology I
- BIOL 477L - Techniques in Animal Physiology
- BIOL 605 - Environmental Animal Physiology (Graduate level)
Please see Paul Craig's Google Scholar profile for a current list of his peer-reviewed articles.
Awards and Distinctions
- PDF Award for Best Oral Presentation; Canadian Society of Zoologists (2014)
- NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2012)
- NSERC Canadian Graduate Scholarship D (2006-2009)
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2006; Declined in lieu of NSERC)
University of Waterloo Affiliations
- Adjunct; Department of Biology, Trent University
- Member of The Water Institute, University of Waterloo
Professional Associations and Service
- Journal Editorship
- International Editorial Board; Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology
- Review Editor for Animal Physiology Section; Reference Module in Life Sciences
- Professional Society Membership
- Canadian Society of Zoologist
- Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
- American Physiological Society
- Society of Experimental Biology
- University of Waterloo Service
- Chair; Biology Outreach
- Vice-Chair; Animal Care Committee
- Faculty of Science Representative; Bridges Public Lecture Series
- Co-organizer; Biology Seminar Series
The following news stories have featured Professor Craig's research:
- August 6, 2015 “A study will examine how the rainbow darter is affected by illicit drugs found in the Grand River” Brantford Expositor
- August 5, 2015 “Fishing for answers” Waterloo Chronicle
2014 Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Ottawa
2009 PhD Comparative Physiology, McMaster University
2004 MSc Comparative Physiology, University of Guelph
2001 BSc Zoology, University of Guelph