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 370 - Comparative Animal Physiology I
- BIOL 477L - Techniques in Animal Physiology
- BIOL 605 - Environmental Animal Physiology (Graduate level)
Note: Asterisks denotes students from my lab
Ikert H*, Lynch MDJ, Doxey AC, Giesy JP, Servos MR, Katzenback BA, Craig PM. (2021). High throughput sequencing of microRNA in rainbow trout plasma, mucous, and surround water following acute stress. Frontiers in Physiology: Aquatic Physiology. 11:588313
Ikert H*, Craig PM. (2020). Chronic Exposure to Venlafaxine and Increased Water Temperature ReversiblyAlters microRNA in Zebrafish Gonads (Danio Rerio). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D:Genomics and Proteomics. 33:100634
Luu I*, Ikert H*, Craig PM. (2020). Chronic exposure to anthropogenic and climate related stressors alters transcriptional responses in the liver of zebrafish (Danio rerio) across multiple generations. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C: Toxicology & Pharmacology. 240:108918
Cadonic IG*, Ikert H*, Craig PM. (2020). Acute Air Exposure Modulates the microRNA Abundance in Stress Responsive Tissues and Circulating Extracellular Vesicles in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus Mykiss). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics and Proteomics. 34:100661
Lobb B, Hodgson R*, Lynch MDJ, Mansfield MJ, Cheng J, Charles TC, Neufeld JD, Craig PM, Doxey AC.(2020). Time Series Resolution of the Fish Necrobiome Reveals a Decomposer Succession Involving Toxigenic Bacterial Pathogens. mSystems. 5:e00145-20
Hodgson R*, Servos MR, Craig PM. (2020). Impacts on metabolism and gill physiology of darter species(Etheostoma spp.) attributed to wastewater effluent in the Grand River. Special Issue " Emerging effects of pollutants in the aquatic environment"; Applied Sciences. 10:8364
Bennoit NR*, Craig PM. (2020). Increased metabolic rate associated with immune stimulation with heat-killed Vibrio anguillarum at different temperatures in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.250:110489
Mehdi H*, Bragg LM, Servos MR, Craig PM. (2019). Multiple stressors in the environment: The effects ofexposure to an antidepressant (venlafaxine) and increased temperature on zebrafish metabolism.Frontiers in Physiology: Aquatic Physiology. 10:1431
Johnston EF, Cadonic IG*, Craig PM, Gillis TE. (2019). MicroRNA-29b knocks down collagen type-Isynthesis in cultured rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) cardiac fibroblasts. Journal of Experimental Biology. 222: jeb202788.
Craig PM, Moyes CD, LeMoine CMR. (2018). Sensing and Responding to Energetic Stress: Evolution of the AMPK Network. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.224: 156-169.
Mehdi H*, Dickson FH*, Bragg LM, Servos MR, Craig PM. (2018). Impacts of wastewater treatment plant effluent on energetics and stress response of rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum) in the Grand River watershed. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. 224:270-279.
Best C, Ikert H*, Navarro-Martin L, Craig PM, Mennigen JA. (2018). Epigenetics in teleost fish: From molecular mechanisms to phenotypes. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. 224: 210-244.
Mirghaed AT, Yarahmadi P, Craig PM, Fasani HG, Ghysvandi N, Eagderi S. (2018). Hemato-immunological, serum metabolite and enzymatic stress response alterations in exposed rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to nanosilver. International Journal of Aquatic Biology. 6: 221-234.
Kuc C*, Richard DJ, Johnson S*, Bragg L, Servos MR, Doxey AC, Craig PM. (2017). Rainbow trout exposed to benzo[a]pyrene yields conserved microRNA binding sites in DNA methyltransferases across500 million years of evolution. Scientific Reports. 7:16843.
Gilmour KM, Craig PM, Dhillon RS, Lau GY, Richards JG. (2017). Regulation of energy metabolism during social interactions in rainbow trout: A role for AMP-activated protein kinase. American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 313: R549-559.
Cameron BE*, Craig PM, Trudeau VL. (2016). Implication of microRNA deregulation in the response of vertebrates to endocrine disrupting chemicals. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. 35(4): 788-793.
Please see Paul Craig's Google Scholar profile for a current list of his peer-reviewed articles.
Awards and Distinctions
- 2019 Ontario Early Researcher Award
- 2018 University of Waterloo Outstanding Performance Award.
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, Animal Care Committee
- Co-Organizer of the Biology Seminar Series
- Biology Executive Committee Member
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