Each December, the Department of Biology and the Biology Graduate Student Association host a holiday door decorating contest to celebrate the festive season. The Rooney lab defended their title and beat seven other labs to win the 2017 Holiday Hallway competition for the second year in a row. The Hall and Hug labs came in second and third place respectively.
Biology staff and students judged the eight doors based on the creativity, visual appeal and originality of each lab’s decorations.
For the 2nd year in a row, the Rooney Lab has won the holiday hallways decoration with their interpretation of the lifecycle of a Christmas tree. The Rooney lab studies aquatic ecology, restoration ecology and landscape ecology. The group focuses on the response of biotic communities and their environmental correlation to human disturbance.
The Hall Lab, also known as the Waterloo Environmental Change Research Lab (WATER), focuses on the analysis of long-term environmental records to address ecological issues. They study aquatic ecology, hydrology and paleolimnology to assess effects of stressors on lakes, wetlands and reservoirs. Their door shows a paleolimnological timeline of Christmas-themed events.
The Hug Lab studies the diversity and function of microbial communities in contaminated sites. Their door is decorated with more than 126 upcycled coffee cup parts collected from recycling bins in B1. Around the tree, names of bacterial phyla accompanied by gram-negative, rod-shaped microbes are drawn. If you look closely, there are also origami ornaments in some of the coffee cups, that are part of an interactive game designed by the lab.
The Duncker Lab studies cancer-related research on yeast and controlling DNA replication to produce certain proteins during cell cycles. Their door shows a welcoming scene with a snow-covered road leading into the Department of Biology. A DNA Christmas tree can be seen through the window of the building.
The Katzenback Lab studies how environmental stressors influence cells and soluble molecules that compromise amphibian innate immune systems. Their door is a parody on the Grinch Who Stole Christmas with the grinch being replaced by Xenopus, the clawed frog and favourite research model for the group.
The Lolle Lab studies the factors affecting the epidermal function of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Their door uses this plant as an advent calendar, with ‘seeds’ being released each day when the seed pod is opened. They have also included a series of Christmas-themed science puns around their door.
The Neufeld Lab studies microbial communities and longstanding challenges of microbial ecology. Their door represents different aspects of their lab with lab-related equipment displayed around the wreath and fireplace. If you look closely, can you spot Waldo?
The Rose Lab works with crystallizing protein structures. Their door is decorated with a wreath made of proteins.