Graduate Students

Amanda Facciol, MSc, PhD.c

Amanda completed her HBSc at the University of Toronto Mississauga, with a major in Psychology and minors in Biology and Earth Sciences. During her undergraduate years, she worked on several projects in Dr. Gerlai's zebrafish lab, some of which focused on social isolation and alcohol-drug interactions. In 2017, she completed a one-year Master's program in the Department of Earth Sciences where she investigated environmental conditions favouring soft tissue preservation. She is currently wrapping up her PhD in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology, during which she investigated how the developmental stage of embryonic ethanol exposure differentially alters behaviour and neurochemistry in zebrafish. To date she has 17 peer-reviewed publications.

Amira Abozaid, HBSc, PhD.c

Amira joined the lab in 2017 and completed her HBSc at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She has undertaken multiple research courses including a Biology Thesis program in our lab during her final year of studies exploring the effects of embryonic alcohol exposure using the zebrafish as a model organism.

She is currently completing a Masters in our lab in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology, and has published 3 peer-reviewed papers.

Stephanie Shishis, HBSc, MSc.c

Stephanie joined the lab in 2019 and completed her HBSc at the University of Toronto Mississauga, with a double major in Biology for Health Science and Psychology. She will be pursuing a Master of Science at the University of Toronto in our lab as part of the Department of Cell & Systems Biology starting January 2022.

During her undergrad she was part of the Psychology Research Opportunity Program and Biology Thesis Program in our lab. She has been involved in many research projects and most recently has been interested in exploring what constitutes an optimal housing environment for zebrafish by measuring anxiety/stress-like behaviours. Stephanie also works as the Laboratory Coordinator for the Gerlai Lab. 

Zahra Siddiqi, HBSc, PhD.c

Zahra joined the lab in 2019 and completed her HBSc degree at the University of Toronto Mississauga, majoring in Psychology with double minors in Biology and Women & Gender Studies. 

She has done several research projects with Gerlai Lab during her undergrad focused mainly on learning and memory and numerosity in zebrafish. For her PhD in Fall 2021, she will  continue investigating zebrafish numerosity by manipulating levels of alcohol exposure at various developmental time points.

She is looking forward to collaborations to study aversive conditioning in zebrafish from a biological aspect. 

Research Staff

Ben T, HBSc, MSc, FRSA

Ben joined the lab in 2015 and completed his HBSc at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and went on to obtain a MSc (Neuroscience) from Kings College London. 

He is currently in a duo role, as the lead surgeon and behaviorist at the Hospital for Sick Children's Department of Critical Care Medicine working on the middle cerebral arterial occlusion surgical model in mice, and as the lab manager for the Gerlai Lab.

Ben has produced over 14 peer-reviewed publications in the field of zebrafish behavioral neuroscience and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and an American Association for Laboratory Animal Science Grant Co-Investigator for the effects of housing density and tank volume on the behavior, cortisol level and neurochemistry of zebrafish.