Ph. D. in Biology, Dalhousie University, 2018 – Current

Topic: Thermal variation

Supervised by Dr. Jeffrey Hutchings

M. Sc. in Biology, University of Toronto, 2016 – 2018

Thesis Title: “Measurement and Modelling of Primary Sex Ratios for Species with Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination” Supervised by Dr. Njal Rollinson.

B.Sc. in Biology, McGill University, 2010 – 2014

Distinction Honor, 3.82 GPA

Thesis Project: “Framing Character Analysis of Gallus gallus in a Phylogenetic Context.” Supervised by Dr. Hans Larsson.

Second Thesis Project: “The effects of water drawdown caused by hydroelectric dams on organic matter and sediment deposition.”  Supervised by Dr. Irene Gregory-Eaves.


Rollinson, N., Massey, M. D., Meron, M. 2018. A low cost, low effort technique to quantify key life cycle events in nests of oviparous vertebrates. Submitted to Evolutionary Ecology.

Massey, M. D., Holt, S., Brooks, R. J., Rollinson, N. 2018. Measurement and modelling of primary sex ratios for species with temperature-dependent sex determination. Journal of Experimental Biology, jeb.190215. [PDF]

Massey, M. D., Congdon, J.D., Rollinson, N. 2018. Metabolic heating in natural nests of the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina): Measurement and implications. Submitted to Chelonian Conservation and Biology.

Rouleau, C.*, Massey, M. D. *, Rollinson, N. 2018. Temperature does not affect hatch timing in snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina). Undergoing second revision for Journal of Herpetology.

Author contribution was equal

Rollinson N., Holt S., Massey, M. D., Holt R.C., Nancekivell E.G., Brooks R.J. 2018. A new method of estimating thermal performance of embryonic development rate yields accurate prediction of embryonic age in wild reptile nests. Journal of Thermal Biology, 74: 187-194. [PDF]

Conference Presentations

  1. Massey, M, Rollinson, N. “Climate Change and Snapping Turtles.” Sigma Xi Society Lecture Series, Toronto Public Library, Toronto, ON. Oct 11 2017. (Invited speaker).
  2. Massey, M., Brooks, R.J., Rollinson, N. “The Effects of Climate Change on Sex Determination and Growing Time in a Northern Population of Snapping Turtles”. Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Meeting, Victoria, BC. 9 May 2017.
  3. Massey, M., Brooks, R.J., Rollinson, N*. “Long-term monitoring of hatchling sex ratios in a species with temperature-dependent sex determination during a period of rapid climate change.” Wildlife 70 Symposium, Trent University, Peterborough, ON. 3 May 2017. *Presented by Njal Rollinson.
  4. Massey, M., Brooks, R.J., Rollinson, N. “The Effects of Climate Change on Sex Determination and Timing of Developmental Events in a Northern Population of Snapping Turtles”. Atwood Colloquium, University of Toronto. Toronto, ON, Canada. 9 Apr. 2017. (Invited speaker)
  5. Massey, M., Rollinson, N., Brooks, R. J. “Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination in a Northern Population of Snapping Turtles.” Learning Unlimited Oxford, Woodstock, ON, Canada. 29 Mar. 2017. (Invited speaker).
  6. Massey, M., Brooks, R. J., Rollinson, N. “Modeling the effects of climate change on temperature-dependent sex determination in the Common Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina.” Canadian Herpetological Society Conference. Toronto Zoo, Toronto. 15 Sept. 2015.

Professional Work Experience

Summer 2016, 2017, 2018

Turtle Field Researcher, University of Toronto

Captured and released Painted Turtles and Snapping Turtles and their eggs from Algonquin Provincial Park and Rondeau Provincial Park, collecting data for the Long-Term Turtle Monitoring Project. Conducting embryonic staging of Painted Turtles in the field. Collected eggs for both wild and experimental data to contribute towards my M. Sc. project.


Mad Scientist, Mad Science of Hamilton and Kitchener

Taught elementary-level science through activities and laboratories to over 150 students from 12 different public schools in the Hamilton region.


Field Assistant, McGill University

Assisted with the sampling, fish dissections, and practical field components of field research at lakes in Maine, New Hampshire, and Southern Quebec.


Scientific Illustrator, McGill University

Digitized and remastered images from Robert Carroll’s “Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution” (1988). Created technical drawings for graduate students.

Teaching Experience

Winter 2019

Content Expert in Biology, King’s View Academy

I guide and evaluate students from Grades 8 – 12 on Biology curriculum.

Fall 2018

Part-Time Faculty, Mount Saint Vincent University

Course title: Introductory Biology (Biology 1152 Lab Sections E and F)

Delivering lab lectures, supervising teaching assistants, overseeing laboratory for two sections.

Winter 2018

Senior Teaching Assistant, University of Toronto

Course title: Ornithology (EEB386)

Preparing and implementing labs lab lectures and field trips, assisting with test and exam development.

Fall 2017

Teaching Assistant, University of Toronto

Course title: Organisms in the Environment (EEB375)

Preparing and implementing SimBio Tutorial and Field Labs. Grading. Guest lecturer: The Embryonic Thermal Environment of Oviparous Reptiles.

Winter 2017

Teaching Assistant, University of Toronto

Course title: Ornithology (EEB386)

Preparing and implementing labs and field trips, grading work.

Fall 2016

Teaching Assistant, University of Toronto

Course title: Evolution and Adaptation (BIO120)

Preparing and implementing labs, grading work, and counselling students.

*Awarded Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

Awards and Honors

2018 Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Graduate Scholarship ($60,000 over 4 years; beginning Sept 2018 at Dalhousie University)

2018 William J. “Jack” Christie Graduate Scholarship In Ecology And Evolutionary Biology ($2000)

2018 A. Murray Fallis Graduate Award In Zoology ($1300)

2018 Imar Talvila Graduate Scholarship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology ($830)

2017 Margaret and Nicholas Fodor Fellowship ($500)

2017  Shortlisted for the Vivekananda Graduate Prize 

2017  Harold H. Harvey Travel Award, University of Toronto ($400)

2017  Alexander Graham Bell CGS-M Award, NSERC ($17,500)

2016  EEB Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (BIO120), University of Toronto

2016 Frederick P. Ide Graduate Scholarship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto ($1,550)

2016  Friends & Alumni Entrance Scholarship, University of Toronto ($4000)

2016 Redpath Museum Excellence Award, McGill University ($300)

2015  Redpath Museum Society Logo Design Winner, McGill University ($100)

2014  Biodiversity Science Discovery Award, Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science ($3000)

2011  Women Associates of McGill Scholarship, McGill University, ($3000)

2010 Women Associates of McGill Scholarship,  McGill University, ($3000)

2010 University of Toronto Chemistry Essay Scholar Award, University of Toronto ($100)

2010 Governor General’s Academic Medal, Federal Government of Canada

2010 National Book Award, University of Toronto

2010 Gold Medalist: Ryerson University Science Fair,

2009 National Avogadro Chemistry Contest Top 2%

2008 Competitor at Canada-Wide National Science Fair

2008 Gold Medalist at Toronto-Wide Science Fair

Public Outreach and Other Media

Beyond academia, I am extremely interested in public outreach and involving the community with contemporary science, especially children. Being able to confer scientific information to the public provides me with an opportunity to test my own fundamental understanding of the subject matter.


Illustrator for Njal Rollinson and Locke Rowe (2018). “Oxygen limitation at the larval stage and the evolution of maternal investment per offspring in aquatic environments.” American Naturalist. [Link to Preview]

Photographer for Njal Rollinson (2016). “Extreme reptiles of the north: life history, population ecology, and rapid climate change.” WRS Research Report. [Link to report].



Massey, M. “The Story of How I Tried Out a Bunch of Stuff and Found Out What Worked.” Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Undergraduate Panel Presentation, University of Toronto. Nov 28 2017. (Invited speaker.)

Massey, M. “The Embryonic Thermal Environment in Oviparous Reptiles.” Organisms in the Environment (BIO375) Guest Lecture, University of Toronto. Nov 22 2017. (Invited speaker.)

Massey, M. “Fix and Release.” Canadian Association for Girls in Science. Oct 28 2017. (A pre-screening of the nature documentary Fix and Release, with a talk by the director and CBC filmmaker Scott Dobson, and Ontario Turtle Trauma Centre Manager Donnell Gasbarrini.)

Massey, M. “Science Literacy Week: Climate Change and Snapping Turtles.” Toronto Public Library. 19 Sept 2017. (Invited speaker.)

Massey, M., and Astudillo-Clavijo, V. “Scientific Illustration”. Canadian Association for Girls in Science, Royal Ontario Museum. 27 May 2017. (Invited speaker.)

Massey, M. “Snapping Turtles: Conservation and Nesting”. Beacon Elementary School, St. Catharine. 23 Nov. 2016. (Invited speaker.)

 Massey, M. “Climate Change and Sex Ratios in Snapping Turtles”. Ingersoll District Nature Club, Ingersoll. 13 Sept 2016. (Invited speaker.)

Featured in the Woodstock Sentinel Review on Sept. 12, 2016. Available at:

Massey, M. “Dinosaurs and the Earliest Birds”. Beverely Central Elementary School, Troy. 1 Apr. 2015. (Invited speaker.)


Massey, M. 2016. Consolidating grief and criticism after Bowie’s Passing. In The Newspaper, University of Toronto. Available at:

Other Activities and Professional Societies

September 2018 – Current WISEAtlantic (Women in Science and Engineering Atlantic) Representative

  • Volunteer as a role model for young women interested in STEM under Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Atlantic)
  • October 10th 2018: STEMaware Event – facilitated discussion between high school girls interested in pursuing STEM and female role models in different STEM fields
  • October 12th 2018: Techsploration Role Model Round Robin – participated as a STEM role model for high school girls from across Nova Scotia at the Techsploration Alumnae Conference
  • November 6 & November 7th 2018: STEMfest Mentor – working with high school students to inspire their interest in STEM

May 2017 – August 2018  Mental Health Committee, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Student Association

2017 – August 2018 Peer mentor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

  • Mentor to undergraduate student Carter Rouleau for his project on Painted Turtle development
  • Peer mentor to new graduate student
  • Invited Panelist: Undergraduate Mentorship Meeting (September 26th)
  • Invited Panelist: NSERC Mentorship Meeting (October 23rd)

2017 – August 2018  Volunteer Educator, Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS), Toronto Chapter

  • Volunteered for NASA’s Space Parachute Laboratory (April 29th, 2017)
  • Designed and implemented the Scientific Illustration Workshop at the Royal Ontario Museum (with Viviana Astudillo-Clavijo)
  • Organized a pre-screening of the nature documentary Fix and Release

2017 – August 2018  Social Chair, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Student Association

August – November 2017 Volunteer at the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre

2017 – 2018 Member, Canadian Society of Ecologists and Evolutionary Biologists

August – November 2017 Volunteer at the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre

April 2017 Volunteer, Atwood Colloquium

2016 – Current University of Toronto Phylogenetics Club, Member

2015 – Current Hamilton Reddit Book Club, President and Co-Founder

2015 University of Toronto’s “The Newspaper”, Contributor

2012- Current Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s E-Bird, Contributor

2013-2014 Redpath Museum Club, Illustrator and Event Planner