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Helene Volkoff

{Helene Volkoff}
Helene Volkoff

Assistant professor, Biology
Faculty of Science

Research Interests
The study of fish has been a passion of Dr. Volkoff's since her days as an undergraduate. From sharks to rays, goldfish to cod, she focuses her research on determining the structure and function of peptides in fish that serve to regulate appetite, influence reproductive events, and respond to environmental cues. Dr. Volkoff employs an integrative approach to her research, using a number of techniques from behavioural studies to molecular biology. While in Newfoundland, she will use goldfish as a model for freshwater fish, and cod and flatfish as a model for marine life.

Experience
The physiology and endocrinology of fish have been the primary focus of Dr. Volkoff's research. During her master's and PhD, she examined the role of the thyroid gland in controlling the reproduction of elasmobranch fishes (sharks and rays). Using light and electron microscopy, as well as hormone assays, Dr. Volkoff carried out comparative studies on the structure of the thyroid gland between sexes and reproductive stages within one species. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, she examined the effects of neuropeptides on goldfish appetite, employing such techniques as stereotaxic brain injections of the peptides, followed by behavioural observations, cloning of DNA encoding for these hormones, and gene expression studies.

Background
Dr. Volkoff earned a B.Sc. in marine biology/physiology from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France, followed by a M.Sc. in marine biology from the Université d'Aix-Marseille III in Marseille. At Clemson University in South Carolina, she received her PhD in zoology, and then completed five years of post-doctoral studies at the University of Alberta. Dr. Volkoff accepted a position as assistant professor at Memorial University in September of this year.