Graduate Students

Graduate Students

Candice Quin (PhD Candidate)


 Candice is a PhD candidate studying how fish oil supplementation impacts the infant’s gut microbiome and immune system. She completed her BSc with honors at UBC-Okanagan in Biology. Candice hopes her research will result have an impact on maternal and child health with direct knowledge translation to pediatric caregivers in regards to fish oil supplementation. Candice has been awarded a prestigious CIHR Doctoral Award, a CAG PhD Studentship Award, as well as a PEO scholar award. She was also the recipient of the 2020 Researcher of the Year Award at UBC.  In September, Candice will pursue a post-doctoral fellowship at McMaster University funded by a CIHR Fellowship Award. Her publications can be founhere  

Natasha Haskey RD (PhD Candidate)


Natasha is a PhD student/Registered Dietitian researching the link between diet (specifically dietary fat), inflammation and the intestinal microbiota and its implications on Ulcerative Colitis – an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). She has been a practicing dietitian for over 20 years. She completed her BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Saskatchewan. Natasha has been awarded the awarded the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship-Doctoral Award (CGSD) from the Canadian Institute of Health Research. Natasha hopes to create evidence-based nutrition guidelines for patients living with IBD.  Her publications can be found here.

Twitter: @nhaskeyRD

Jacqueline Barnett (PhD Student)


“Jac” is currently a PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Deanna Gibson and Dr. Miranda Hart. She began volunteering in the Gibson lab in May 2015 and instantly fell in love with the world of research. She graduated from UBCO in 2017 with a B.Sc (Hons.) in Microbiology as well as a minor in Psychology. Jacqueline has been awarded the NSERC Postgraduate scholarship doctoral award (PGS-D) to her pursue her PhD studies. Jac has also been selected as a finalist for the  David Colcleugh Leadership Award for Let’s Take Science site coordinators.

The primary focus of Jacqueline’s research involves examining the effects of the herbicide glyphosate on the gut microbiota and overall gut health and inflammation. However, Jac’s PhD project is unlike any other project in UBC history. Since glyphosate is currently a highly debated topic in both popular and scientific communities, Jac and her supervisors decided to enlist the help of the public through their crowdfundraising campaign. Donate here

When she’s not in the lab, Jacqueline enjoys cooking, photography and going on walks with her fiancé Kevin and their two dachshunds, Bueno and Arthur.

Twitter: @InTheWheat


Andrea Alejandra Verdugo Meza (PhD Student)


Andrea joined the Gibson Lab as a PhD student in September 2019. She graduated from Bioengineering at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, and got her MSc degree from CICESE, working on Fournier Lab.  Attracted by the wonders of the microbiome shifts in health and disease, she is interested in characterizing the therapeutic effect of novel designer probiotics in inflammatory bowel disease. Andrea is supported by CONACYT – Mexican Government Agency for Science and Technology. Her collaborations can be found here.

Robyn Butt (PhD Student)


Robyn joined the Gibson Lab as PhD student January 2020, co-supervised by Dr. Deanna Gibson and Dr. Kirk Bergstrom. She completed both her BSc and MSc at Memorial University in Newfoundland. She is researching the efficacy of genetically engineered probiotics for colonization and persistence in the murine and human gastrointestinal tract using intestinal organoids. Robyn is the recipient of the UBCO Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship and the UBCO Graduate Dean’s Aboriginal Entrance Fellowship.

 Maddi Arnold (MSc Student)


Maddi is currently a MSc student working under the supervision of Dr. Deanna Gibson and Dr. Dan Durall. She is researching the effect that dietary lipids have on the gut mycobiome (the fungal component of the microbiome) as well as exploring the relationship between the fungal community and lipids in human breastmilk. She graduated from UBCO in 2018 with her BSc in microbiology before transitioning into graduate studies. In her free time, Maddi enjoys outdoor activities with her dog, working out, and spending time with family and friends.