Rush Dhillon

Position title: Assistant Scientist



  • BSc. Environmental Biology, University of Alberta
  • MSc. Watershed Ecosystems Graduate Studies, Trent University
  • PhD. Biology, Queen’s University

Research Description

Rush’s research uses a comparative approach to examine the physiological and biochemical response of organisms to stressors. Specifically, Rush looks at aerobic and anaerobic pathways of metabolism in response to stress, and their implications for mitochondrial respiration. Currently, the focus of his research is to examine how acetylation and cellular redox status regulate mitochondrial metabolism and components of the electron transport system.


  • Canadian Society of Zoologists

Selected Publications

  • Dhillon, R.S. and J.G. Richards. 2018. Hypoxia induces a selective reprogramming of the acetylome in the brain of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B. 224: 79-87.
  • Dhillon, R.S., M. Mandic, L. Yao, Z. Cao, C.J. Brauner, Y.S. Wang, and J.G. Richards. 2017. Ethanol metabolism varies with hypoxia tolerance in ten cyprinid species. Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 188: 283-293.
  • Krautkramer, K., R.S. Dhillon, J.M. Denu, H.V. Carey. 2017. Metabolic programming of the epigenome: host and gut microbial metabolite interactions with host chromatin. Translational Research, 189: 30-50.
  • R.A. Leggatt, R.S. Dhillon, C. Mimeault, N. Johnson, J.G. Richards, R.H. Devlin. 2017. Low-temperature tolerances of tropical fish with potential transgenic applications in relation to winter water temperatures in Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 93: 253-260.
  • Gilmour, K., P. Craig, R.S. Dhillon, G. Lau, and J. Richards. 2017. Regulation of energy metabolism during social interactions in rainbow trout: A role for AMP-activated protein kinase. American Journal of Physiology (Regul Integr Comp Physiol), 313: R549-R559.
  • Dhillon R.S. and J.M. Denu. 2017. Using comparative biology to understand how aging affects mitochondria and metabolism. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 455: 54-61.
  • McKenzie J.L., R.S. Dhillon, and P.M. Schulte. 2016. Steep, coincident and concordant clines in mitochondrial and nuclear-encoded genes in a hybrid zone between subspecies of Atlantic killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus. Ecology and Evolution, 6:5771-5787.
  • Gregg T, P. Chetan, B.A. Schmidt, R.S. Dhillon, S.M. Sdao, N.A. Truchan, E.L. Baar, L.A. Fernandez, J.M. Denu, K.W. Eliceiri, J.D. Rogers, M.E. Kimple, D.W. Lamming, and M.J. Merrins. 2016. Pancreatic β cells from Mice Offset Age-Associated Mitochondrial Deficiency with Reduced KATP Channel Activity. Diabetes, 65:2700-2710.
  • McKenzie J.L., R.S. Dhillon, and P.M. Schulte. 2015. Evidence of a bimodal distribution of hybrid indices in a hybrid zone with high admixture. Royal Society Open Science, 2, 150285.
  • Regan, M.D., R.S. Dhillon, D.P. Toews, B. Speers-Roesch, M.A. Sackville, S. Pinto, J.S. Bystriansky, and G.R. Scott. 2015. Biochemical correlates of aggressive behaviour in the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). Journal of Zoology. 297:99-107.
    * Journal of Zoology ‘Paper of the Year’ Award for 2015*
  • R.S. Dhillon, L. Yao, V. Matey, B. Chen, A. Zhang, Z. Cao, S. Fu, C.J. Brauner, Y.S. Wang, and J.G. Richards. 2013. Interspecific differences in hypoxia-induced gill remodeling in carp. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 86: 727-739.
  • [co-first author] Antilla, K., R.S. Dhillon, E.G. Boulding, A.P. Farrell, B.D. Glebe, J.A.K. Elliott, W.R. Wolters, and P.M. Schulte. 2013. Variation in temperature tolerance among families of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is associated with hypoxia tolerance, ventricle size and myoglobin level. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216: 1183-1190.
  • Brauner, C.J., V. Matey, W. Zhang, J.G. Richards, R.S. Dhillon, Z.D. Cao, Y.X. Wang, and S.J. Fu. (2011). Gill remodeling in crucian carp during sustained exercise and the effect on subsequent swimming performance. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 84: 535-542.
  • Dhillon, R.S. and P.M. Schulte (2011). Interspecific variation in the thermal plasticity of mitochondria in killifish. Journal of Experimental Biology, 214: 3639-3648.
  • Fu, S.J., C.J. Brauner, Z.D. Cao, J.G. Richards, J.L. Peng, R.S. Dhillon, Y.X. Wang. (2011). The effect of acclimation to hypoxia and sustained exercise on subsequent hypoxia tolerance and swimming performance in goldfish (Carassius auratus). Journal of Experimental Biology, 214: 2080-2088.
  • Dhillon, R.S., A.J. Esbaugh, Y.X. Wang, and B.L. Tufts. 2009. Effect of heat stress on the heat shock response and myosin heavy chain in juvenile walleye (Sander vitreus). Journal of Fish Biology, 75: 1048-1062.
  • Madison, B.N., R.S. Dhillon, B.L. Tufts, and Y.X. Wang. 2009. Exposure to low concentrations of dissolved ammonia promotes growth rate in walleye Sander vitreus. Journal of Fish Biology 74: 872-890.
  • Dhillon, R.S. and M.G. Fox. 2007. Growth-independent effects of a fluctuating thermal regime on the life-history traits of the Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). Ecology of Freshwater Fish 16: 425-431.