The Gosling Institute for Plant Preservation Logo Footer
University of Guelph


Bovey Bldg
601 Gordon St, Guelph, ON
N1G 1Y2 Canada



GRIPP Director Dr. Praveen Saxena

Dr. Praveen Saxena

Professor, University of Guelph


GRIPP Faculty Dr. Max Jones

Dr. Max Jones

Assistant Professor, University of Guelph
GRIPP Al Sullivan

Dr. Al Sullivan

Professor, University of Guelph

Senior Research Staff

GRIPP Wenlu Bi

Wenlu Bi

Postdoctoral Fellow

I completed my MSc in Horticulture and PhD in Pomology at Northwest A & F University (Yangling, China) in 2017, where I got research work experiences for six years on cryobiology, and focused on cryopreservation of in vitro grapevine and lily germplasm, and cryotherapy for grapevine virus eradication. Then I joined GRIPP in September of 2017.


My research focus now is on cryopreservation of in vitro Canadian endangered plants and medicinal plants. Besides that, my main project is to disclose the potential roles of melatonin and serotonin to enhance the regeneration of Hill’s thistle and Hazelnut applied to cryopreservation. I also work on establishing the cryopreservation protocols for African violets by using small leaf squares-bearing adventitious buds. I enjoy exploring the surroundings and traveling in my free time.

GRIPP Jose Frexias-Coutin

Jose Freixas-Coutin

Postdoctoral Fellow

I completed BSc and MSc degrees in Biochemistry at the University of Havana, Cuba and came to Canada under the sponsorship of OMAFRA-HQP scholarship to complete my PhD degree at the University of Guelph. After my PhD defense, I joined GRIPP to conduct research in the area of molecular biology and biochemistry implementing novel molecular biology techniques to identify cultivars and to characterize plant metabolic pathways.


I am currently focused on validating a fingerprinting test for fast and reliable identification of Hazelnut cultivars using a multiplex system. In addition, I am drawn towards the presence of animal neurotransmitters in planta such as serotonin and melatonin. The metabolic characterization of these neurotransmitters in plants with medicinal and nutritional benefits is also part of my research goals at GRIPP. Although I consider myself a very diligent person in the lab, I also like to enjoy my spare time with family and friends.

GRIPP Shuping Li

Shuping Li

Lab Technician

I completed M. Sc.from Shenyang Agriculture University in China in the year 1996 and completed my M.Sc. in Plant Agriculture from the University of Guelph in 2008 and worked as technician in Department of Plant Agriculture from October 2007 to March 2008. I have joined The Plant Cell Technology laboratory(PCTL) as lab technician since June 2009 and by extension GRIPP and have been mainly involved in plant tissue culture related work, cryopreservation, biochemical analysis and molecular work.


The majority of the time, I am maintaining different clones of endangered plant species. I also overlook the day to day activities and routine procedures for plant tissue culture work. In my spare time, I like listening to music, watching TV and taking a walk.

GRIPP Placeholder Image

Murali Mohan

Postdoctoral Fellow

I completed my doctorate in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph in 2013 and had been a postdoctoral fellow for 1 year at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University and for 3 years as a NSERC visiting postdoctoral fellow at Summerland Research and Development Center, AAFC, BC. Here, as a postdoctoral fellow I will be working with Drs Adam Dale, Praveen Saxena and Mukund Shukla on hazelnut project. I love playing cricket and watch tons of Indian movies.

GRIPP Robert Nichols

Robert Nichols

Lab Manager

I graduated from the University of Guelph in 1988 with an MSc. in Crop Science. Working for the PCTL, and by extension GRIPP, I oversee the general upkeep and maintenance of the lab, training of new employees as well as oversee all research being conducted in the lab.

GRIPP Mukund Shukla

Mukund Shukla

Research Associate

My extensive history with plants begins at the Gujarat Agricultural University in India. There I obtained my B.Sc. in agriculture, M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics. Having earned my three degrees, I started my research career at the Vegetable Research Division at the Gujarat Agriculture University, working on the tissue culture of fruit and vegetable crops as well as crops grown under field conditions.


Fast-forwarding a few years, I joined the Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory, in the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph. My research focus is on the in vitro morphogenesis and conservation of endangered and disease-prone tree species such as the Elm, chestnut and Hazelnut species. Based on my knowledge and experience, my research expertise is in disease resistance using tissue culture techniques, bioreactor-based propagation and conservation. Even now, I am still expanding my knowledge and experience with the wide array of components in the field of plant biotechnology. Aside from my work at GRIPP, I enjoy my time admiring nature and the scenic beauty of the rural and countryside areas.

GRIPP Christina Turi

Christina Turi

Research Associate

My life long interest for medicinal plants and conservation science led me to GRIPP in 2015 in order to oversee projects involving the conservation and reintroduction of SAR. As a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, Medicinal Plants Specialist Group, I am working to compile publicly available conservation, distribution and ethnobotanical data for North American medicinal plants into a comprehensive database. This information will be used in the future for identification of at-risk species and to prioritize species for IUCN red list assessment.