Current undergrads


One large area of Bioinformatics is to help aid in understanding and monitoring the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

The genetic code that defines the COVID-19 virus can be analyzed by special machines to help people understand how it changes over time through evolution. This data can be used to infer a phylogenetic tree (shown above) which shows the relationship of different lineages of the virus.

This intersects with some of my research. The image comes from the website (I am not involved in this project but they have a very nice website) / Aaron Petkau

#umanitoba #umanitobasci #umtakeover

@umanitoba @umanitobasci

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Here is a picture of one of my old Microbiology textbooks.

I started my undergrad at the University of Manitoba back in 2004. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I really enjoyed science. My first few years of University I remember being amazed at all I was learning, from Biology, to Chemistry, to Physics. And yes, Microbiology and Computer Science.

It took me a few years to settle on Computer Science, and until 2010 to graduate. In that time I was able to find a job (through the Computer Science Co-op program) with the Public Health Agency of Canada—in Bioinformatics. I was applying what I've learned from Computer Science and Biology.

And I'm back in school now, pursuing a Master's in Bioinformatics. All from the amazing experiences and support and opportunities from #umanitoba #umanitobasci

Learning is amazing 😁🎒📒/Aaron Petkau

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As a student in Computer Science I write code for my studies. A useful project I've started using over the past few years is Jupyter ( Jupyter lets you group code, output (such as visuals of data) and notes all in one electronic notebook. It also lets you modify your code and immediately see what happens.

The image is from a short demonstration I wrote on how to use Jupyter, found at Feel free to check it out/Aaron Petkau #umanitoba #umanitobasci #umtakeover

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I've found biking to be a great way to get outside, explore, and get some exercise. Since remote classes began I do all of my work from home. Sometimes I do want a change of scenery and biking around Winnipeg is a great way to do that. I have explored so many bike trails over the past few years that I never took the opportunity to before.

The picture was taken in August during one of my bike trips along the Red River/Aaron Petkau #umanitoba #umanitobasci #umtakeover

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Bioinformatics is a large field which uses Computer Science to help gain insights into biological data. This can involve data visualization, or developing new ways to help people "see" the data they're working with.

Pictured here is part of a website ( I helped develop last summer in collaboration with #mcmasteruniversity and with the help of the VADA program at #umanitoba ( It provides a place for people around the world to submit genomes of bacteria and predicts which antibiotic drugs they might be resistant to./Aaron Petkau

#umanitobasci #umtakeover

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