Dr. Heather Prior

Associate Professor, Biology

P: 780-465-8371
  • PhD, University of Alberta, 2000
  • B.Sc., University of Alberta, 1989


Heather joined King's in 2000, and is a specialist in ocular genetics and zebrafish culture. She has a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta and a PhD from the University of Alberta. Her research interests include investigating the genetic aspects of vertebrate development in zebrafish, how faith and decisions about infertility intersect, and a project on honeybee disease supported by the Alberta Beekeepers Association.

Research projects

Zebrafish Tools for Teaching and Research Project
The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a wonderful model organism for investigating the genetic aspects of vertebrate development. We have successfully used radiation hybrid mapping technique to identify the chromosomal location of four zebrafish genes expressed in the lens (crybb1, foxc1a, foxe3, and  pitx2a).

Faith and Fertility Project
Assisted human reproduction (AHR) is a challenging personal as well as a technical problem. This joint research project, with Dr. Heather Looy (Psychology, King’s) investigates academic, theological, and denominational positions on ART on one hand and the lived experience of individuals of faith as they make decisions about infertility.

Honeybee Disease Project
This work has been supported by the Alberta Beekeepers Association and is focused on the biochemical analysis of and using PCR-based techniques to differentially identify a suite of honeybee pathogens.


Giordano J, Prior HM, Bamforth JS, Walter MA. (2001) Genetic study of SOX9 in a case of campomelic dysplasia.  American Journal of Medical Genetics. 98(2):176-81.

Prior, H.M., and Walter, M.A. (1996) SOX genes:  Architects of development.  Molecular Medicine  2: 405-412.