Lakehead professors receive funding for research on pre-modern man, communicating climate change

Photo of Dr. Matt Tocheri and Dr. Lindsay Galway

October 18, 2017 – Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead University researchers are receiving nearly $900,000 in SSHRC funding for important projects that may change the way you think about the world. 

Dr. Matt Tocheri is receiving $305,000 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for a five-year project investigating pre-modern and modern humans.

Dr. Tocheri is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Lakehead University and the Canada Research Chair in Human Origins.

“We’re trying to determine if our species played a role, either directly or indirectly, in the extinction of Homo floresiensis,” Dr. Tocheri said.

The discovery of Homo floresiensis was announced to the world on October 28, 2004 in the journal Nature, which described another human species that also walked on two legs and made and used stone tools.

However, some of the major differences were that adults were only one metre tall and had extremely small, chimpanzee-sized brains, as well as body proportions and other primitive features not seen for the past 1.5 million years.

Homo floresiensis, which is thought to have gone extinct about 50,000 years ago, provides important perspectives on the ramifications of losing biological and cultural diversity, and helps society make informed decisions about preserving diversity of all species, Tocheri added.

Dr. Lindsay Galway, an Assistant Professor in Health Sciences, is receiving $54,478 to spend two years examining how to communicate climate change impacts and solutions to promote citizen engagement.

 The research will focus on the northern regions of Canadian provinces that are characterized by remoteness, political marginalization, dependence on natural resource extraction, tensions between economic and energy policy, and heightened vulnerability to climate change, in two case study communities: Thunder Bay (Northern Ontario) and Prince George (Northern British Columbia).

“We will document public beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions of climate change and climate action in the case study communities,” Dr. Galway said. “Then we will develop climate change communication strategies aimed at promoting citizen engagement with climate change in the context of Canada’s Provincial Norths.”

Dr. Maya Gislason from Simon Fraser University and Dr. Chris Buse from the University of Northern British Columbia will assist with the research.

“This funding demonstrates that SSHRC recognizes the important research happening at Lakehead University,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Vice-President, Research and Innovation. “Thank you to all of our researchers for their dedication to finding answers to important questions.”

Funding from SSHRC also generates support from the federal Research Support Fund to offset the indirect costs of research incurred by universities. In 2017/18, Lakehead University will receive nearly $2 million in assistance from the Research Support Fund to support the indirect costs of research, which includes costs for supporting the management of intellectual property, research and administration, ethics and regulatory compliance, research resources, and research facilities.


New SSHRC Grants 2016-17

Faculty Member Grants

Insight Grant (five-year grant)

  • Dr. Matthew Tocheri, Department of Anthropology, Investigating premodern and modern human dispersals to Island Southeast Asia: The Evidence from Liang Bua, Flores, $305,000.

Insight Development Grant (two-year grant)

  • Dr. Lindsay Galway, Department of Health Sciences, Climate Change Communication and Engagement in Canada’s Provincial Norths: A Collaborative Place-based Approach, $54,478.
    • Co-applicants
      • Dr. Maya Gislason, Simon Fraser University
      • Dr. Chris Buse, University of Northern British Columbia

Partnership Development Grant (three-year grant)

  • Dr. Vicki Kristman, Department of Health Sciences, Understanding Labour Force Participation, Work Productivity and Disability in the Indigenous Context: A Partnership with the Nokiiwin Tribal Council, $200,000.
    • Co-applicants
      • Dr. Lori Chambers, Department of Women’s Studies
      • Dr. Helle Moeller, Department of Health Sciences
      • Dr. Christopher Mushquash, CRC in  Indigenous Mental Health and Addiction, Department of Psychology
      • Dr. Rebecca Schiff, Department of Health Sciences
      • Dr. Mirella Stroink, Department of Psychology
      • Dr. Richard Matthews, Faculty of Medicine, West Campus
      • Dr. Monique Gignac, University of Toronto
  • Partners
    • Institute for Work and Health
    • Nokiiwin Tribal Council

Connection Grants (one-year grants)

  • Vicki Kristman, Department of Health Sciences, Enhancing big data skills at the Canadian Society of Epidemiology and Biostatistics National Student Conference, $24,000.
  • Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo, Education (Orillia), The Self Regulation Summer Institute for Parents and Elementary School Teachers, $46,840.00.
  • Dr. Frederico Oliveira, Department of Anthropology, Indigenous comparative approaches to culture-based tourism in Canada and Ecuador, $24,715.
    • Co-applicants
      • Dr. Brian McLaren, Faculty of Natural Resources Management
      • Dr. Rhonda L.P. Koster, School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism
      • Professor Rosemary J. Coombe, York University
  • Dr. Rebecca Schiff, Department of Health Sciences, Canada 150: At the Crossroads - Regional Centres and the Sustainability of Canada's Rural and Northern Landscapes, $18,150.00.


Graduate Student Grants

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program (one-year grants)

  • Jennifer White, An evaluation of toxic masculinity & violence prevention in Northwestern Ontario, Social Work, $17,500
  • Allison Whately-Doucet, How might an examination of the influence of marketplace ideology on schooling lead to strategies to ameliorate contentious parent/teacher interactions?, Education, $17,500
  • Kelsey Raynard, Reprogramming the Princess: Reclaiming Girl Power in a Patriarchal World, English, $17,500
  • Jessie Lund, Female Canadian university sexual assault victims: Why they don't report, Psychology, $17,500
  • Jordan Johnston, Border Stories: Reconciliation through Indigenous Literature, English, $17,500 
  • Kevin Gardam, Influences of Older Adult Participation in an Outdoor Adult Playground, Public Health, $17,500
  • Jackie Chan, The Untapped Potential of Traditional Martial Arts Programs for Student Well-being, Education, $17,500
  • Jenna Carew, Health Care, Reproductive Services, First Nations, and the State in Northwestern Ontario, 1969 to 2000, Social Justice, $17,500
  • Brooke Bigelow, Validity of the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) Risk Tool with Indigenous Offenders, Psychology, $17,500

SSHRC - Doctoral Fellowships program

  • Martha Moon, Learning Through Relationship: In-Context Development for Teachers of Indigenous Students, Supervisor: Paul Berger. One year – $20,000
  • Jessica Tanner, Dispelling gambling myths in younger and older occasional and regular gamblers, Supervisor: Dr. Dwight Mazmanian. Two years – $40,000

Total: $890,683


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Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries.

In 2016, for the second consecutive year, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead first among Canada’s undergraduate universities.