Lakehead University announces new and returning Canada Research Chairs

July 4, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Three Lakehead University professors who are leading the way in innovative research have been named in the newest cycle of the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Dr. Sudip Kumar Rakshit has been renewed as Canada Research Chair in Bioenergy and Biorefining Processes for a second seven-year term; Dr. Alla Reznik has been awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Physics of Radiation Medical Imaging for seven years (renewable); and Dr. Maryam Ebrahimi has been awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Low-dimensional Nanomaterials for five years (renewable).

Canada Research Chairs are world-class scientists and scholars from diverse backgrounds who are working on new discoveries and innovations that help the environment, health, communities and economy to thrive.

Photo of Dr. Alla Reznik

“I am very pleased to receive such a high appreciation of my work from my peers,” said Dr. Reznik, a professor in the Physics department and Senior Scientist, Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “But the most important thing for me is the opportunity to make an impact in my area of research, which I believe is one of the most humane areas of science.”

For the past decade, Dr. Reznik has been developing new diagnostic tools to facilitate early detection of cancer. The ability to detect and diagnose medical conditions accurately and at the earliest stage of disease is critical for effective treatment and recovery, she explained.

While imaging devices and technologies have vastly improved the ability to visualize body tissues and processes, they are often coupled with “off the shelf” general-purpose detectors that may limit their potential value for specific medical applications.

“The primary focus of my work is to design, develop and commercialize the next generation of customized detectors to improve medical imaging applications, including breast cancer screening and minimally invasive cardiac intervention,” Dr. Reznik said.

Photo of Dr. Sudip RakshitThis is Dr. Rakshit’s second seven-year term as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair. His focus is on developing new technologies to produce cleaner energy and chemicals.

“The challenges of replacing fossil resources by using renewable resources in an environmentally-friendly and economically acceptable manner is crucial for sustainable development and to limit climate change,” Dr. Rakshit said.

The overall aim of his work is to contribute to the development of a circular bio-economy, where materials are kept within use for as long as possible.

He has been developing processes to create value-added products, such as alcohol and biodiesel, and platform chemicals that can be used in several industrial sectors from renewable resources like forest wood and agricultural residues.

He believes integrating such processes into existing wood-based industries, pulp and paper, for example, would make the overall industry economically viable. There looms, however, the resultant environmental problem and the impact on marine and terrestrial life.

“How do you dispose of the waste plastic after use?” Dr. Rakshit asked. “You can’t put it into the rivers or lakes.”

Making plastics from woody materials is feasible, but they must have the diverse functionality of normal plastics, including being lightweight and transparent, and they must be degradable.


“We need to make plastics which are either compostable or we can break down to their original components for re-use,” he explained. “What we’re talking about is the need to complete the circle.”
Photo of Dr. Maryam Ebrahimi
Dr. Ebrahimi has carried out her research around the world, including at the University of Toronto with Nobel Laureate Professor John Polanyi. Her research lies at the border of chemistry and physics. It focuses on the fundamentals of low-dimensional nanomaterials whose properties are determined by their size, structure and growth dimensions.

“As a Canada Research Chair and an assistant professor at Lakehead’s Department of Chemistry, I am hoping to establish a motivating and inspiring scientific research program through which I can train young Canadian and international graduate students and researchers from different backgrounds, who might become the future human resources of science in Canada, and the world, at large,” she said.

“The knowledge that we gain through studying low-dimensional nanomaterials at atomic-to-molecular scale would help us engineer novel materials for a range of applications, for example 2D polymers for organic electronic devices used in displays, smartphones, sensors, and solar cells; porous nanopolymers for adsorbing greenhouse gases; biocompatible surfaces for nanomedicine applications, among others,” Dr. Ebrahimi said.

“All of which would contribute to the advancement of several technologies and industries in Canada.”

Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead University Vice President of Research and Innovation said Lakehead University is extremely pleased to have these new Canada Research Chairs approved.

“The areas of research that are being investigated by these faculty members are essential to furthering the research priorities for the University. We thank the Canada Research Program for their continued support to Lakehead University.”

The Canada Research Chairs Program is a national strategy to make Canada a leader in research and development. With an investment of $295 million per year, the aim is to attract and retain a diverse cadre of world-class researchers, and to reinforce academic research and training excellence in post-secondary institutions. There are more than 1,800 Canada Research Chairs at universities across Canada.

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

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 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

An exceptional month starts in July for SHAD participants at Lakehead University

Photo of Isobel Flindall doing interviews with the media.

Isobel Flindall from Brighton, right, did interviews with Thunder Bay Television, Country and the Bay FM, and the Chronicle-Journal about SHAD on Canada Day.

July 1, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Approximately 65 young people from across Canada are participating in SHAD at Lakehead University from July 1 until July 25.

SHAD specializes in STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and is for students currently completing grade 10, 11 or 12, Quebec secondaire IV, V or CEGEP I, or the international equivalent.

Founded in 1980 to help youth reach their full potential, SHAD is a one-month enrichment program allowing students to interact with renowned university faculty and visionary corporate leaders. 

In a unique element of the program, the students are challenged to come up with an original solution to a societal problem they learn about in the first week. It teaches them about entrepreneurship and innovation and leaves the students seeing how they can make an immediate impact.

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

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 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Introducing Lakehead University’s new Chair in Finnish Studies, Dr. Kari Alenius

June 21, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

The Lakehead University Finnish Chair Advisory Committee is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kari Alenius as the ninth Chair in Finnish Studies.

Photo of Dr. Kari AleniusDr. Alenius will be in Thunder Bay for the 2019-20 fall and winter terms.

Since 2014, Dr. Alenius has served as the Head of the Department of History, Culture and Communications and as the Head of Transcultural Encounters Research Centre (TCERC) at the University of Oulu.

Dr. Alenius obtained his PhD in History from the University of Oulu and his doctoral dissertation was on the Estonian image of Finland and the Finns from the period of national awakening to the end of the Tsarist era (approx. 1850-1917). Since then, he has published numerous books and articles on the history of Estonia and other subjects.

His second monograph was on the ethnic relations in Estonia during the interwar period (1920s) and this was followed by a Finnish-language history of the Baltic States. His fourth monograph continued to study ethnic relations. This time the subject was the development of the legal status of national minorities in Germany (Weimar Republic).

He then went on to study political narratives and propaganda, focusing on the rhetoric of the Great Powers in the UN Security Council (1946-1956) in his fifth monograph. In other research projects, he has studied inter/transcultural relations, national identities, and war propaganda.

Dr. Alenius has taught a wide variety of courses at the University of Oulu. In recent years, his teaching has included Introduction to the History of Minorities; History of Propaganda, The Societal Development of Germany, 1918-1945; Finland and the Baltic Countries as an Area of Interest of the Great Powers, 1900-1945.

In addition to lectures, he has conducted graduate seminars at the M.A. and PhD levels, and he has supervised literature examinations on, for example, the History of Ethnic Relations, Historiography, Philosophy of History, and International and Cultural Interaction. 

During the 2019–2020 academic year at Lakehead University, he is conducting research on the birth of the Canadian image of Finland in the 19th and early 20th century.

Dr. Alenius will also be teaching the following courses on the Thunder Bay campus of Lakehead University:

Fall term

History/Northern Studies 2171 FA 

Finland and the Nordic Region in the 19th Century 

Mondays & Wednesdays 10 am - 11:30 am 

Winter term

History /Northern Studies 2172 WA 

Finland and the Nordic Region in the 20th Century 

Mondays & Wednesdays 8:30 am - 10 am 

Dr. Alenius will be making public presentations in Thunder Bay during his time at Lakehead University.

He is expected to arrive at the end of August, when he will begin occupying an office with the Department of History in the Ryan building.

For more information about the Lakehead University Chair visit www.lakeheadu.ca/academics/chairs/cfs

Behavioral Trials Of Farmed Elk Show Effects Of Group Feeding

Photo of elk.

By Brian McLaren, Associate Professor, Natural Resources Management

This article was originally posted by Science Trends.

Free-ranging herbivores typically aggregate when they are feeding, though at first glance, if they are making a good choice, we might ask how occupying the same area is not just a cost in terms of competition for food. Speculating why aggregation occurs and understanding how it might influence animal well-being are important pursuits in ecology and on the farm.

Knowing why aggregation occurs is in the realm of setting hypotheses. The simplest idea for aggregation among large mammalian herbivores is that they aggregate in areas where nutritional quality and availability of food are higher, and followers look to a lead animal to find these areas. Thus, herbivores are “optimally foraging” or “matching” the proportional time spent grazing to the amount of available nutrients associated with different plant communities. However, if there were additional benefits to aggregation, it becomes easier to explain why aggregation occurs where areas of higher food resources are fairly well distributed, or if forage is managed optimally by the farmer, leaving the animals free to wander at will. Proposed benefits have focused on two adaptive anti-predator strategies: “prey dilution” (the chance that any individual will be the victim of a group attack by a predator is lower with higher group sizes) and “many eyes” (replacing individual vigilance with group vigilance that leaves more time for foraging).

An experiment to test the effect of different group sizes on the comfort level animals experience when foraging is one way of assessing costs and risks in foraging because food quality can be kept constant. The classic experiment measures “giving-up densities,” or GUDs, developed by evolutionary ecologist Dr. Joel Brown in 1988. It has been most often applied in the field setting to small mammals with unrestricted access to feeding trays. GUDs are estimates of the density of food remaining at the end of an experimental feeding bout, in which food mixed with an inert substrate is supplied to individuals free to leave feeding trays at any time.

The theory is as follows: when foraging optimally in an environment where resources are distributed heterogeneously in patches, an individual is expected to feed in a patch until the energy gained by foraging just balances its metabolic, predation risk, and missed opportunity costs. An individual forager should choose to abandon a riskier patch at a higher rate of harvest, leaving behind a higher GUD than it would in a safer patch. Likewise, a dominant individual should see missed opportunities in the partially consumed trays of neighboring foragers and may leave their own tray early.

We observed group foraging in domesticated North American elk (wapiti, Cervus canadensis) that were native, three to four generations earlier, to the Canadian prairies. Our study took place in six outdoor paddocks and involved a total of 26 domesticated elk raised at Egli’s Sheep Farm near Dryden, Ontario. The property where the elk are maintained is subdivided into six fenced, open-field paddocks, ranging in size from four to eight hectares, along with an enclosed barn. We did the work in winter and we used the farm environment as a way to standardize habitat and disentangle relationships between the number of animals in a small group and perception of fear and exertion of dominance.

Our predictions were as follows. If enough individual elk each experience higher comfort levels when foraging in larger groups, then collectively they should exploit feeding trays to lower instantaneous rates of harvest, i.e. lower average GUDs, with increasing group size. If only average scanning time, the amount of time spent vigilant for perceived predators or other intruders, is consistent with the group size effect, then there is less support for lower perceived costs of predation or higher security, as foraging may be simply an uncomfortable “race with the neighbors.” This prediction is consistent with an anti-predator hypothesis for social behavior and with the idea that domesticated elk still recognize and manage fear.

Presence of dominant individuals in a group can be expected to increase average GUDs and change the feeding dynamic, particularly if subordinates cease feeding when challenged by a neighbor. This prediction is consistent with a role for direct resource competition and with observations of a shift in activity created as a result of interference as an additional cost of foraging. Observing females with calves offers a special case to observe defensive behaviors in groups. Females with their young should exhibit greater vigilance and not reduce their scanning time, as would be expected with the group size effect.

Feeding trays were wooden boxes with a top opening 53 cm by 23 cm and a depth of 20 cm. The top opening of each tray was overlaid with two pieces of heavy wire to create three equally-sized openings of 0.23 m by 0.18 m. The wire prevented spillage of the alfalfa mixture from the tray during foraging bouts. Trays were filled with a mixture of 500 g of dried, livestock-grade alfalfa pellets and 300 pieces of 2.5 cm long, 2.5 cm diameter, black polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tube. We added the pieces of pipe to the feeding trays to make the smaller alfalfa pellets more difficult to access, especially as the alfalfa was depleted. The same quantity of alfalfa pellets was used at the outset of all trials, so that the PVC provided a matrix with diminishing returns as the food was exploited through time, mimicking a natural patch.

Mr. Moreira, who stayed in a parked vehicle at unobtrusive distances ranging from 75 to 100 m to the elk groups, filmed elk foraging behavior with a digital video recorder (Digital Sony Handy Cam). Additionally, he used a 10×60 power spotting scope (Swarovski) and 10×32 power binoculars (Burris) to identify individual elk, based on a combination of unique “bite marks” on their coats and ear tags where legible. We defined dominant elk as females that moved to a second or third feeding tray and resulted in its being abandoned by another female. Dominance during one feeding trial did not imply dominance in another feeding trial for the same female.

Among 10 adult individuals tracked as focal animals through at least three trials, all but one had differences in GUDs between trials; in all these nine cases, GUDs were lower with larger group size. Throughout five trial periods of about a week each, average GUDs and average scanning time during ten-minute video samples of the foraging bouts both decreased with increasing group size. The group size effect for both GUDs and scanning time was exponential, showing most gains reached by group sizes of 10 elks. GUDs were lower when mothers were with their calves. However, with or without calves, neither scanning time nor the relationship of scanning time with group size changed. Including a parameter for dominant females in a group allowed for a stronger relationship between GUDs and group size.

That group size was related to both GUDs and scanning rate in a direction expected from the “many‐eyes’ effect suggests that, despite being free from predators, domesticated elk still perceive greater fear when in smaller groups. This interpretation of the group size effect is, however, unequivocal because the heightened perception of missed opportunities, in place of or in addition to a lower perception of predation risk, could have resulted from feeding in larger groups. However, we believe we bypassed difficulty in interpreting fear perception by using the GUD methodology. Observed lower GUDs when females were together with their calves, as well as the other results, differ from past interpretations in observing vigilance in elk groups in national parks, where habitat is a factor determining fear perception.

Dominant individuals in free-ranging groups of elk have been shown to displace their subordinates and appropriate their feeding patches whenever they perceive that group mates are encountering higher food availability, an effect that is known as “kleptoparasitism.” However, scanning time in the dominant farm animals we tracked showed contradictory patterns; it was not higher than in subordinates, nor did any other difference in the behavior of dominants occur with changes in group size. Dominant individuals were perhaps simply those more skillful at managing fear; we saw no activity suggesting that they shifted the activity of subordinates that left their trays. Thus, managing predation risk using group formation could be especially important where dominants contribute a sense of security to the whole group. Absence of opportunity for group formation or perception of cohesion could have conservation implications by impacting individual survival, in turn leading to population-level effects, both in a wild and a farm setting.

In the design of our experiment, logistical issues precluded replication of group sizes over all trial periods. Thus, changes in snow depth, ambient temperature, moon phase, and perhaps the progression of pregnancy may have affected foraging behavior between periods without our ability to describe the effects. Nevertheless, GUD methodology appears a suitable means of assessing foraging behavior across a range of group sizes. Experimentation and development of our methodology could add it to social network analysis, such that it may be used to assess foraging behavior and decisions in the individuals that form groups, testing, for example, the hypothesis that dominants take on leadership roles in group cohesion.

For the time being, we interpret captive female elk to experience greater security as their group size increases to 10. Presence of calves and of dominant females also appears to foster greater security. This information can translate to better livestock management. Pasture configuration aiming to foster closer groups feeding together could promote a healthier herd and more effective use of foraging areas. Farmers should manage groups to include calves with their dams whenever possible, and also consider the social organization of the herd to include one dominant in a leadership role.

These findings are described in the article entitled Monitoring the effects of feeding in groups: Behavioural trials in farmed elk in winter, recently published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

Thunderwolves Announce 2019 Wall of Fame Inductees

Photo of inductees.

Inductees from top left – Justin BeauParlant (male athlete), 2001-2002 Men’s Wrestling Team, Ron Lappage (Builder), Jylisa Williams (female athlete), Andrew Ritchie (male athlete), and Kelly Williams (female athlete).

June 14, 2019 — Thunder Bay, Ont.

From October 3-5, 2019, Lakehead University and the Thunderwolves will be welcoming students, alumni, and friends back to campus to celebrate the annual Homecoming Weekend.

Lakehead Athletics is especially excited to welcome back those who have been a part of the Lakehead Wrestling team, which is entering into its 50th season. Those in attendance will also witness the Wall of Fame induction of five special individuals and one incredible team.

Established in 1996, the Lakehead Athletics’ Wall of Fame has existed to acknowledge athletes, coaches, teams and administrators who have made exceptional contributions to Lakehead Athletics over the years.

“What the Wall of Fame does is highlight our history in sport,” said Lou Pero, Chair of the Wall of Fame committee.

“By recognizing various athletes who were outstanding at Lakehead University, we are able to identify that individual for their time here and what they gave to the university and also what they gave to the community and what they gave to their sport,” Pero added.

This year’s inductees consist of one Builder, two male and two female athletes, and one team.
Inductees from top left – Justin BeauParlant (male athlete), 2001-2002 Men’s Wrestling Team, Ron Lappage (Builder), Jylisa Williams (female athlete), Andrew Ritchie (male athlete), and Kelly Williams (female athlete).

Lakehead Athletics is proud to announce that Ron Lappage will be inducted into the Builder category.

Ron started making his mark on the Lakehead Thunderwolves in 1972 when he joined Lakehead University as a Physical Education lecturer and as an assistant coach for the wrestling team. During his time at Lakehead, Ron represented LU on the Northwestern Ontario Hall of Fame Board of Directors, helped establish the Wall of Fame, started the LU Judo Club, served as the Acting Director of the School of P.E. and Outdoor Rec, was the Acting Director for the School of P.E. and Athletics and was Lakehead’s Director of the School of Kinesiology.

Justin BeauParlant and Andrew Ritchie are the Male Athletes being inducted this year.

Before becoming an assistant coach for the Lakehead University Wrestling team, Justin had a very successful run as a Thunderwolves wrestler. He finished his stint on the team with three CIS gold medals and one silver. Justin also made his mark on both the National and International stages, competing in the Canada Cup in 1999, earning a 12th place finish at the World Wrestling Juniors, and finishing second at the World University Games.

Much like Justin, Andrew also came from Thunder Bay to compete on the international stage when he swam his way to a seventh overall finish in the men’s 400M individual medley at the 1976 summer Olympic Games. Andrew spent five years as a member of the national swim team, starting in 1975. He joined the Lakehead University swim team in 1977, which is when he competed in the FISU Summer Games. While at Lakehead, Andrew broke national records and won many CIAU national titles. In the 1979-1980 season, Andrew was named Male Athlete of the Year.

The two female athletes being inducted are Jylisa Williams and Kelly Williams (no relation).

Before arriving at Lakehead University in 2013, Jylisa spent time playing for Georgia State University, two years in the US Army, and one season with the Olds College Broncos where she won CCAA Player of the Year. As a Thunderwolf, Jylisa had a massive impact on the Women’s Basketball team. In 2015, she broke the OUA Single-season scoring record (506 points) and the single-game scoring record (50 points). Jylisa was the leading CIS scorer with an average of 28.8 points per game. After graduating from Lakehead, Jylisa headed overseas to play professional women’s basketball for Evo New Basket Oberhausen in the German Damen Basketball Bundesliga.

Kelly was the kind of athlete who had an impact on every game she played in, even if it sometimes went unnoticed. She celebrated success as a Nor’Westers volleyball player, and as part of Team Ontario. Kelly was a member of the Lakehead women’s volleyball team from 1988-91. In her first year, she won Rookie of the Year and the following year she was named both Captain and Female Athlete of the Year. Kelly was also named the captain of the Team Ontario Canada Games Team in 1989. After university, Kelly moved to Alberta, where she spent time coaching youth volleyball between 2014 and 2019.

The 2001/2002 wrestling team will be inducted into this year’s team category.

Coach of the Year Francis Clayton, the men’s wrestling coach, found an abundance of success in the 2001-02 season as they finished third in the OUA and second at the CIS Championship, which they hosted in the same year. The 2001/02 team saw nine athletes qualify for the CIS Championship, including Devin Kirk, who wrestled his way to a first-place finish, and Steve Raine, who was named Outstanding Wrestler. The Thunderwolves finished the championship with one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals.

The Wall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Saturday, October 5 at 11:00 AM.  All Lakehead alumni, students, fans, and supporters are invited to enjoy Homecoming 2019 and the special events associated with it. More information on the weekend's schedule of events will be posted at thunderwolves.ca/alumni/homecoming-2019/.

Lakehead University’s Agricultural Research Station tests a new kind of fertilizer

Photo of SuperU fertilizer

June 13, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

This spring, Lakehead University’s Agricultural Research Station has initiated a study on Urea Super Granules (SuperU® fertilizer) on canola, which responds to high amounts of nitrogen.

“I believe we are the first in Ontario to test this new fertilizer product on canola,” said Dr. Tarlok Sahota, Director of Lakehead University’s Agricultural Research Station (LUARS). 

SuperU® is a slow-release fertilizer that has a beautiful blue colour. As compared to normal urea fertilizer that breaks down quickly into the soil, releasing all its nitrogen at once that is liable to losses (volatilization, leaching and denitrification) because the crop requirements for nitrogen at the initial stages of crop growth are low.

SuperU® releases nitrogen slowly into the soil to overcome losses of nitrogen, which is the lead nutrient for crop production around the world. The nitrogen loss minimization in SuperU® is achieved by using urease and nitrification inhibitors – Dicyandiamide and N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide. SuperU® is an N-TEGRATION Technology, which means the power to protect nitrogen is uniformly integrated within every single granule.

Research conducted elsewhere has shown that SuperU® could enhance nitrogen efficiency and optimize crop yields. LUARS will be comparing SuperU® with urea and combinations of urea and ESN and will also be trying combinations of SuperU® and ESN at 90, 180, 270 and 360 kg N application per hectare.

Lakehead University’s Agricultural Research Station has often taken initiative to test new fertilizer products or the fertilizers that were not used by area producers. In 2004, the research station initiated research on ammonium sulphate that contains two prime essential nutrients: nitrogen and sulphur.

Farmers started using it in 2005. In 2006, the research station was the first agricultural research facility in Ontario to test Environmentally Smart Nitrogen (ESN), a polymer coated slow release urea fertilizer – and Ontario farmers started using it in 2009. In the Thunder Bay area, its use increased to the extent that the Manager of the Thunder Bay Co-op has been thinking of adding two separate bins for ESN. Both ammonium sulphate and ESN helped increase nitrogen use efficiency and improve crop yields and quality of produce on farms.

 

 

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Media: Dr. Sahota is available for interviews today (Thursday, June 13) from 11 am and 3 pm.

 

Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

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 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Women and Water event celebrates resource we cannot take for granted

Kim Wheatley, Maude Barlow, and Coco Love Alcorn will be part of Lakehead University's Office of Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning's Women and Water event. 

June 11, 2019 – Orillia, ON

Directly or indirectly, water is central to our lives in every way. Water is also the focus of Lakehead University’s Office of Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning’s upcoming event, Women and Water.

On Wednesday, June 19 people of all ages will gather for an evening of stories, teachings, and songs that share a common theme: the centrality of water. Three remarkable women will join Lakehead University for Women and Water and help explore, embrace and celebrate our relationships with water.

Kim Wheatley, water walker and Anishinaabe traditional grandmother, will open the event with traditional stories, songs and teachings. 

Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, chair of Food and Water Watch, and Lakehead University honorary degree recipient (2005) will answer the question, "Whose Water is It Anyway?", and discuss the fight for water justice in Canada and abroad.

The evening will also feature Canadian singer-songwriter, Coco Love Alcorn, who people will remember from her amazing turn at the Mariposa Folk Festival in 2018, will perform her viral hit, "The River," along with many other top songs.  

“We have been working really hard in Orillia to think through and address climate change and embrace sustainability,” said Dr. Linda Rodenburg, coordinator of Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning. “We wanted to do something to celebrate our commitment to addressing these issues.  Everyone can learn something about the water, and embrace its importance in their own ways.” 

Rodenburg points out that, according to local Indigenous teachings, women are the keepers of the water. This doesn’t mean that the event is only for women, however. “Their message is for everyone in our community, men and women, young and old,” she said.

Details, including registration information, can be found online at www.lakeheadu.ca/cell. Tickets can be purchased at mysuccess.lakeheadu.ca/cell.

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Media: Jaclyn Bucik, Marketing & Communications Associate, 705-330-4008 ext. 2014 orjaclyn.bucik@lakeheadu.ca.

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 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosourcenamed Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visitwww.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University is receiving more than $2.25 million from NSERC

June 11, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Lakehead University researchers are receiving $2.25 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for 33 research projects.

This year’s total includes $1.56 million for 12 Discovery grants, which amounts to 72 per cent more funding than last year’s Discovery grants.

Some of these researchers will explore a new design that will make bridges more durable and examine the benefits of using various tree species to mitigate the impact of reduced water in boreal forests.

Photo of Dr. Muntasir Billah

Dr. Muntasir Billah, Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering, is receiving $155,000 to spend five years developing a bridge system that can endure multiple hazards at the same time, such as an earthquake and a tsunami or an earthquake and a flood.

“Successful completion of this research will not only create guidelines for practitioners to design and analyze bridges against multiple hazards, but also develop innovative smart structural components that will enhance bridge safety,” Dr. Billah said.

This research will significantly improve Canada’s highway infrastructure resilience, which means Canadian communities will have economical, safe, and low-risk bridges when subjected to extreme            natural hazards.

Photo of Dr. Han ChenDr. Han Chen, Professor in Natural Resources Management, is receiving $275,000 to spend five years examining how various tree species can mitigate the negative impacts of reduced water availability in boreal forests. This research relies on a water-alteration experiment in natural boreal forests.

“The success of my research program is highly dependent on the effective training of highly qualified personnel,” Dr. Chen said. “Our findings will help develop strategies to cope with climate change in Canada’s boreal forests.”

 

“This NSERC funding allows our researchers to do important work that will have a profound impact in Northwestern Ontario, Simcoe County, and around the world,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.                                 

Funding from NSERC also generates support from the federal Research Support Fund to offset the indirect costs of research incurred by universities.

In 2018/19, 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 NSERC Grants 2018-19 – Total: $2,252,613

Faculty Member Grants

Collaborative Research & Development Grant – Two to three-year grants

  • Dr. Pedram Fatehi, Department of Chemical Engineering, Production of water soluble products from tall oil lignin - Ligno tall process, $150,000.  In addition, $150,000 received from CRIBE, $100,000 from Ontario Centres of Excellence, and $75,000 from Resolute Forest Products for this project.
  • Dr. Peter Hollings, Department of Geology, Mineral chemistry as a vector to mineralisation in porphyry systems, $173,300, with an additional $92,508 from partner organization AMIRA International Limited.

Discovery Grants – Five-year grants (unless otherwise noted)

  • Dr. Ehsan Behzadfar, Department of Chemical Engineering, Investigation of Rheology and Processing of Multilayer Polymer-Based Products, $140,000.
  • Dr. Muntasir Billah, Department of Civil Engineering, Performance-Based Approach for Multihazard Resilient Design of Highway Bridges, $155,000.
  • Dr. Han Chen, Faculty of Natural Resources Management, The role of tree species diversity in mitigating negative impacts of reduced water availability in boreal forests: Patterns and mechanisms, $275,000.
  • Dr. Jian Deng, Department of Civil Engineering, Parametric Resonance and Stochastic Dynamic Stability of Structures: Theory, Experiments, and Applications, $130,000.
  • Dr. Ebrahim Rezaei Geshnizgani, Department of Chemical Engineering,Investigating New Frontiers of Catalytic Ozonation for Air Pollution Control, $140,000.
  • Dr. Jinqiang Hou, Department of Chemistry, Development of stereospecific radio-flourination methods, $120,000.
  • Dr. Salama Ikki, Department of Electrical Engineering, Software-Radio Strategies for Heterogeneous Communication Networks, $28,000 (one-year grant).
  • Dr. Deli Li, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Probability Asymptotic Theorems and Their Applications, $90,000.
  • Dr. Cui Liang, Department of Civil Engineering,Multiscale/Multiphysics Testing and Modelling of Cemented Paste Backfill-Rock Interface Behaviour and Application to the Design of Cemented Paste Backfill Structures, $130,000.
  • Dr. Baoqiang Liao, Department of Chemical Engineering,A Novel Membrane Biofilm Reactor for Microalgae Cultivation and Harvest and Wastewater Treatment, $140,000.
  • Dr. Maria Grazia Viola, Department of Mathematical Sciences (Orillia), L^p operator algebras that look like C*algebras and q-deformed free group factors, $75,000.
  • Dr. Qiang Wei, Department of Electrical Engineering, Innovative High Power Converters and Controls for Next Generation Offshore Wind Energy Systems, $140,000.

Discovery Launch Supplements – $12,500 for one year

  • Dr. Ehsan Behzadfar, Department of Chemical Engineering, Investigation of Rheology and Processing of Multilayer Polymer-Based Products, $12,500.
  • Dr. Muntasir Billah, Department of Civil Engineering, Performance-Based Approach for Multihazard Resilient Design of Highway Bridges, $12,500.
  • Dr. Liang Cui, Department of Civil Engineering,Multiscale/Multiphysics Testing and Modelling of Cemented Paste Backfill-Rock Interface Behaviour and Application to the Design of Cemented Paste Backfill Structures, $12,500.
  • Dr. Ebrahim Rezaei Geshnizgani, Department of Chemical Engineering,Investigating New Frontiers of Catalytic Ozonation for Air Pollution Control, $12,500.
  • Dr. Jinqiang Hou, Department of Chemistry, Development of stereospecific radio-flourination methods, $12,500.
  • Dr. Qiang Wei, Department of Electrical Engineering, Innovative High Power Converters and Controls for Next Generation Offshore Wind Energy Systems, $12,500.

Engage Grants –Six-month grants

  • Dr. Michael Campbell, Department of Chemistry, Neutron activation analysis of precious metals using a medical cyclotron as the neutron source, $23,105 (in partnership with Goldcorp Canada Limited - Musselwhite Mine).
  • Dr. Lew Christopher, Department of Biology, Valorization of Lignin as a Crop Seed Additive, $25,000 (in partnership with Retrievall Inc.).
  • Dr. Siamak Elyasi, Department of Chemical Engineering, Investigation of Electrochemical Reaction in Advanced Oxidation Systems (AOS) Using Numerical Analysis, $25,000 (in partnership with BioLargo Water).
  • Dr. Salama Ikki, Department of Electrical Engineering, Machine Learning based Cyber Threat Intelligence and Detection in the Smart Grid, $25,000 (in partnership with N-Dimension Solutions Inc.).
  • Dr. Baoqiang Liao, Department of Chemical Engineering, Characterization of Membrane Fouling for Optimization of Membrane Filtration Processes for Improved Water Recovery, $25,000 (in partnership with AMEC Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure).
  • Dr. Kefu Liu, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Optimization of Trailer Boat Tail using Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations, $25,000 (in partnership with Transtex Composite).
  • Dr. Azim Mallik, Department of Biology, GIS model for riparian forest management in Ontario emulating post-fire residual forest patterns, $23,400 (in partnership with Resolute Forest Products).
  • Dr. Osama (Sam) Salem, Department of Civil Engineering, Structural Fire Performance of Steel Beams Protected with Innovative Hot Melt Intumescent Composite (HMIC) Material, $24,808 (with an additional $5,000 from 3M Canada Company, and $19,968.00 from OCE VIP I Program).
  • Dr. Wilson Wang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, An Intelligent System for Fault Diagnostics in Mining Equipment, $25,000 (in partnership with GoldCorp Incorporation).

Graduate Student Funding

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program - $17,500 for one year

  • Davide Marchese, Physics, Organization of Supramolecular Structures on Boron Doped Si-(111)

  • Mackenzie Simpson, Computer Science, Optimization of Emergency Department Scheduling

  • Joseph Tassone, Computer Science, Machine Learning for Forest Fire Detection
  • Victor Xiao, Biology, Study of B-cell activating factor (BAFF) and A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) activation in Haemophillus influenzae

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

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 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Convocation celebrates 400 graduating Lakehead University students

A blonde haired woman wearing blue and white regalia and a blue cap is pictured with an older gentleman in spectacles holding a certificate alongside an older woman in black and yellow regalia

Honorary Degree recipient, Charles Pachter (centre), is pictured with President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson and Chancellor Lyn McLeod before addressing graduates at Lakehead Orillia’s convocation ceremony on Saturday, June 8.

A tall man with a black cap wearing red and white regalia, a man of Anishnaabe heritage, a woman wearing black and yellow regalia, and a woman wearing blue and white regalia with blue cap 

2019 Civitas Award winner Mark Douglas (centre) is pictured with Lakehead Orillia Principal Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans (right), Chancellor Lyn McLeod, and Dr. Moira McPherson.

June 8, 2019 – Orillia, ON 

This year, 420 students graduated from Lakehead University with over 241 proudly walking across the stage in front of family, friends and faculty during the Orillia campus’s convocation ceremonies June 8 at Rotary Place.

“Our graduates have accomplished so much here at Lakehead Orillia, and we are confident that their efforts, going forward, will make our world a better place," said Dr. Moira McPherson, President and Vice-Chancellor.

“Whether they've earned a professional degree in Education, Business Administration, Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Work, or Science, their studies at Lakehead have also prepared them to navigate the rapidly-shifting economic and political uncertainties of tomorrow.

That sentiment was echoed by 2019 voice from the class Zoe Dhillon, Honours Bachelor of Arts with specialization in English. In her address to the graduating class, Dhillon recognized and appreciated the shared experiences gained throughout their time together.

“Through small class sizes, we have developed immense interpersonal skills, learning to adapt and aid others in the pursuit of further knowledge. Through our professors, we have learned invaluable lessons within our respective fields, knowledge that will inspire us to seek out new opportunities in the world and, certainly, knowledge that will stay with us for the rest of our lives,” she said.

“Together, we have enjoyed our successes and learned from our areas of growth. And finally, through ourselves, we have learned just how capable we truly are.”

Chancellor Lyn McLeod used her closing remarks to remind graduates to maintain an enthusiasm for learning that was forged during their time at Lakehead.

"The world of our graduates is not the world I have lived and worked in — it is a world that they will help to shape," said McLeod. "I am confident that they will be open to new ideas and new approaches, and that they will become aware and engaged participants in their new environments." 

During Saturday’s ceremony, Lakehead University also bestowed honorary awards on two outstanding individuals for their contribution to the university and community. Distinguished and internationally recognized contemporary artist Charles Pachter received a Doctor of Fine Arts, and Anishinaabe Elder and storyteller Mark Douglas was presented with the Civitas Award for his significant contributions to Indigenous education at Lakehead University.

The university also presented six awards to students during the ceremony.

  • Lloyd Dennis Award for Outstanding Citizenship (Orillia): Tristen Taylor
  • The William A. West Scholar Awards for Education (Primary-Junior): Crystal Jones
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Science and Environmental Studies (Sustainability Studies): David Khorsand
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Science and Environmental Studies (Anthropology): Annaliese Eber
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Social Sciences and Humanities (English): Zoe Dhillon
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Social Sciences and Humanities (Interdisciplinary Studies): Megan Gramigna

This year, Lakehead University graduated approximately 2,200 students from its Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses.  

– 30 –

Media contact: Jaclyn BucikMarketing and Communications AssociateLakehead Universityjbucik@lakeheadu.ca or 705-330-4008, ext. 2014.

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 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Rows of people are gathered in an arena for Lakehead University's convocation ceremony

PACIFIC workshop and town hall meeting at Lakehead University

 June 10, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.  

The PACIFIC workshop, supported by the European Union, highlights the growing demand for minerals and metals for sustainable energy and presents a low-cost and non-invasive technique for mineral exploration.

This new technique locates and directly images ore bodies beneath the surface.

The workshop will be held on the 12th and 13th of June at Lakehead University in the Centennial Building, room 3031.

What is PACIFIC?

PACIFIC (Passive Seismic Techniques for Environmentally Friendly and Cost-Efficient Mineral Exploration) is a consortium of universities, government agencies and private companies that is developing new mineral exploration tools with support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.

What is passive seismic technique for imaging?

The passive seismic technique allows geologists to look inside the Earth’s crust and detect ore deposits, using geophones deployed at the surface. A geophone, as the name indicates, is a device that ‘listens to the Earth’ by recording seismic waves. Seismic noise is generated permanently at the surface of the globe, due to the interaction between the atmosphere, the oceans, the solid Earth, and also to human activities due to blasting, trucks, trains, wind turbines. The technique reads the fingerprint of the subsurface and produces 3D tomographic images down to depths of about one kilometre.

Workshop description

The workshop will briefly summarize the status of mineral exploration worldwide, the characteristics of ore deposits, and the societal perception for the mining industry. Then it will highlight the fundamentals of common geophysical methods used for mineral exploration, with a focus on passive seismic methods, and special application of the passive reflection seismic technique at Marathon.

The program is available here.

Town hall meeting

5:15 pm on Wednesday, June 12 – Centennial building room 3031

The town hall meeting will be an opportunity for representatives of local and national media (TV, radio, newspapers and social networks) to ask questions and learn more about passive seismic technology, and review preliminary results of the tests conducted in Marathon, Ontario.

Participation to the workshop and town hall meeting is free (subject to seats available). If you are interested in attending, please contact Rosemary Fauyjaloun at rosemary.fayjaloun@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr.

The Department of Geology is pleased to promote this workshop as the activities complement the research activities of Lakehead University faculty and students. 

 

– 30 – 

 

Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

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 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

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