Research Stars

40 Research Stars

Faculty members whose consistent and significant research excellence achieved at Lakehead University have been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally.

40 Research Stars

Many people have contributed to Lakehead University's success since it was established in 1965.

To help celebrate our 40th Anniversary, Lakehead issued a call for members of the Lakehead University community to submit nominations for 40 Research Stars: 40 faculty members whose consistent and significant research excellence and productivity achieved at Lakehead University have been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally.

Among the awardees, 20 represent disciplines supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and 20 represent disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, arts, and health supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

All nominations received by January 30, 2006 were reviewed by the Lakehead University Senate Research Committee, and a final selection was made.

This list does not downplay the contributions of many others who have achieved research excellence. Rather, the individuals who have been identified are deemed to have made a singular mark on the 40 years' evolution of research at Lakehead University.

* Recipient of a Lakehead University Distinguished Researcher Award
Prof. Rick Anderson
Professor Emeritus of Economics who developed a national and international reputation as a natural resources and regional economist. Authored two texts on natural resource economics and regional economic analysis that are considered classics in the field.
Dr. Michel Bédard
Canada Research Chair in Aging and Health and Director of the Master of Public Health Program at Lakehead University whose research is focused on aging, with a particular interest regarding automobile driving, caregiver burden, and medication management.
Dr. Graham Borradaile*
A geologist renowned for an original application of his paleomagnetic measuring techniques to determine the relative ages of stones used in ancient buildings. Applies physics, statistics, and mathematical-computing techniques, and develops new principles and techniques in his research.
Dr. Alan Bowd
Professor Emeritus of Education whose research area concerns learning and communication issues for children with special needs in Canada's north. Research has been focused on AIDS prevention, and the evaluation of appropriate service provision for young people with disabilities.
Dr. Keith Brownlee
Research work has revolved around the issues that influence and affect social work practice in northern and remote communities. Has published six edited books on northern social work practice, and more than 50 chapters and journal articles.
Dr. Lionel Catalan
Canada Research Chair in Industrial Waste Management and Site Remediation whose research focuses on treatment of metal wastes by stabilization and solidification processes, remediation of petroleum contaminated soil, and measurement of odorous sulphur compounds in air emissions.
Dr. Mary Clare Courtland
Collaborates extensively on literacy research with educators across Northwestern Ontario, and co-investigator of a longitudinal SSHRC study on teacher education and literacy. Helped to develop the Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Studies and served as the Founding Director.
Dr. Qing-Lai Dang
A forest physiological ecologist whose research explores how trees respond to changes in environmental conditions and interactions between different environmental factors. Focused on the response of boreal trees to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.
Dr. Livio Di Matteo
Well known for his research and commentary on public policy, health economics, public finance, and economic history. Published in the Journal of Health Economics, the European Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Economic History, and the Canadian Tax Journal.
Dr. Todd Dufresne
An internationally known scholar of Freud and psychoanalysis with two edited collections and three books, including one being translated into Japanese for a major academic publisher in Tokyo, and another being published by Stanford University Press. 
Dr. Thomas Dunk
His research and publications on male working-class identity have received national and international recognition. His current research focuses on theories of the knowledge-based society and on the conflicts over values and nature that economic and social change generate.
Dr. Said Easa*
A civil engineer whose pioneering research on three-dimensional design and new curves has resulted in improved guidelines that have made highways safer. Editor of the Journal of Transportation Engineering (design area) of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Dr. Richard Freitag
Professor Emeritus of Biology whose main research interests are the evolutionary history of tiger beetles of the Americas and Australia, and the environmental biology of forest floor arthropods. Author of over 50 scientific publications on these research endeavours.
Dr. Laurie Garred*
Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering who is a world expert on the application of basic chemical engineering concepts for the optimization of life sustaining dialysis treatments. Author of book chapters in two state-of-the-art reference texts on dialysis treatment.
Dr. Gary Genosko
Canada Research Chair in Technoculture Studies whose research work is focused on information and social issues, particularly administrative surveillance systems in Canada affecting First Nations people. Has published 14 volumes and numerous articles on contemporary cultural theory.
Dr. Scott Hamilton
An archaeologist and ethno-historian specializing in Northern Plains and the Subarctic, including Pre-contact Aboriginal culture history, whose applied and academic research is supported with SSHRC grants and a CFI award to expand research capacity at Lakehead in GIS.
Dr. Ronald Harpelle
A specialist in the history of Central America and the Caribbean with a particular interest in Canada's role in International Development. Author of The West Indians of Costa Rica and producer/co-director of "Banana Split," an award-winning documentary film about Canada's favorite fruit.
Dr. David Holah*
Professor Emeritus of Chemistry who is interested in inorganic and organometallic chemistry and the bleaching of mechanical wood pulps with hydrogen peroxide. Was a member of Centre of Excellence project, "Science and Engineering for High-Value Papers from Mechanical Wood-Pulps."
Dr. Syed Serajul Islam
An expert on the politics of Islamic identity in Southeast Asia, and author of eight books and nearly 70 articles published in refereed journals. Past recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship, one of the prestigious awards in the social sciences.
Dr. Margaret Johnston
Research is focused on sustainable tourism, special events, community involvement and change, and tourism in the Arctic and Antarctic. Current research involves exploring community capacity building and other human legacies of hosting events such as the Canada Winter Games.
Dr. Stephen Kinrade*
Kinrade and his students are unravelling the chemistry of aqueous silicon and applying this knowledge to develop new technologies. Industrial uses of silicon range from cement to modern electronics, and silicon is an essential trace nutrient for plants and animals.
Dr. Murray Lankester*
Professor Emeritus of Biology who is an expert on diseases of wild animals, such as how lake trout get thousands of worms in the swimbladder, how a few people each year get Lyme Disease, and what limits the growth of caribou populations.
Dr. Azim Mallik*
A biologist with expertise in the area of Disturbance Ecology with particular emphasis on forest and riparian ecosystem response to natural and anthropogenic disturbances such as forest harvesting, fire, and flooding. Recipient of the Grodzinski Award for allelopathy research.
Dr. Bruce Minore
Research Director for the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research (Lakehead University Site) where he works on projects that have a direct policy/program focus — either in the delivery of care, or in the recruitment and retention of health professionals in the North.
Dr. Sher Ali Mirza*
Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering who is an authority on structural safety, frame stability, and behaviour of reinforced concrete and composite steel-concrete structures. Research led to several innovative design and testing procedures. Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Roger Mitchell*
Professor Emeritus of Geology who is a world-recognized igneous petrologist. Recipient of many honors for his research on diamond-bearing rocks. Lakehead's only Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, one of the highest honors given to a scientist in Canada.
Dr. El Molto
An authority on the analysis of human skeletal remains, currently directing projects in Egypt, Mexico, and China. His paleogenetic research resulted in the development of Lakehead’s internationally renowned Paleo-DNA Laboratory, providing stimulus for biotechnology in the region.
Dr. Douglas Morris*
An evolutionary ecologist exploring how evolution by natural selection creates repeated patterns in behaviour, biodiversity, and the distribution and abundance of species. Publishes regularly in the top journals of ecology and evolutionary biology.
Dr. Bruce Muirhead*
An active researcher, having published three books with university presses, and is a recipient of several SSHRC research grants, and one Bank of Canada research grant. His current research project relates to the evolution of post-1945 Canadian overseas development policy.
Dr. Krishnamoorthy Natarajan
Research is on finite frequency response estimation and its use for controller designs for electrical and process control systems. Has been a member of the NSERC-supported Centre of Excellence on Thermo-mechanical Pulping.
Dr. Inderjit Nirdosh*
Research field is Mineral Processing where he has studied various key aspects of milling of ores, such as flotation, leaching, and electrochemical methods of metal recovery. Has held several NSERC Strategic Grant Awards to date.
Dr. Brian O'Connor
Conducts research on personality and abnormal psychology, and mental health and psychological adjustment. Develops software for statistical analyses of data. Served on national research grant adjudication panels. Consulting editor for two scientific journals.
Dr. Umed Panu*
An internationally recognized researcher for his pioneering research on pattern-based analysis and synthesis of hydrologic data. Current research develops group-based innovative methodologies for infilling of missing data. The first to apply pattern recognition approach in water resources.
Dr. Vireshwar Paranjape*
Professor Emeritus of Physics whose research focuses on understanding the internal structure of solids, how the solid is bound together, what is its electrical composition, and how the properties of the solid change under external stimuli — electric, magnetic fields, or temperature.
Dr. William Parker
A forester interested in matching seeds to planting sites to achieve the best possible growth responses. His research combines the traditional approach of common garden growth trials with the new technology of geographic information systems.
Dr. Ellie Prepas
Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Water Management whose current research focuses on Forest Watershed and Riparian Disturbance. A university-industry research collaboration earned national recognition in 2004 as a recipient of the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation.
Dr. Rao Puttagunta*
Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering whose research with Atomic Energy of Canada and Alberta Research Council laid the foundation for development of a breakthrough equation at Lakehead, which is the industry standard for predicting oil viscosity in oil sand.
Dr. Harun Rasid
An authority on environmental fluvial geomorphology and floodplain research. Initiated a project on Sustainable Floodplain Management in the Red River Valley, Manitoba, which helped to solve flood problems especially in and around the City of Winnipeg.
Dr. Ken Rotenberg*
Built an extensive body of research on the development of disclosure processes across the lifespan, exemplifying the amalgamation of applied and basic research. Instrumental in establishing Lakehead's first PhD program, in Clinical Psychology.
Dr. Constance Russell
Research includes critical environmental education, human/animal relations, ecotourism, and integrated environmental studies programs. SSHRC-funded project examines primate-focused ecotourism. Co-editor of Canadian Journal of Environmental Education.