NSERC Grants 6 Million in Grants to Memorial Researchers

From lichen & ocean science, to "sexual selection in social environments," to "DNA Damaging Enzymes," Research at MUN just got a whole lot richer.

Both faculty and graduate students at MUN are among the recipients of grants and scholarships awarded recently by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The combined total of which is $5,304,397 over five years.

“Discovery Grants” do just as their title implies – they foster and further the discoveries of research in fields related to natural sciences and engineering. In other words, they “provide core funding and freedom so Canada’s best researchers can pursue their most promising ideas and breakthrough discoveries.” 24 of 45 Discovery Grants were awarded to work happening at MUN’s Faculty of Science. Discovery Grants

In addition to the Discovery Grants, Three Research Tools and Instruments Grants were awarded to the Faculty of Science to pay for new equipment, and one Discovery Accelerator Supplement was awarded to the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, which will provide substantial and timely resources to researchers who have a superior research program that is highly rated in terms of originality and innovation.

A combined total of $696,500 in scholarships over two- and three-year instalments were awarded to students as well: two doctoral students from the faculties of Science and Engineering and Applied Science were awarded Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships to pursue doctoral studies. Six students from the Faculty of Science and the School of Pharmacy were awarded scholarships from NSERC’s Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program, which supports high-calibre students who are engaged in doctoral programs in the natural sciences or engineering.

“These grants afford Memorial’s researchers with unique opportunities to engage in novel, potentially groundbreaking research,” said Dr. Richard Marceau, vice-president (research), Memorial University. “They also recognize the wealth of research expertise present at Memorial and will contribute to exploring new avenues in support of industry and society as a whole in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The announcement was made in Oshawa, Ont., at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology by Ed Holder, minister of State (Science and Technology). The program reflects a $340-million investment in more than 3,800 researchers at more than 70 universities.

The Overcast will, in future issues and web posts, try and cover some of the work of select researchers at MUN.

Discovery Grants

Faculty of Science

  • Dr. Robert Bertolo, Department of Biochemistry, Creatine metabolism in young pigs
  • Dr. Suzanne Dufour, Department of Biology, The control of extracellular bacterial symbionts in thyasirid bivalves
  • Dr. (Dawn) Heather Marshall, Department of Biology, Genetic and genomic investigations of hereditary and infectious wildlife diseases in non-model organisms
  • Dr. Eric Vander Wal, Department of Biology, The eco-evolutionary dynamics of habitat- and density-dependent animal behaviour
  • Dr. Yolanda Wiersma, Department of Biology, Micro to mega-landscapes: scaling arboreal lichen pattern and processes in the boreal rainforest
  • Dr. Christina Bottaro, Department of Chemistry, Interfacing mass spectrometry with new materials developed for fast targeted analysis
  • Dr. Michael Katz, Department of Chemistry, New frontiers in metal-organic frameworks: chemical, optical, and electrochemical control of pore size/aperture
  • Dr. Antonina Kolokolova, Department of Computer Science, Efficient computation in the real world
  • Dr. Harold Wareham, Department of Computer Science, Efficient options for characterizing and deriving groups of interactive agents
  • Dr. John Hanchar, Department of Earth Sciences, Crystallization, alteration, and ore-forming processes of iron oxide apatite (IOA) ores and related host rocks in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile
  • Dr. Penny Morrill, Department of Earth Sciences, Investigating microbial carbon transformations in the ultramafic biosphere and carbon fluxes through serpentine spring portals
  • Dr. Thomas Baird, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Equivariant topology and symplectic geometry
  • Dr. Candemir Cigsar, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Statistical methods for the analysis of recurrent events and event history data
  • Dr. Danny Dyer, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Time and motion in graphs
  • Dr. Asokan Mulayath Variyath, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Variable selection in joint modelling of longitudinal and survival data and multi-response optimization in designed experiments
  • Dr. Brajendra Sutradhar, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Parametric and/or semi-parametric dynamic mixed models for discrete spatial and/or longitudinal data
  • Dr. Patrick Gagnon, Department of Ocean Sciences, Mechanisms of stability of urchin-dominated barrens in Southeastern Newfoundland
  • Dr. Gordon Andrews, Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Brillouin light scattering studies of two-dimensional layered materials systems
  • Dr. Brad DeYoung, Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Ocean dynamics in the Northwest Atlantic
  • Dr. Mykhaylo Evstigneev, Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Building the bridge from atomistic to stochastic modelling of nanoscale friction phenomena
  • Dr. Jacqueline Blundell, Department of Psychology, Neural mechanisms underlying associative and non-associative fear memories
  • Dr. Darlene Skinner, Department of Psychology, The role of the head direction cell circuit in behavioural demonstrations of direction learning
  • Dr. Aimée Surprenant, Department of Psychology, Testing the generality of the specificity principle of memory
  • Dr. David Wilson, Department of Psychology, Sexual selection under social constraints

School of Pharmacy

  • Dr. John Weber, Chemical analyses and biological activities of berries and their components

Faculty of Medicine

  • Dr. Mani Larijani, Division of BioMedical Sciences, Ancient biological functions of present day DNA-damaging enzymes involved in the immune system

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

  • Dr. Tahir Husain, Low cost water filtration technology for small communities
  • Dr. Jonathan Anderson, Tools and trade-offs for security adaptation
  • Dr. Xili Duan, Heat transfer and phase change materials for thermal energy storage and thermal management applications
  • Dr. Eric Gill, Radio wave scattering from rough surfaces – theory and application to ocean remote sensing with HF and marine radar
  • Dr. Benjamin Jeyasurya, Power system stability monitoring and control using synchrophasors
  • Dr. Samir Nakhla, Composite structures for offshore and harsh environment applications
  • Dr. Greg Naterer, Entropy based design and convective heat transfer in multiphase flows
  • Dr. Mohammad Rahman, Scaling laws for multiphase flow in pipelines and wellbores
  • Dr. Mohamed Shehata, Vision algorithms for emerging applications
  • Dr. Rocky Taylor, Mechanics of iceberg and sea ice failure in offshore engineering applications
  • Dr. Jianming Yang, Dynamics and fatigue analysis of planetary gear trains under random loading

Faculty of Arts

  • Dr. Carissa Brown, Department of Geography, Non-climatic controls on tree species distributions under climate change

Fisheries and Marine Institute

  • Dr. Deepika Dave, A bio-processing strategy for full utilization of sea cucumbers for production of high value nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals

Faculty of Business Administration

  • Dr. Ginger Ke, Transportation of hazardous materials: management, co-ordination and optimization
  • Dr. Jeffrey Parsons, Using concept lattices to reconcile semantic heterogeneity in data

Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program

  • Dr. Susan Ziegler, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Preparatory tools for investigating trace environmental signatures
  • Dr. Anthony Gamperl, Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, Echocardiographic equipment for marine organism and small mammal research
  • Dr. Annie Mercier, Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, Upgrade and expansion of microscopy and imaging suite for multifaceted studies

Discovery Accelerator Supplements

  • Dr. Eric Gill, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Radio wave scattering from rough surfaces – theory and application to ocean remote sensing with HF and marine radar

NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships – Doctoral

  • Sara Klapstein, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science
  • Catherine Little, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science
  • Bonita McCuaig, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science
  • Emaline Montgomery, Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science
  • Tyler Ensor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science
  • Matthew Lamont, School of Pharmacy

NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral

  • Jessica Besaw, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
  • Hamed Tebianian, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
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