Category Research spotlights
 

NSERC’s Science Odyssey Comes to Life in Lennoxville with Dr. Estelle Chamoux

NSERC’s Science Odyssey Comes to Life in Lennoxville

From May 4th to May 19th, 2019, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) invites Canadians from all over the country to take part in Canada’s biggest festival of science and technology aimed at explorers of all ages. Dr. Estelle Chamoux of the Department of Biology happily took part in this initiative and introduced some of the wonders of science to local youth in a number of science outreach activities held at Bishop’s University and at Alexander Galt Regional High School.

On May 8th and 15th, third- and fourth-graders from the École primaire Saint-Antoine trekked out to the Bishop’s campus for an activity entitled Microscopes en folie (“Microscopes Gone Wild”), where they got to explore one of the university’s biology laboratories, look through microscopes to discover spectacular tissues such as carrot root, pollen, human skin, brain, insect wings and chicken embryos. With great enthusiasm, they also learned about human anatomy by carefully examining Oscar, the department’s anatomical dummy.

Teens studying science with their teacher Mr. Mark Learned at Alexander Galt Regional High School also had the opportunity to experience a novel, hands-on approach to human genetics in an activity entitled “Inspector Genetico,” where they recreated a familial pedigree to better understand how scientists work to find the genes that may be responsible for the transmission of a genetic disease. This is a complex topic that was made compelling and accessible thanks to Dr. Chamoux’s novel approach to active teaching and learning. She was assisted by a student and a graduate of Bishop’s University’s Department of Biology, Katina Landry and Sonya Anvar ‘19, who were eager to share their love of science with youth. And who knows? Dr. Chamoux, Katrina and Sonya may just have inspired a few of these students to consider studies in cellular biology or in genetics!

Estelle with kids and microscope

Estelle at Galt

Katrina with kids

Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin Brûlé Designs and Leads Scenario-Based Training for Senior UN Women Leaders

From March 4th to 8th, 2019, Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé of the Department of Politics and International Studies facilitated for the second time a scenario-based training on UN peacekeeping operations in Entebbe, Uganda as part of the Senior Women Talent Pipeline. The SWTP stems from a UN initiative to increase the number of women in senior positions in UN peace operations. The SWTP course has been put together by the UN and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), a government agency under the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs which focuses on peace, security and development.

The scenario written by Dr. Martin-Brûlé ran twice as part of the Senior Women Talent Pipeline course. A total of approximately sixty women underwent this three-hour long simulation facilitated by Dr. Martin-Brûlé. These women already had significant expertise in missions administration and support, political affairs and mediation, civil affairs, rule of law and security institutions, and/or public information. Should they be deployed, they will be posted in UN peace operations in Africa or in the Middle East and will be called upon to manage large, diverse and multifunctional teams. As a result of her contribution to this training process, Dr. Martin-Brûlé’s research on senior-leadership training, gender and on the success and failure of peacekeeping missions can achieve greater impact on the organizations that may most benefit from her expertise.

United Nations Regional Service Centre, Entebbe

Photo credit: United Nations Regional Service Centre, Entebbe

Dr. Osire Glacier and Dr. Jason Rowe Receive the 2019 Emerging Scholar Award

The Senate Research Committee at Bishop’s University has awarded the 2019 Emerging Scholar award to two outstanding researchers in their respective fields: Dr. Jason Rowe, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Dr. Osire Glacier, of the Departments of Politics and International Studies, History and Religion.

Dr. Jason RoweDr. Jason Rowe holds a Canada Research Chair in Exoplanet Astrophysics and has been a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy since July 2017. He has been a member of the Kepler team as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow; his contributions to the first Kepler discoveries and his work on the measurement of the fundamental parameters of exoplanets earned him NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. He was also a member of the SETI (“Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence”) team as a research scientist, where he contributed to the discovery of several Earth-sized exoplanets. He subsequently received a second NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. He has authored or co-authored over 200 publications and was named by Clarivate Analytics as one of the world’s top 1% most cited researchers in their respective fields in 2017. He continues to collaborate with NASA and with the Canadian Space Agency.

Dr. Osire GlacierDr. Osire Glacier is a scholar of women’s history, of the politics of gender, sexuality and human rights in postcolonial Morocco and a prolific author. She has published five peer-reviewed monographs since 2013: Femmes, Islam et Occident (Pleine Lune, 2018); Femininity, Masculinity and Sexuality in Morocco and Hollywood (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017; translation, Le sexe nié : le féminin, le masculin et la sexualité au Maroc et à Hollywood, published by Pleine Lune in 2019), Les droits humains au Maroc: entre discours et réalité (Tarik Editions, 2015), Universal Rights, Systemic Violations and Cultural Relativism in Morocco (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), Des femmes politiques d’hier à aujourd’hui (Tarik Éditions, 2013; translation, Political Women in Morocco : Then and Now, Africa World Press, 2013), as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Glacier has also been very active in engaging in knowledge mobilization activities, including engaging in a local Café scientifique, giving radio interviews for Radio-Canada’s French-language and Arabic radio stations, contributing to documentaries, contributing articles or op eds for several mass media outlets in Canada and abroad, and taking part in community roundtable discussions in order to share her expertise. She also disseminates her research on very timely and relevant topics in easily accessible terms on her website, etudesmarocaines.com.

New Publication by Dr. Jack Eby

Dr. Jack EbyDr. Jack Eby of the Department of Music has recently published a new monograph entitled François Giroust (1737-1799): Composer for Church, King and Commune (Olms, 2019). This is the first detailed biography and musical catalogue dedicated to François Giroust, Surintendant of the King’s music at the court of Louis XVI. Giroust was a major musical figure of the 18th century whose early and spectacular rise to fame earned him a position at the Royal Chappel in 1775, at the court of Louis XVI. He composed music for just about all revolutionary events in Versailles in the years leading up to the French Revolution. His motets and masses represent the finest sacred music in France at the end of the Ancien Régime.

Jack Eby has been studying and researching François Giroust’s musical oeuvre and legacy for years, and this volume is the culmination of his careful and painstaking work in the archives of Versailles. He is an associate researcher with the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles.

François Giroust (1737-1799): Composer for Church, King and Commune

Bishop’s Physics Student Accepted at the Perimeter Institute

Jeremy Côté

Jeremy Côté, a senior undergraduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Bishop’s University, is one of the few Canadians to be accepted to the Perimeter Scholars International Program, a “one-year master’s level course in theoretical physics designed to bring highly qualified and exceptionally motivated graduate students to the cutting edge of the field in an intense, interactive training environment.” This internationally-renowned institution is, according to Dr. Valerio Faraoni, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Bishop’s University, “a dream that came true, a place of genius and inspiration. It is hard to imagine a better place to study, to do research and to be inspired and transformed for a young scientist interested in fundamental questions.” Admission to this program is a privilege that very few scholars get to enjoy; indeed, only 30 students are chosen among the hundreds of applications received yearly, and the institution receives applications from top young scholars around the world. Jeremy’s success is a testimony of his hard work and dedication throughout his undergraduate studies, and of the extraordinary department that supported and guided him throughout his undergraduate career. Careful mentoring on behalf of the members of this department (faculty and graduate students) gave Jeremy some insight into the doors that graduate studies would open for him: “One of the big factors for deciding to pursue graduate studies was the summer research that I got to do at Bishop’s,” Jeremy says. “I’ve worked as a research assistant for the past two summers (and will do so again this upcoming summer), and this work has allowed me to see the professional possibilities in physics.” For Jeremy, studying at the Perimeter Institute will be a unique opportunity because it will allow him to sample various fields of physics without having to specialize too early on in his career.

As Dr. Faraoni notes, “the Perimeter Institute accelerates the process of creating the future of theoretical physics. Thanks to an unmatched vision, generous private and public support, clever and enthusiastic administration, and an outstanding board of directors and advisors, funding and other issues that are challenges in other institutions become forces to drive progress.” Jeremy’s studies at the Perimeter will be fully funded, including a personal stipend, and meals, accommodation, books, IT equipment and a travel supplement will be provided.

With his Master of Science from the University of Waterloo in hand, Jeremy hopes to pursue a career that will allow him to indulge in his passion for education. “I’m interested in solving new problems in physics in order to better our understanding of the world,” Jeremy notes, “and in helping others learn about physics and mathematics so that they can solve problems that captivate them.” The tremendous experiences and learning opportunities that await him in the coming year will surely allow him to achieve this goal!

Le Sexe nié: A New Publication by Dr. Osire Glacier

The French translation of Osire Glacier’s monograph, Femininity, Masculinity, and Sexuality in Morocco and Hollywood: The Negated Sex (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017) will be published by Les Éditions Pleine Lune under the title Le Sexe nié : Féminité, Masculinité et Sexualité au Maroc et à Hollywood. A launch event will be held on Thursday, March 7, 2019 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Librairie l’Euguélionne (1426 Beaudry St., Montreal).

This publication proposes an ideology of emancipation for women in Morocco. It examines constructs of the body, of femininity and of masculinity and analyses the central role played by the sociopolitical writing of sexuality in creating a gender hierarchy. The parallel drawn by Dr. Glacier between masculinity and femininity as constructs of Moroccan culture and of Hollywood cinema sheds light on the way language, social practices, cultural production and legal texts contribute to such a gender hierarchy in two very different parts of the world.

Dr. Osire Glacier teaches in the Departments of History, Religion, and Politics and International Studies. This new publication follows on the heels of Femmes, Islam et Occident, also launched by Les Éditions Pleine Lune in 2018.

All are welcome to attend this book launch!

Le Sexe nié by Dr. Osire Glacier

A Grant from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec to Fund A Research and Co-Creation Project in Fine Arts

Regine Neumann, Fine Arts technician at Bishop’s University, has received funding for an on-going research project in collaboration with the FabLab in Valcourt. The grant in the amount of 18000 $ was awarded by the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec (CALQ)  in collaboration with the Conseil de la culture de l’Estrie, and as part of a regional agreement : Estrie – Creation, production, dissemination / Visual arts.

Her project in research and co-creation, entitled Sculpting the future: The edge between art and technology, the individual and the collective consists in the exploration of the potential of digital and collective processes in the contemporary practice of sculpture, as well as in participatory and site-responsive art. This interdisciplinary and experimental study aims to involve the population of Valcourt in the research and creation processes and to explore the fine line that divides art and technology, the individual and the collective.

My artistic approach has long been to merge my interest in the transformation of raw material, of places, and of people in the creation of a work of art that has a rallying effect, that celebrates the moment and the community in which it was created and that tends to offer participants a peek at a potential future or at a change in our usual perspectives. – Regine Neumann

Regine Neumann holds a Master’s degree in Sculpture, Installation and New Media from Alanus University in Bonn, Germany.

Sculpture by Regine Neumann
Regine Neumann. Time-sensitive material series #6: Computer-aided augmentation of the perception of earth.
Brötchenwelt
Regine Neumann. Brötchenwelt (world of small buns)

Research Support Fund: Supporting Knowledge Mobilization at Bishop’s University

Paleomission

Researchers contribute to the growth and wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects, and share the fruits of their research with their peers in academic publications, posters presentations or colloquia. However, there is an increasing preoccupation with getting this knowledge out to the end-users who will most benefit from it. It is a matter of accountability for the use of public funds; it is a matter of having an impact on our society; it is a matter of getting research results out of academia and into the real world.

To this end, many researchers engage in knowledge mobilization, which can take all sorts of forms: using social media, hosting a Café Scientifique, a public event in which the researcher engages in a meaningful dialogue with the public or with a targeted audience, hosting workshops, etc.

Dr. Matthew Peros, Canada Research Chair in Climate and Environmental Change, is collaborating with researchers in Cuba to examine how the environment of submerged caves off the coast of Cuba, where remains of a long-extinct species of sloth have recently been found by cave divers, can provide clues into the impacts of climate change may have had on the fauna and flora of this region in ancient times.

Dr. Peros and his collaborators have mounted an exhibition presented at Sherbrooke’s Science and Nature Museum.  The public was invited to discover breathtaking photographs of underwater cave and learn how bone remains and soil samples can teach us about climate variations that took place hundreds of thousands of years ago. More than 1200 individuals of all ages visited the exhibition. In order to support Dr. Peros in this knowledge mobilization initiative, Research Office staffed assisted in drafting an agreement between Bishop’s University and the Science and Nature Museum in Sherbrooke, in drafting the storyline that formed the foundation of the exhibit, and in translating captions used to identify images, objects and artefacts presented at the museum.

The Research Support Fund of the Federal Government supports a portion of the costs associated with the Research Office’s activities, such as salary expenses for staff members who provide support for knowledge mobilization activities.

Dr. Heather Lawford is Appointed Canada Research Chair, Youth Development

Dr. Heather Lawford

On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Bishop’s University will officially announce the appointment of Dr. Heather Lawford, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology, as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Youth Development. This event, which will be attended by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, and by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, will also include representatives of Students Commission Canada and of Minister Bibeau’s Youth Council.

What steers one young person to a life of beneficiary service to a community and another to engage in terrorism, presumably to defend a set of beliefs? Both paths represent very different legacies that young people are leaving for the future, an idea that researchers refer to as generativity. Yet, societally, we know very little about the developmental course of generativity before midlife. Dr. Heather Lawford, newly appointed Canada Research Chair in Youth Development, examines the developmental roots of generativity in the first youth-centered study of its kind. Dr. Lawford’s research program will include an in-depth study of young people who are exemplary in their actions to leave a lasting benefit to society. She will also develop the first measure of generativity in youth. Her research will contribute to an overall knowledge base of how youth express and deepen their commitment to generativity, enhance our capacity to understand generativity across the lifespan, and inform our efforts to facilitate generative development.

There is a need to engage and motivate youth to behave as responsible and contributing citizens, and this research is particularly relevant to that end. Youth who have already connected to their generative motivations often enjoy a significant advantage as they prepare for adulthood. In Canada today, youth inform national policy, through the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, where their voice is heard on issues such as education, environmentalism, and gender equality. Dr. Lawford’s research to date suggests that generativity plays a significant role in the development of youth purpose and overall thriving. As a community, we benefit by supporting youth in their generative development. Thus, implications of this research range from improving individual well-being to informing local and national organizations in terms of program and policy recommendations.

Graduate Studies at BU: An Unlikely Trajectory, An Inspiring Experience

Veeresh Pavate completed an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Business Administration in 2005. After some time spent on the job market teaching at the Cégep level and working in industry, Veeresh returned to Bishop’s to complete the course-based Master’s of Education (M. Ed.) in Leadership, Societies and Language, with the hopes of combining his two areas of expertise, teaching and learning technology. Veeresh completed his M.Ed. in 2018, in spite of the considerable challenges posed by a health condition he has had since birth: he suffers from Thalassemia, a genetic condition that leads to a dangerously low production of hemoglobin in the blood, and that obliges him to travel out every three to four weeks to the McGill University Health Centre where he receives blood transfusions.

Over the course of his graduate studies at Bishop’s, Veeresh came to be inspired by the research and leadership of Dr. Christopher Stonebanks, Professor in the School of Education, who opened his student’s eyes to action research, that is, research undertaken with a view to solve a specific problem, typically in collaboration with the individuals or stakeholders directly affected by this problem. Upon noticing his student’s enthusiasm and curiosity, Dr. Stonebanks suggested the possibility of moving on to doctoral studies. An idea that Veeresh Pavate considered, with some reservations. Would this be possible given his health condition? Would a Ph.D. focused on learning technologies provide him with the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution? His professor sensed his hesitation, and took the time to meet with him to exchange honestly and earnestly. “He kept asking me: what would make you happy? Would you feel fulfilled doing that?” Veeresh explains. “This led me to think: what I really want is to have a positive impact on those who, like me, suffer from Thalassemia. I want to show them that they can go as far as they want, that they can be themselves without hiding. In many countries, this condition is something of a taboo. Here in Canada, too few people understand this condition, its impacts and the needs of those who suffer from it.”

This was how Veeresh found his calling in Health Education. Dr. Richard Hovey, a specialist of patient centered care and communication in healthcare working in the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University, agreed to supervise Veeresh’s doctoral studies, which will consist of a phenomenological study of the challenges of living with Thalassemia.

Going from Computer Science to Education, and completing one’s studies in a Faculty of Dentistry is an unlikely trajectory, but is one that was facilitated by the liberal arts education he gained at Bishop’s University. “I came to have a very multidisciplinary profile thanks to my experience at Bishop’s, and I think that as a result I can bring an interesting dimension to this type of research. But most importantly, this is a trajectory that will allow me to contribute meaningfully to society, and, importantly, to be myself.”

Veeresh Pavate