Category Research spotlights
 

Bishop’s hires Dr. Joachim Jean-Jules as new Director of Office of Research and Graduate Studies

Dear members of the Bishop’s community,

It is my pleasure to announce the University has hired Dr. Joachim Jean-Jules as Director of its Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS), to support our campus researchers in their quest for academic excellence. 

Dr. Jean-Jules is keen to begin a dialogue with Bishop’s University researchers to hear about their priorities and their needs and how ORGS can best support them.

The University is very grateful to the Dean of Science, Dr. Kerry Hull, who assumed the duties of the ORGS Director on an interim basis. I also want to commend Dr. Samia Mihoub, who was until recently our Research Grants Officer, for her exemplary work over the last years.  We also extend our thanks to Jimmy Couturier, the Graduate Studies Coordinator, and Blazena Sokol, the Administrative Assistant, for their unwavering commitment and heightened efforts during the interim period.

Dr. Jean-Jules holds a Ph. D. in Business Administration from the Université de Sherbrooke, an MBA from Université du Québec à Montréal as well as a Master’s in Project Management from Université du Québec. He was until recently Research Director at the Canadian Institute for Entrepreneurship and Management (CIEM).

Please join me in extending our warmest Bishop’s welcome to Dr. Jean-Jules and wishing him a great deal of success in his crucial task.

Dr. Andrew Webster
Vice-Principal, Academic and Research 

Dr. Jason Rowe appointed as Canada Research Chair in Exoplanet Astrophysics for a second term

Headshot of Dr. Jason RoweBishop’s University is pleased to announce that Dr. Jason Rowe, of the Physics and Astronomy Department, has been renewed as the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Exoplanet Astrophysics for an additional five years.

This support from the National Canada Research Chairs allows Dr. Rowe and Bishop’s students and researchers involved with Dr. Rowe’s Exoplanet Research Lab to continue to discover and characterize exoplanets. Understanding exoplanets’ origins and composition may help determine the existence of other habitable planets and life beyond Earth.

 

 

 

 

Carina Nebula image taken by the JWST. The image is divided horizontally by a curved line like a mountain range forming orange-brown clouds at the bottom of the image. The top of image is blue with bright stars of different sizes speckled across.

Due to his outstanding contributions to exoplanet astrophysics, Dr. Rowe is among a select group of researchers with access to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which can see farther across space and time than its predecessor, Hubble.

Over the next five years, Dr. Rowe will lead the Canadian POET (Photometric Observations of Extrasolar Transits mission) exoplanet mission and will be a Co-Investigator for NASA’s New Frontiers Pandora mission and for Canada’s CASTOR (The Cosmological Advanced Survey Telescope for Optical and UV Research) project.

Bishop’s University congratulates Dr. Rowe on this recognition of academic excellence. Learn more about Dr. Rowe’s research here.

MEDIA REQUESTS:
Sonia Patenaude
Communications Manager
sonia.patenaude@ubishops.ca | 819-342-2587

 

New book by Dr. Simplice Ayangma Bonoho – L’OMS en Afrique centrale : Histoire d’un colonialisme sanitaire international (1956-2000)

Dr. Simplice Ayangma Bonoho, Bishop’s first Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, authoured a new book entitled L’OMS en Afrique centrale : Histoire d’un colonialisme sanitaire international (1956-2000).

The book retraces the history of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) health policies in central Africa, starting from the genesis of the WHO to the independence of African colonies to the fight against persistent illnesses such as malaria and Human African trypanosomiasis. Situating the WHO within central Africa’s historical and political context, Dr. Ayangma Bonoho explores how the WHO’s interventions influenced African countries’ population health, public health policies, training of health professionals, and campaigns to eradicate contagious diseases.

This work is a useful resource for scholars interested in the history of public health, international development and humanitarian aid.

Dr. Ayangma Bonoho’s book is available through Éditions Karthala here (in French only).

 

 

The Canada Foundation for Innovation funds a Neurophysiological data acquisition platform for Bishop’s University

Dr. Russell Butler

Dr. Russell Butler, Assistant professor at Bishop’s University’s Department of Computer Science received a Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) award of $72,492 to purchase an Electroencephalography (EEG) system with physiological recording and eye tracking to establish a high throughput neurophysiology platform at Bishop’s University specifically devoted to studying the link between EEG signals, human personality, and brain white matter pathways.

Dr. Butler applied for this grant with Dr. Rafael Tedesqui, of Bishop’s University’s Department of Sports Studies and Dr. Maxime Descoteaux, of the Université de Sherbrooke.  The team’s objective is to study the structural basis of EEG brain rhythms and their role in shaping personality, academic and athletic performance across individuals.

Electroencephalography (EEG) is the most widely used tool for non-invasive quantification of human brain activity. EEG records the brain’s electrical activity en-masse via surface electrodes on the scalp. EEG is commonly used to infer neurophysiological parameters such as peak frequency and power. However, despite its widespread usage, our understanding of what drives individual differences in EEG peak frequency and power is incomplete. The purpose of this research is to set up an in-house EEG recording facility at Bishop’s University for high throughput acquisition of EEG signals from a diverse student body of healthy undergraduates (ages 18-24). EEG recordings will be performed in a large sample. The team will then select from the large sample a sub-sample to maximize the variability in the dataset and perform diffusion MRI at the neighboring hospital, to obtain white matter metrics. Finally, they will correlate the white matter metrics with the EEG parameters and personality measures, to better understand what drives individual differences across a healthy population.

Hosting the equipment directly at Bishop’s University facilitates the experiments and allows for increased participant throughout, yielding higher statistical power and a more diverse set of experiments, in addition to providing a unique experience to our students. An advantage of the current platform is that it is intrinsically multidisciplinary, sitting at the crossroads of neurophysiology, performance, and personality research. The equipment will amplify the already collaborative nature of the research team and increase the appeal of Bishop’s for attracting the most talented highly qualified personnel.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, announced more than $64 million to support 251 research infrastructure projects at 40 universities across the country. This contribution will help universities more competitively recruit and retain outstanding researchers by helping acquire the state-of-the-art labs, equipment, and facilities they need to make discoveries that will have an impact on Canadians.

Dr. Rowe ranked 14 among Canada’s Top Physics Scientists

Dr. Jason Rowe, Canada Research Chair in Exoplanets Astrophysics at Bishop’s University has been ranked #14 among Canada’s Top Physics Scientists by Research.com.

This ranking is based on data collected from Microsoft Academic Graph on December 6th, 2021.

Dr. Rowe’s position in the ranking is based on his scientist D-index (Discipline H-index) which includes papers and citation values. Research.com used a ranking method based on a meticulous examination of 51,056 scientists’ profiles in the discipline of Physics.

Dr. Rowe has a D- index of 124, with 54,286 citations and 314 publications. Planets, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Planetary system, and Exoplanets are his primary areas of study. Dr. Rowe’s CRC research program’s objectives are to discover and characterize a large sample of exoplanets to understand the origins of diversity in the basic properties of planets, including mass, radius, density, and atmosphere. Dr. Rowe searches for extrasolar planets to learn if there may be other planets similar to earth. He leads an outstanding research team composed of top students from Bishop’s University and post-docs and has multiple collaborations and partnerships with top Physics scientists across the country and oversees.

Bishop’s University is proud of having Dr. Rowe as a member of our community and grateful for his commitment to our students, leading them to new horizons of excellence and success.

https://research.com/scientists-rankings/physics/ca

New Publication by Valerio Faraoni – Cosmic Analogies: How Natural Systems Emulate the Universe

Dr. Valerio Faraoni of the Department of Physics & Astronomy has authored a new monograph entitled Cosmic Analogies: How Natural Systems Emulate the Universe in August 2022.

It is known that we have a century of research in cosmology but far less in earth sciences, and hardly anyone has studied new analogies between natural systems and theoretically possible universes. With that in mind, Dr. Faraoni’s new book comes into being. It ties together disparate fields of science with a lively look at analogies between relativistic cosmology and various physical phenomena, including equilibrium beach profiles, glacial valleys, the shape of glaciers, heating/cooling models, freezing bodies of water, capillary fluids, Omori’s law of earthquake aftershocks, lava flows, and a few mathematical analogies to help better understand natural systems and solve problems.

Dr. Faraoni’s new book is available on this website.

Cosmic Analogies: How Natural Systems Emulate the Universe

Dr. Elisa Gagnon Obtains a FRQSC Research Support for New Academics Grant

Dr. Elisa Gagnon

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be described as a branch of computer science that examines the processes of human intelligence with the goal of synthetizing intelligence and establishing ideal thinking and behavior. We are routinely interacting with AI-based systems. When you look for information on Google, follow a recommendation for a new show on Netflix or even ask Siri what the weather forecast is for the next day, you are doing so thanks to AI.

Nowadays, companies are operating in increasingly complex environments, and must continuously take actions to improve their business processes and decision-making. One way to do so is to incorporate Artificial Intelligence to improve the effectiveness of operations through automation (replacing human decision-making and actions with technology) and augmentation (supporting and improving human decision-making and actions with technology). Although the development of genuinely artificial intelligent machines has yet to happen, the consensus is that the potential uses of AI could go beyond impacting the nature of work and will likely change economic mechanisms and business models.

However, there is uncertainty for businesses on how to manage AI and its imperfections. When developing the algorithm for AI, developers can make errors or unconsciously introduce prejudices, or the data used to train the algorithm can be biased, which could result in the algorithm being skewed. If those situations arise in an artificial intelligence system that is so complicated that a human cannot understand how the AI arrived at this conclusion (called Black box AI), errors may go unnoticed.

Dr. Elisa Gagnon, Associate Professor at the Williams School of Business, was awarded a FRQSC Research Support for New Academics for the project Rethinking How Humans and Machines Make Sense Together. With this project, Dr. Gagnon aims to enhance our understanding of explainable AI. Explainable AI is the opposite of black box AI; as such, it is transparent, and humans can understand how the AI arrived at its conclusion. With explainable AI, humans and machines can work together to augment and enhance each other’s capabilities, explains Dr. Gagnon. This study addresses a specific emerging challenge in the practice of AI. It aims to examine where we should draw the line between rejecting and embracing black box AI. This research project should facilitate the development of guidelines and the move to the design, development, and practices of explainable AI.

The Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) support and promote excellence in research, and the training of the next generation of researchers. In June, the results of their 2022-2023 competitions were made available to the research community. The aim of the Research Support for New Academics program is to help support a new generation of university academics by assisting early-career faculty to establish themselves as independent researchers, become competitive nationally and internationally, and train the next generation of students.

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies continues to grow, thanks to the RESEARCH SUPPORT FUND

The Research Support Fund (RSF) of the Government of Canada is a program that provides funds to cover a portion of the costs associated with managing the research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Research Support Fund grants are based on the funding received by researchers from the three federal agencies in the three most recent years for which data are available. One major objective of the RSF is to support the costs for management and administration of the institution’s research enterprise, which includes a portion of the costs associated with salary expenses for staff members who provide administrative support to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS).

Thanks to the RSF, the ORGS recently hired Blazena Sokol in the new Administrative Assistant Research & Graduate Studies position. Blazena holds a legal administrative assistant certificate and has been working in an office environment for over twenty years, working for Stanley T. Couple PLC, Campbell Strata Management and Highland Foundry Ltd. In her role as Administrative Assistant Research & Graduate Studies, Blazena will provide general administrative, operational, coordination and technical support for the conduct of research programs and the ORGS. 

If you have any question for the ORGS, do not hesitate to contact us!

 

New Publication by Osire Glacier – Freedom for Morocco: A Family Tale

Dr. Osire Glacier of the Department of Religion, Society and Culture has authored a new monograph entitled Freedom for Morocco: A Family Tale.

Freedom for Morocco: A Family Tale is a historical and autobiographical book. By weaving together two intertwined narratives, a personal account invites readers into the home of one Moroccan family. A collective narrative reveals the shared struggles of Moroccan citizens for democracy.  By alternating between micro- and macro-histories, this book presents fragments that have long been erased from the history of contemporary Morocco.  Thus, it offers a corrective re-examination of concepts and key events conveyed by official historical sources from 1921 to the present day, notably Morocco’s anti-colonial uprisings, the emergence of neocolonialism under the guise of formal independence, the institutionalization of predatory capitalism, the establishment of a democratic façade, the Islamization politics of the governing elite and the emergence of Islamism.

Book Cover of "Freedom for Morocco: A Family Tale"

Dr. Glacier new book is available on this website.

Dr. Genner Llanes-Ortiz is Appointed Canada Research Chair in Digital Indigeneities

On June 10, 2022, 1:00 p.m., Bishop’s University will officially announce the appointment of Dr. Genner Llanes-Ortiz, Assistant Professor of the Department of Sociology, as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Digital Indigeneities. To begin the event, The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau and The Honourable Geneviève Hébert will say a few words. Then, Dr. Llanes-Ortiz will hold a Storytelling Panel discussion with a few guests, during which they will exchange stories on how they envision and understand the role digital media currently play or should play in the protection and reclamation of Indigenous ways of knowing. This activity will take place in the Bishop’s Library Learning Commons Agora, and is open to the public.

Dr. Genner Llanes-OrtizIndigenous peoples employ multiple technologies to preserve and promote their history, languages, and knowledge. This revitalization movement sometimes take the form of digital media activism, where Indigenous peoples (re)adapt cultural practices, and use digital media and tools, for cultural and linguistic revitalization, and political mobilization. The diverse ways in which Indigenous peoples use and transform these digital technologies is what we call Digital Indigeneities.

As Canada Research Chairholder, Dr. Genner Llanes-Ortiz proposes to collaboratively investigate Digital Indigeneities in the Americas, namely, how Indigenous peoples in Canada, Mexico and Guatemala develop and use digital technologies to reclaim, protect and stimulate their cultural and language heritage. This initiative will be the first to bridge Indigenous researchers and activist networks from Latin America with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada to analyze and showcase the ways Indigenous peoples are using technological advancements to sustain and cultivate their identities, knowledge, life ways, languages, and traditions. Digital media adaptation and its possibilities to support Indigenous cultural and language revitalization are currently discussed by Indigenous scholars in North America, but relevant examples and academic contributions from Indigenous Latin America are still missing in these discussions, explains Dr. Llanes-Ortiz. Conversations between North America and Latin America have been limited by their different colonial languages (English vs French, Spanish vs Portuguese), as well as by how differently Indigenous peoples express and protect their knowledge and identities. As an Indigenous Maya researcher and now holder of a Canada Research Chair, I hope to facilitate these important conversations and build bridges across these different contexts.

Dr. Llanes-Ortiz’s participatory research program will thus explore four interrelated areas of Digital Indigeneities, which all focus on the reclamation of Indigenous languages and knowledges. Dr. Llanes-Ortiz and his team will work collaboratively with Indigenous partners to follow research protocols that support Indigenous ownership and control of data and information. In this way, they will create a repository of Indigenous language digital activism, which describes a wide range of initiatives (e.g., films, podcast, blogs, applications, etc.) that aim to prevent Indigenous language displacement and loss. They will also support the digitization of Indigenous cultural archives and collections in Canada to increase their accessibility. This research program will also work on the creation of interactive digital maps of interest for First Nations in Canada and Indigenous peoples in Mexico and Guatemala, using for example audiovisual recordings and photographs, local knowledge and practice or environmental information. Finally, they will engage with Indigenous activists to discuss and analyze the impact that their activities have on Indigenous debates.

In collaboration with different Indigenous partners in Canada and in the Maya region (Mexico and Guatemala), Dr. Llanes-Ortiz’s Canada Research Chair research program will contribute to redressing the pernicious legacies of settler colonialisms in the Americas. The digital tools, methods, and platforms that his team will investigate and build up with Indigenous partners also have the potential to be used as pedagogic aids to develop culturally relevant education for Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and youth.