Mount Allison researchers net over $1-million in funding
6/22/2015 11:19:55 AMLatest projects on campus include research on climate change, sex, and genetics
SACKVILLE, NB — Several Mount Allison University researchers were the recipients of new funding recently announced by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Six faculty members in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, geography and environment, mathematics and computer science, physics, and psychology received funds for research, student positions, and specialized equipment over the next three to five years.
“The recent announcement of NSERC funding shows once again that faculty at Mount Allison are engaged in consequential research in a variety of fields,” says University Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research Dr. Karen Grant. “It is gratifying to see our faculty members succeeding on the national stage, particularly in the current highly competitive environment. As well, these researchers are providing our students with opportunities to acquire first-hand experience in research as a result of their success at NSERC.”
Psychology professor Lisa Dawn Hamilton is examining the relationship between stress and sexual response in humans. Hamilton and her team will study underlying mechanisms, such as cognitive changes, nervous system activity, and hormone levels, which can help explain the effects of different kinds of stress on sexual function.
Hamilton’s lab will also seek to understand individual differences in stress sensitivity and examine gender/sex differences.
Geography and Environment professor Josh Kurek is investigating environmental trends in Canadian lakes and rivers, with a focus on those ecosystems that support wild salmon populations. Kurek and his research team, including several Mount Allison students, will be examining freshwater ecosystems in western (Vancouver Island, BC), and eastern (Gaspe, QC and Northern NB) regions of Canada to determine causes of recent environmental changes and their potential impacts on juvenile salmon habitats.
Using lake sediment records of known age and indicators preserved within these natural archives, Kurek will be able to track the long-term environmental changes, and effects from these, for some of the country’s most pristine freshwaters.
Additional Mount Allison researchers that received NSERC funding include:
Andrew Irwin (math and computer science); Projecting marine plankton responses to climate change using realized niches;
Vett Lloyd (biology), Epigenetics of nonmodel organisms;
Dave Hornidge (physics), Investigations of Hadronic Structure using CBTAPS at the Mainz Microtron (recipient of a SubAtomic Particle Physics grant with researchers at the University of Saskatchewan and Saint Mary’s University); and
Jeff Waller (chemistry and biochemistry), Refrigerated microcentrifuge system for molecular biology, protein biochemistry, and metabolite analysis.
Several Mount Allison University recent graduates also received Canadian Graduate Scholarships to pursue their Master’s degrees at universities across the country. Among them is Neal Callaghan (BSc ’14) who is pursuing his Master’s in biochemistry at Mount Allison. Callaghan’s project, supervised by biochemistry professor Tyson MacCormack, looks at the effects of subcritical temperature oscillations on preconditioning of the metabolic response in the Atlantic salmon.
Photo caption: Mount Allison University geography and environment professor Josh Kurek, second right, takes some sediment samples with students at Sackville’s Silver Lake in 2014. Kurek was one of six Mount Allison researchers who received funding from NSERC during their June 22 national announcement.