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Ian Roberts ('14)
Ian Roberts (’14) headed to Mount Allison planning to pursue a degree in biochemistry but soon found his way to the physics department.

This change of direction evidently worked well. The Port Williams, NS resident recently took second place for his astrophysics research presentation at the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference.

“My research looks at the structure of meteoroids, in particular double peaked meteors, when a meteor fades out and then lights up again while moving across the sky. I’m working to find out where this comes from, why it happens. Conventional meteor theory expects meteors to produce only a single-peaked light curve, making this double-peaked effect an observational anomaly.”

Working with esteemed physics professor and 3M Teaching Fellow Dr. Bob Hawkes (’72), Roberts is coming up with a physical model to explain this meteor action. Early results show that it is working well.

Along with working as student summer researcher, a teaching assistant, and at Mount Allison’s Gemini Observatory, Roberts also completed research at the Canadian Automated Meteor Observatory in Ontario for two weeks this past summer.

Roberts is also a member of the Mount Allison golf team, a participant and past mentor with Leadership Mount Allison, the University’s signature leadership development program, and Health Care Outreach. Health Care Outreach is a student society whose aim is to provide support to outreach initiatives in health-related areas. Recent projects have included the Terry Fox Trek, where Mount Allison students hiked in Gros Morne and the White Mountains, raising over $20,000 for cancer research in the past two years. The group is currently working on a brain tumor support package in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. The support package includes a number of resources for brain tumor patients and their families, with a focus on mental health needs.