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Into the great outdoors

From observing rare species in a tropical rainforest to sitting in an abandoned farmer’s field north of Kingston studying the relationship between plant size and abundance of wildflowers and grasses, there is a wide array of areas of study in field biology.

[Let's Talk Field Biology]
Queen's University Let’s Talk Science is hosting “Let’s Talk Field Biology” on Saturday, April 22, 2-8:30 pm at Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre. (University Communications)

Just what a field biologist does, what the career offers, and a closer look at the world around us will be in the spotlight as Queen’s University Let’s Talk Science presents “Let’s Talk Field Biology” on Saturday, April 22, 2-8:30 pm at Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre.

“Field biology is this amazing field of science that very few people understand or get to experience so this is really just an event that celebrates the fascinating work that is done by field biologists and offers the public a chance to experience something that they may not know even exists,” says Amanda Tracey, a PhD candidate in the Department of Biology and one of the event organizers. “Importantly, the event will also showcase local field biologists and a lot of the work that is done at Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS).”

Activities are planned throughout the day, says Ms. Tracey, one of the Queen’s coordinators for Let’s Talk Science along with fellow PhD candidate and organizer Catherine Dale. Visitors will be able to take part in hands-on events such as building feeders and learning to read the age of trees (dendrology), and hear from field biologists about their work. Also on the schedule is a bonfire chat, led by members of the field biology blog “Dispatches from the Field,” including Ms. Tracey, Ms. Dale and Sarah Wallace, who recently earned a master’s degree and currently works at the Royal Military College, and a night hike.

The event is being held on Earth Day and will provide an inside look at the facilities at Elbow Lake, one of the properties of QUBS.

The free event is open to participants of all ages and is family friendly. Events are scheduled throughout the afternoon and visitors can drop in at any time. However, because Elbow Lake is a working biology station and field research is conducted on the premises, no pets are allowed.

More information is available online or contact talksci@queensu.ca.

Fostering connections at Royal Society of Canada seminar

[RSC Eastern Ontario]
Three Queen's researchers – Elizabeth Eisenhauer, Ugo Piomelli, and Una Roman D’Elia – will be making presentations at the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada on Saturday, April 22.

Four members of the Royal Society of Canada will be presenting their ongoing research at an upcoming event being hosted by Queen’s University on Saturday, April 22.

Four researchers – three from Queen’s and one from Carleton University– will provide insights into their work at the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada, set for the University Club from 10 am-4 pm.

The schedule of presentation includes:
10 am: Ugo Piomelli, FRSC, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering – Queen’s University “Turbulence simulations: unravelling disorder, one vortex at a time”
11 am: Una Roman D’Elia, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Department of Art History and Art Conservation – Queen’s “Donatello and Pygmalion”
2 pm: Elizabeth Eisenhauer FRSC, Department of Oncology – Queen’s “Moving from the lab to the clinic – 30 years of progress in cancer treatment”
3 pm: Donald Beecher, FRSC, Department of English - Carleton “Boccaccio's ‘Tale of Titus and Gisippius’ (Decameron X.8) with a Coda on Friendship from a Cognitive Perspective

Along with presenting the research by Fellows and Members of the New College of Young Scholars Artists and Scientists one of the goals of the seminar is to foster discussion and connections, explains Pierre du Prey, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art History and co-chair with Mike Sayer, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy.

“Participants, including our four speakers each year, make fruitful contacts among each other and the audience; contacts which stretch between the four universities represented and which cross disciplinary lines,” says Dr. du Prey. “Overarching themes emerge as if by magic from the diverse papers presented and the discussion that follows them. In this way arts and science become reunited by the common quest for knowledge.”

After 12 years at the helm, Dr. du Prey and Dr. Sayer are handing over direction of the forum, confident that it is set on a stable course, and bound for exciting new destinations. Hosted by Queen’s and actively encouraged by the RSC, it gives New Scholars and Fellows of the Society, as well as members of the general public, a chance to benefit from discourse at the highest level. The presentations are open and free to the public.

RSVP by April 19 at sayerm@queensu.ca, or 613-531-4853. 

Bound for BISC

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon has announced the appointment of J. Hugh Horton as vice-provost and executive director, Bader International Study Centre (BISC) and Herstmonceux Castle Enterprises (HCE) for a five-year term effective July 1, 2017.

[Hugh Horton]
Hugh Horton has been appointed vice-provost and executive director, Bader International Study Centre (BISC) and Herstmonceux Castle Enterprises (HCE).

“I am very pleased that Dr. Hugh Horton has accepted this appointment,” says Dr. Bacon. “Hugh has extensive international experience as well as an impressive academic and leadership record. Hugh has a deep understanding of both the BISC and Queen’s and will bring tremendous personal integrity, conscientiousness and commitment to this role.”

Dr. Horton is a professor of chemistry and is currently serving as the interim vice-dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Over the past seven years, he has held a number of leadership positions within the faculty, including associate dean (studies) and associate dean (international).

In his current role, Dr. Horton is responsible for six academic departments while retaining responsibilities for the international portfolio of the Faculty of Arts and Science. He has worked as the academic liaison between the BISC and Arts and Science, notably leading the development and launch of the first-year science program at the BISC. He has led several Queen’s delegations to China to negotiate 2+2 programs and study abroad agreements. He was also responsible for introducing the Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program in the Faculty of Arts and Science. 

Dr. Horton will work with the current BISC management team, who will continue in their respective roles, towards building on their remarkable accomplishments over the past few years.  

Exhibit offers interactive look at Nobel Prize-winning research

The Queen’s and Kingston communities will soon have the opportunity to see where Nobel Laureate Art McDonald and his team conducted their ground-breaking physics experiments without travelling two kilometres underground. 

[Dr. McDonald with SNOLAB collaborators]
An upcoming exhibit will explore the new experiments that current Queen's researchers and students (pictured above) are conducting at the SNOLAB underground facility in Sudbury. (Photo by Bernard Clark) 

The interactive exhibit, New Eyes on the Universe, is coming to Queen’s University this spring. The exhibit highlights the discoveries of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) project. Dr. McDonald shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics for this experiment that proved that solar neutrinos change their flavour enroute to Earth, an important discovery for explaining the nature of matter and the structure of the universe.

New Eyes on the Universe also explores the ways in which the current SNOLAB facilities and experiments continue to push the frontiers in particle astrophysics.

“The exhibit is a wonderful way to bring the Queen’s community closer to the work our team did in Sudbury as well as the research that continues at the facility,” Dr. McDonald says. “We are excited to share the exhibit with the local region as well as with many of our colleagues who will come to campus for the annual congress of the Canadian Association of Physicists in June.”

[Queen's 175th logo]
Queen's 175th anniversary

Queen’s is hosting the exhibit as part of its 175th anniversary celebrations, which will conclude later this summer.

New Eyes on the Universe is a fitting way to cap our 175th anniversary,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “Over the past year, we have reflected on Queen’s monumental contributions, while also contemplating what the future holds for the university. Similarly, this exhibit allows visitors to celebrate Dr. McDonald and his colleagues’ outstanding accomplishments and learn about the ways in which Queen’s researchers, now and in the future, will play a leading role in unlocking the mysteries of the universe.”

Intimate and Interactive

The exhibit’s 40 panels present spectacular images of the history and development of SNO and SNOLAB, which is located two kilometres below the surface in the Vale Creighton Mine near Sudbury, Ont. Video kiosks let visitors explore themes and offer a virtual tour of SNOLAB. Through a life-size virtual display, Dr. McDonald presents information about the work of SNO and SNOLAB and his perspective on the future.

The exhibit also includes a section on the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics, which Dr. McDonald shared with Japanese physicist Takaaki Kajita. There are images from Nobel Week in Stockholm and a display of the Nobel Medal, citation, and artwork.

Exhibit artifacts include unique detector components developed especially for SNO, as well as a scale model of the SNO detector. Another area of the exhibit shares interviews with young scientists who started their scientific careers with SNO.

New Eyes on the Universe will be on display in the atrium of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre from May 27-July 7. Admission to the exhibit and the Agnes is free for everyone.

The New Eyes on the Universe exhibit is owned and circulated by SNOLAB. The exhibit debuted on July 1, 2016 at Canada House, Trafalgar Square in London, and it is touring across Canada this year.

The SNOLAB Institute is operated under a trust agreement between Queen’s University, Carleton University, University of Alberta, Laurentian University, Université de Montréal, and Vale, and includes external and international membership from both academic and industrial sectors. 

More than a pinch of trouble

Researchers examine increased salt levels in North American lakes.

New research, co-authored by Queen’s doctoral candidate Jamie Summers (Biology), has determined that salt levels in many North American lakes are increasing.

[Jamie Summers]
Queen's doctoral candidate Jamie Summers (Biology) has co-authored a study on salt levels in North American lakes. The study found that  as little as one per cent of the surrounding surface area of a lake being paved substantially increased the risk that the lake's salt levels would be elevated, and that over one quarter of fresh water lakes are at risk of ecological damage due to increased salt.

The study also determined that a paved surface area of only one per cent around a freshwater lake substantially increased the risk that the salinity (chloride concentration) of the water would increase. Over a quarter of freshwater lakes in the United States had sufficient paved or impervious surface area within 500 metres of their shores to put them at risk of increased salinization.

“We found, across a fairly large region, that many lakes are becoming elevated in salt concentrations and that the run-off from a relatively small amount of development near a lake likely contributes to this,” Ms. Summers explains. “With our population becoming increasingly urbanized, and urban environments expanding, there is a salt threat to our freshwater lakes.”

The researchers examined long-term trends in salinity levels as measured in lakes and reservoirs across North America, with attention paid to the northeastern United States and the province of Ontario – the North American Lakes Region. The team examined lakes with salinity data dating back a minimum of 10 years, and excluded lakes that varied greatly in water levels.

As many of these lakes are in regions that experience cold winters, the team considered road salt as a source of the elevated lake salinity. The percentage of paved surface area within 500 metres of the lakeshore was used as a proxy for salt inputs. The study found a strong relationship between lake salinity and the percentage of paved surface area, with increasing salinity trends in lakes with as little as one per cent of the land area being paved within the 500-metre buffer.

The researchers estimated that more than 7,770 lakes in their U.S. study region were at risk of elevated salinity, with road salt applications as a likely source. Ms. Summers says these figures are likely a conservative estimate, due to often incomplete lake data. The research team further determined that 14 lakes were on track to reach the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s aquatic life threshold criterion for chronic chloride exposure by 2050.

“We have known for a long time that human activities, such as applying road salt can have an impact on lake ecosystems, but seeing the extent of the problem and how much of an effect urbanization and road salting can have on lakes is an eye-opener,” Ms. Summers says. “A small amount of development in a watershed can yield substantial risks for important fresh waters.”

The paper is the result of a collaboration between the fellows of the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) and data contributions from dozens of sources. An international grassroots network of researchers, GLEON organizes and completes research on lakes and reservoirs all over the world to examine how lakes are responding to a changing global climate. The fellowship consists of 12 PhD candidates who receive 18 months of funding and logistical support to collaborate on a research project in a diverse international team.

The complete study, titled Salting our freshwater lakes, is available online from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Delivering on the pitch

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) recently handed out a total of $28,000 to six companies that participated in its first-ever regional pitch competition.

“The support of the Dunin and Deshpande Foundations makes it possible to provide this type of financial support to QyourVenture and to support ventures in southeastern Ontario,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre.

[Greg Bavington with members of TimberWolf]
TimberWolf Cycles representatives David Timan (Sc'13) and Caitlin Willis (Com'09) receive feedback from Greg Bavington, Executive Director, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, during the recent regional pitch competition. (Submitted photo)

DDQIC hosted the regional pitch competition with the goal of supporting early-stage companies based at Queen’s and the surrounding area.

The pitch competition was open to anyone with a business idea who has not already received more than $5,000 in support from DDQIC. The field included several companies from QyourVenutre, an acceleration program which supports Queen’s students who want to take their idea to the next level. QyourVenture accepts companies on a regular basis throughout the school year, giving them access to space and training for their business venture.

The pitch competition was judged by members of the DDQIC Global Network in London, England, who connected via videoconference, along with the DDQIC executive team. Chaired by Heather Christie (Artsci’09), the London branch is supported by 13 Queen’s alumni who come from a variety of different professional and education backgrounds. This branch offers support to DDQIC ventures that want to expand into the UK and the rest of Europe.

The winning ventures at the pitch competition included:

TimberWolf Cycles ($5,000) – The company, founded by David Timan (Sc’13), produces high-performance road bikes made from wood. Using a variety of woods, Mr. Timan has designed a bike that softens road vibration while efficiently delivering power to the road through an exceptionally lightweight frame.

Capteur ($5,000) – A QyourVenture company, Capteur enables building operators and maintenance companies to ensure facilities are always clean and operating according to sustainable environmental practices. Cole MacDonald (Sci’19) and Nathan Mah (MEI’17) founded the cloud-based technology start-up.

Robot Missions ($5,000 plus time in SparQ Studios) – Robot Missions, founded by Erin Kennedy, has developed a 3D-printed robot that collects harmful tiny trash debris from shorelines. The company’s robot workshops enhance STEM education for elementary students by applying robotics to the environment.

Your Mobility Innovations ($4,000) – Founded by Loyalist College students Dylan Houlden and Brett Lyons, the company designs and produces products to improve the lives of people with physical disabilities and the elderly. Mr. Lyon, who was born with cerebral palsy and confined to a wheelchair, had the idea for an adjustable grab bar when he was eight-years-old. The founders are trying to turn that idea into a reality, working with several partners including Queen’s Biomedical Innovations Team, PARTEQ, and Queen’s Business Law Clinic.

Pronura ($4,000) – Pronura plans to commercialize a non-invasive, inexpensive method for testing for multiple neurological diseases at the same time – all with accuracy unseen in any current tests. The test, developed by Dr. Douglas P. Munoz of the Queen’s Eye Movement Laboratory, uses an eye-tracker to detect unique biomarkers associated with multiple neurological diseases. Founders Matthew De Sanctis and Adam Palter met in the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation program offered by Smith School of Business.

SŌ Seeds ($3,000 plus in-kind donations from the Department of Chemical Engineering) – The venture aims to disrupt the tree-planting industry by replacing saplings with coated super-seeds. SŌ Seeds was founded by five chemical engineering students as part of their innovation and entrepreneurship course under the mentorship of Jim McLellan, Professor and Academic Director, DDQIC.

SWFT ($2,000) – The start-up focuses on developing portable and wireless charging solutions for festivals, stadiums, transit systems, theme parks, and other venues. The service allows patrons to charge their phones without being tethered to charging stations. Friends Greg Fedele (Com’17) and Anish Sharma (Sc’17) founded the company.

Through a variety of programs, services, and resources, the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre encourages, enables, and supports the innovation activities of students, professors, entrepreneurs, and Canadian companies. More information about the centre is available online.

Up against the clock

Graduate students shine in final round of Queen’s 3MT competition.

The pressure was on as 11 graduate students took to the stage in the Dupuis Hall Auditorium to compete in the final round of the Queen’s Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on Thursday, March 30.

Using only one static slide and no props, the students had to present their research to a panel of non-specialist judges.

Neuroscience master's candidate Victoria Donovan delivered a presentation on how the brain responds to trauma. Ms. Donovan won the overall and People's Choice awards and will move on to represent Queen's at the Ontario 3MT.

“Queen’s 3MT is a much-anticipated annual event on campus,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. “Our students put in hours of preparation for their three minutes in front of the judges. The competition helps students hone communication skills – such as making their research accessible and it’s a great way to celebrate the innovative and thought-provoking research our graduate students are conducting across campus.”

A panel of judges, consisting of Principal Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech, communications consultant Robert A Wood, CBC reporter JC Kenny, and Denise Cumming, CEO of the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, graded the competitors on clarity, audience engagement and presentation skills. A long-time supporter of the 3MT competition, CKWS Television host Bill Welychka served as the emcee for the event.

“I have promoted the event on CKWS-TV the past two years and it seems like the coolest thing ever,” said Mr. Welychka. “I love that 3MT combines distilling a complicated subject down to a three minute verbal presentation with dramatic elements, public speaking and engaging the audience. Not an easy undertaking to say the least.”

Victoria Donovan, a master's candidate in neuroscience was named winner and people's choice for her presentation, Lie low, stay alive. Her research is looking at the evolutionary response to traumatic brain injury. Early results provide evidence that high brain shutdown is an evolved reply to trauma – providing clues as to future treatments.

“I've been at Queen's for six and a half years now and have enjoyed every minute of it,” she says. “I’m thrilled to have the chance to represent the university at the provincial championship.”

Ms. Donovan will move on to represent Queen’s at the Ontario 3MT finals on April 12 in Waterloo. The national 3MT winner will be decided through an online vote on videos of the regional champions, conducted on the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies website.

“Competing in the 3MT was one of the highlights of my Masters studies,” says Anastasia Savrova, MSc’17, winner of the 2016 Queen’s 3MT competition. “It was encouraging to hear people were so excited about my research, and this experience has really pushed me to pursue more opportunities where I can get the public more involved in academic research.”

For more information on the Queen’s 3MT competition, or to see video of the finalists' presentations, please visit the website.

2+2 program gives Chinese students best of both worlds

Queen's in the World

Peiwen Li and Ying Chen agree that it’s great to have the best of both worlds – studying both at their home university, Tongji University in Shanghai, and here at Queen’s – through a 2+2 program between the two institutions that began in the fall of 2015.

“We get to experience both universities, receive degrees from both universities, and spend a long period of time in another country,” says Ms. Li, who, along with Ms. Chen and three others from Tongji, will graduate from the program this spring. “It is really useful to be here long enough to learn more about the culture and learn the language fully.”

Peiwen Li and Ying Chen will graduate this spring from the 2+2 program offered through Tongji University in Shanghai and Queen’s. Both will continue with graduate work at Queen’s this fall. (University Communications)

Students enrolled in the 2+2 program first spend two years at Tongji’s College of Environmental Science and Engineering and then, two years in Queen’s School of Environmental Studies. Upon graduation, they are awarded a degree from both universities.

“It has been a really good experience that has broadened our horizons,” says Ms. Chen, who has most enjoyed the field work at the Queen’s University Biology Station (QUBS) and an international field course in Mexico offered by Professor Stephen Lougheed, as well as a field course offered through Trent University in Hong Kong and Taiwan. “It’s been interesting to see the differences in the two education systems and the ways of teaching and learning. Knowing both academic worlds will likely help us with our work in the future.”

Ms. Chen and Ms. Li say the focus at Tongji was more on engineering, while at Queen’s, courses have centred on the social sciences. At Queen’s, they’ve had more flexibility in the courses they can choose, and they’ve enjoyed the longer summer break, which gave them the opportunity to seek out different experiences and spend time thinking about future possibilities (in China, students typically only have about two months off). They both have really appreciated the support from faculty members and teaching assistants, who have understood the challenges associated with studying in a second language and were able to direct them to resources across campus, such as the Writing Centre.

“The Tongji 2+2 program offers exciting opportunities for Chinese students joining us at Queen’s and it enriches teaching and learning experiences for all Queen’s students, staff and faculty who benefit from exposure to diverse and global perspectives,” says Alice Hovorka, Director, School of Environmental Studies. “Ultimately, such international programs promote cross-cultural understandings between our respective institutions and contexts.”

Ms. Li spent last summer working with Dr. Lougheed in a lab on campus – performing DNA extraction from fish samples – through the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP), which she says was an excellent way to gain exposure to lab work. She also visited QUBS several times throughout the summer to attend seminars and the field station’s annual open house – all valuable experiences for Ms. Li.

“The Tongji 2+2 program offers exciting opportunities for Chinese students joining us at Queen’s and it enriches teaching and learning experiences for all Queen’s students, staff and faculty who benefit from exposure to diverse and global perspectives”
~ Alice Hovorka, Director, School of Environmental Studies

Also in her first year at Queen’s, Ms. Li received the Charles Baillie Environmental Studies Scholarship, awarded on the basis of excellence to students entering fourth year of any undergraduate degree program in the School of Environmental Studies.

“It was an honour to receive the award. It felt very encouraging,” says Ms. Li, who will continue with graduate work at Queen’s, beginning a PhD next fall with Dr. Lougheed studying Arctic ecosystems. Ms. Chen will also be staying at Queen’s and working on a master’s degree with Dr. Lougheed – but while Ms. Li loves the detailed focus of lab work, Ms. Chen loves being outside and in the field. Her graduate work will focus on frog phenology – looking at how different biological factors and cycles, such as temperature and humidity, affect their behaviour.

Four other Tongji students are currently enrolled in the first year of the two-year program and will complete their degrees in 2018.

The 2+2 program is one of several collaborations between Queen’s and Tongji University. In 2013, Queen’s and Tongji established the Sino-Canada Network for Environment and Sustainable Development, which provides a platform for research collaboration between faculty members at both institutions, and opportunities for exchange and training. In 2015, Queen’s began collaborating with Tongji on the International Research Laboratory of Yangtze River Ecology, or Intelab-Yangtze.

Internationalization in one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. China is a region of focus within the plan. For more information on the Queen’s-China Connection and Queen’s international program overall, visit the International website.

 

All eyes on the Prize

Prize for Excellence in Research recipients to share knowledge with the community.

Grant Hall will play host to some of Queen’s most exciting and innovative researchers as the recipients of the 2016 Prize for Excellence in Research (PER) deliver a series of keynote addresses on Monday, April 3 from 4:30-6:30 p.m in Grant Hall.

The free, public lecture event will see each of the prize recipients present an engaging 10-minute overview of their work. The lectures – delivered with a non-specialist audience in mind – will focus on a wide array of topics, from art history to evolution.

From Top Left, Clockwise: Stephen Vanner (Medicine), Janet Hiebert (Political Studies), James R. Cordy (School of Computing), Myra Hird (School of Environmental Studies), Gauvin Bailey (Art History and Art Conservation), and Virginia Walker (Biology).

“The Prize for Excellence in Research public lectures give members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities the opportunity to learn from researchers who have made unique contributions in a variety of diverse and exciting fields,” says Dr. John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “The six speakers taking part in this year’s lectures are at the leading edge of their respective fields and reflect the strength, depth and breadth of our faculty. I offer my sincerest congratulations to all of this year’s speakers.”

This year’s lecturers are Gauvin Bailey (Art History and Art Conservation), James R. Cordy (School of Computing), Janet Hiebert (Political Studies), Stephen Vanner (Medicine) and Virginia Walker (Biology). In addition, 2015 recipient Myra Hird (School of Environmental Studies) will deliver her lecture along with the 2016 cohort.

The Alfred and Isabel Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a world-renowned expert in the arts and architecture of early Modern Europe, Latin America and colonial Asia, Dr. Gauvin Bailey’s research examines the art of different regions using multidisciplinary methodologies to pursue the viewpoint of non‐European cultures. He will deliver a presentation titled A Baroque Palace in the Haitian Rainforest.

Dr. James Cordy’s research has led to the development of methods and tools that make the management of today’s large software code bases possible. His work has been used to safely make systematic modifications to large code bases – notably used by Canadian banks to solve the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem – and for identifying trouble spots in other complex programs, such as those behind the development of autonomous vehicles. In his lecture This Means That: Programming by Transformation, Dr. Cordy will dive deeper into the development and management of complex computer programs.

An internationally-celebrated scholar of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Dr. Janet Hiebert is the foremost authority on how bills of rights influence Westminster parliamentary democracy. Her expertise has led to invitations to provide briefs, advice, and expert testimony for governments in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the International Bar Association. Dr. Hiebert will examine the innermost workings of our parliamentary system in her lecture, Can Parliament Protect Rights?

Recognized for his innovative research into the causes of, and treatments for, the pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome, Dr. Stephen Vanner has made a tremendous impact on his field. In his lecture, Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Light and the End of the Tunnel, he will discuss the current state of research in this field, including the work taking place in the Queen’s Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit (GIDRU).

A prolific researcher with an international reputation, Dr. Virginia Walker has contributed more than 150 publications to top science journals in her nearly 40-year academic career. With special expertise in understanding the mechanisms of stress resistance, her research includes the full range of biology from cell and molecular biology, physiology, ecology and evolution, and she has worked on mammals, plants, insects and most recently fish. She will deliver a lecture titled Piecing Together a Cold Quilt.

A Queen's National Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Dr. Myra Hird is a distinguished interdisciplinary scholar with an international reputation for her multifaceted, collaborative investigations into a variety of research areas, including human influence on the environment. Her lecture, Canada’s Waste Flow and our Global Legacy, examines Canada’s place in the global discussions around waste management, conservation and environmental protection.

The event begins at 4:30 pm. It is free and all are welcome to attend. For more information on the Prize for Excellence in Research Public Lectures, please visit the website.

A taste of Canadian history

New exhibit examining unique cookbooks explores Canadian history.

Queen’s University history professor Steven Maynard has cooked up a unique exhibit that examines the social history of Canada. Using cookbooks found in the Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections in Douglas Library, a group of Professor Maynard’s students brought history to life using the rare tomes.

From vintage Jello cookbooks popular in the 1920s to Jewish and Mennonite recipe books from the mid-20th century to the oldest cookbook in Canada published in Kingston in 1831, The Taste of the Library is a new exhibit researched and curated by students.

Learning about Canadian history in this unique project are (l to r): Ashley Anderson, Jack Wilson and Jessie Cook.

“The collection at Queen’s is very extensive,” says Jack Wilson (ArtSci’18). “It made doing the research necessary very easy.”

The idea behind the project was to explore interesting themes in regards to food and what stories cookbooks tell.  Themes include cooking on a budget, preparing meals before there were grocery stores and food trends through the decades.

“We looked at local cookbooks published by community groups, to books that were widely published, to books published by large companies. We looked at one cookbook that had an advertisement on every other page,” says Ashley Anderson (ArtSci’19).

Mr. Wilson added it was also interesting to learn about rationing during the wars as the cookbooks during that time were very basic. Studying a cookbook from 1899, he adds the focus of that book was sustaining the family - nothing more exotic than that.

“We also got to see other ways that recipes changes, including how they were written,” says Jessie Cooke (ArtSci’19). “Early books told more of a story without listing specific ingredients as they took for granted women already knew how to cook. Later cookbooks really focused on exact measurements and making the food perfect.”

Another student in the class loaned to the exhibit her grandmother’s Mennonite cookbook. Those recipes showed more of the cultural history of Canada, as did a number of Indigenous cookbooks contained in the collection.

“These books explained a lot about Canada’s history and also how the Canadian family has changed since the mid-1800s,” says Professor Maynard. “My approach to teaching is giving history a public face and I think this year’s projects achieved that and more. Now students can bring their work to the public so others can also learn something new.

The exhibit opens Thursday, March 30 at 3 pm and is located on the second floor of Douglas Library.

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