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William Leggett receives prestigious lifetime achievement award

Dr. William Leggett.

William Leggett, professor emeritus in the Department of Biology and Queen's 17th principal, has received the H. Ahlstrom Lifetime Achievement Award from the Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society for his contributions to the fields of larval fish ecology.

The American Fisheries Society is the biggest association of professional aquatic ecologists in the world, with over 9,000 members worldwide.

"œIt feels good to be singled out by such large group of people who I respect so highly," says Dr. Leggett. "œI didn'™t expect to receive this award so it'™s a big honour and thrill to get it."

Dr. Leggett'™s research focuses on the dynamics of fish populations and his work as a biologist and a leader in education has been recognized nationally and internationally. A membership in the Order of Canada, a fellowship from the Royal Society of Canada, and the Award of Excellence in Fisheries Education are just some of the awards he has received for outstanding contributions to graduate education and marine science.

The Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society recognized Dr. Leggett'™s "œexceptional contributions to the understanding of early life history of fishes that has inspired the careers of a number of fisheries scientists worldwide and has led to major progress in fish ecology and studies of recruitment dynamics."

The award was recently presented in Quebec City at the 38th annual Larval Fish Conference held in conjunction with the 144th annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society.


Bird droppings provide clues to environmental change

Queen's University researchers John Smol and Matthew Duda have identified concerning trends in a vulnerable seabird.

Led by Queen’s researchers, a collaborative research team of Canadian universities (Queen’s University, University of Ottawa, Memorial University of Newfoundland) and government scientists have identified concerning trends in the population size of Leach’s Storm-petrels, a vulnerable seabird that mainly lives on Baccalieu Island, 64 km north of St. John’s, Nfld.

The study led by Matthew Duda, and co-authored by John Smol, suggests that marine wildlife, including the Leach’s storm-petrel, are not only confronting a range of recent human-induced pressures, but are also responding to longer-term environmental factors.

A sediment core collected from Baccalieu Island. (Photo by Matthew Duda)

“The seabirds act as ‘environmental engineers’ by depositing large volumes of nutrient-rich feces and other refuse, thereby changing the aquatic and terrestrial landscape,” says Dr. Smol, a biology professor and the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change at Queen’s University. “By taking sediment cores from storm-petrel impacted ponds, we can reconstruct past population trends going back centuries or millennia, where many important clues lay hidden.”

The researchers took advantage of the fact that storm-petrels build burrow nests on islands, often around freshwater ponds. Therefore, the ponds’ sediments preserve the effects of changes in the amounts of seabird fecal matter and provide a ‘history book’ of past changes in the environment.

Using a variety of biological and chemical indicators in dated sediment cores, the researchers could track changes in seabird populations going back more than 1,700 years.

Ongoing observations indicate that the seabird population has been declining in recent decades, but that striking changes have also occurred in the past, prior to human impacts.

“Our approach identified striking changes in the colony size of storm-petrels on Baccalieu Island," says Matthew Duda, Queen’s University doctoral candidate in the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL). "First, we confirmed that the population has been declining since the 1980s. More surprisingly, however, we determined that the current colony underwent marked changes in the past, including rapid growth in the early-1800s. Furthermore, we identified an earlier colony about 1,500 years ago that declined without the influence of human stressors. So now in response to the ever-increasing pressure imposed by human activity, the situation is likely even more risky for this important oceanic bird.”

The authors caution that their paleoecological data further reinforce the fragility of seabird colonies and the critical need for evidence-based management.

The research was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Research @ Queen’s: Starting a scintillating search

Over the last decade, SNO+ has taken advantage of a unique piece of research infrastructure and set out on a new mission.

Mark Chen
Mark Chen, the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics, holds a photomultiplier tube (PMT). PMTs are very sensitive light detectors, capable of sensing single light photons and producing an electrical pulse that travels to the data acquisition electronics.


Like a beloved book or movie that you hope has a sequel, the most successful scientific projects cry out for a second act. That is just what has happened to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), which over the last decade has reinvented itself as SNO+, led by Mark Chen, the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics, a project that has taken advantage of a unique piece of research infrastructure and set it on a new mission.

Continue the story on the Research@Queen’s website.

Queen’s to launch memorial fund to honour Iranian plane crash victims

Faculty of Arts and Science student Amir Moradi among the 176 people (including 57 Canadians) who perished on Jan. 8 near Tehran.

Queen’s is joining universities across the country to honour victims of the Iran plane crash that left no survivors last week.

On Jan. 8, 176 people, including Queen’s Faculty of Arts and Science student Amir Moradi, were killed when their plane was shot down near Tehran.

“This tragic loss was a blow to the academic community and to Canada,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “But, in this time of crisis, we are coming together to heal and cope.”

The plane crash had a tremendous impact on post-secondary institutions across Canada as many victims were university students, faculty members, and alumni. Queen’s is one of several universities launching funds in the victims’ memory. The Iranian Student Memorial Scholarship Fund will provide support to Iranian students in financial need. The university will match all donations up to $250,000.

“The Queen’s community continues to mourn the loss of Amir and all the victims of Flight PS752,” says Principal Deane. “By launching this memorial fund, we hope to honour the memory of a promising student. As we work to overcome our sadness and grief, this fund will enable us to create a legacy to help others.”

The Premier of Ontario also announced the creation of a special scholarship fund today in memory of each victim.

There has been an outpouring of grief on the Queen’s campus since the Jan. 8 crash. Flags on campus were lowered to commemorate all the lives lost, and the Queen’s Iranian Student Association and the Office of Faith and Spiritual Life held a vigil last week in McLaughlin Room that was attended by hundreds of people.

Those looking to donate to The Iranian Student Memorial Scholarship Fund can visit the Give to Queen’s website.

Why it’s wrong to refer to the ‘cult of Trump’

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump is welcomed by Vice President Mike Pence as he is introduced during a rally. (Photo by History in HD / Unsplash)

The recent events in Iran have led many to rail against a supposed “Trump cult.”

But suggestions that supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump are exhibiting cult-like behaviour isn’t helpful in an era of significant political polarization.

As those of us who study new religious movements often say, a cult is just a religion that you don’t like — and that pertains to political parties too.

Since Benjamin Zeller, an American scholar of new religious movements, published “The Cult of Trump? What ‘Cult Rhetoric’ Actually Reveals” last fall, allegations that Trump has spawned a cult are appearing more frequently in the media.

One journalist called upon his peers to “to realize that when political parties and leaders begin behaving like a cult, we should think about reporting on them as such.”

There’s a #TrumpCult hashtag on social media platforms.

And Steven Hassan, a former member of Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church who is now a self-described cult deprogrammer, argues in a new book that Trump is a cult leader.

What does it accomplish to allege a Trump cult?

Generally, it substitutes a value judgment in place of a sorely needed argumentative analysis of how voters generate their own political feelings, fantasies and attachments. And this feeds the cycle of polarizing political identities and political institutions.


Examples from Twitter, the media and in Hassan’s The Cult of Trump highlight instructive differences in how the cult concept is being used — and its impact.

Hassan argues that Trump supporters have been “brainwashed” by a charismatic leader. He sees them as deluded zealots who need his help to “wake up from the Cult of Trump.”

Hassan’s approach ignores their agency as well as decades of public education from organizations like INFORM, an independent educational charity that provides information about minority religions and has done important work on discrediting concepts of “brainwashing,” “deprogramming” and “cults.”

It’s worth remembering that the suggestion that Republican leaders were “chosen by God,” as former energy secretary Rick Perry recently described Trump, is nothing new. It was all the rage under George W. Bush and other Republican politicians who have catered to evangelicals.

Without question, Trump’s insistence that “we have God on our side” in the upcoming 2020 presidential election poses a problem for journalists and for public life.

But to describe the entire party as a cult lead by Trump is problematic. If journalists are going to heed calls to refer to the party as a cult and its supporters as cultists, they must define what “cult” means. Otherwise, they are assuming that a cult is some obvious phenomenon and everyone knows what the word means.

The term cult is used frequently by Trump critics on social media. As he criticized former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley’s defence of the Confederate flag, one commentator tweeted:

“Pretty telling that it’s a rite of passage into the Cult of Trump and the modern Republican Party that you have to publicly legitimize the Confederacy, a racist, treasonous, nightmarish dystopia founded on white supremacy and stark economic hierarchies.”

In this example, the cult comparison is incidental to the commentator’s argument about Republican ideology and partisanship. He isn’t arguing that Trumpism is a cult in any serious sense. “Cult” serves as shorthand for Trump’s base that simply adds a rhetorical flourish to a condemnation of Trump supporters on the grounds of their political beliefs.

Moral denunciation

But whether literal or figurative, “cult” discourse hurts critics’ ability to understand Trump’s appeal. The “cult” diagnosis isn’t a reasoned argument, or even an objective description: it’s moral denunciation.

There’s no question Trump policies that hurt people and endanger the world should be denounced. But the “cult” epithet doesn’t speak to those policies; it draws a line between Trump opponents and Trump supporters. And it oversimplifies the way people think and feel about their own beliefs and those on the other side of that line.

So why is it used so often?

It turns out that avoiding the temptation to make in-groups and out-groups — meaning dividing social groups into those who believe what we believe and those who don’t — is very difficult.

U.S. politics professor and author Lilliana Mason recently argued that it takes very little to activate a sense of group identity in people, and lead them to become hostile towards the out-group.

Indeed, the fact that we’re all susceptible to this kind of in-group/out-group thinking shows that politics is not just about reason, it is also about emotion. Political emotions are often layered with religion for Trump-supporting evangelicals who believe in a tough love that will lead to salvation for America.

To dismiss such people as being under the sway of a cult misses what Trumpism offers them. It therefore makes it harder to understand Trump’s power. It also makes it more difficult to understand the circumstances of Trump supporters’ lives. It makes other people’s feelings seem foreign, when they may be fundamentally common.

In conclusion, while there are many legitimate ways to critique Trump, demonizing his voters doesn’t help us understand why they are attracted to him, how their worldview has developed and how to do something about it.


[ Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter. ]The Conversation

Sharday Mosurinjohn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at Queen's University.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Updated statement on Iran plane crash

Queen’s mourns loss of student enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Queen’s University is mourning the loss of one of its students who was on board the plane that crashed in Iran on Wednesday.

Amir Moradi was enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Queen's contacted the family to offer support and condolences.

Remembering Amir Moradi
A funeral service for Queen’s students Amir Moradi, one of the 176 victims killed when Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down on Jan. 8, 2020. The Funeral Service will be held 1:30 pm Sunday, Jan. 26 at Elgin Mills Funeral Center, 1591 Elgin Mills Rd., Richmond Hill, ON. A reception to celebrate his Amir’s life will follow at 4 pm at Persian Palace Restaurant, 10711 Yonge St. Richmond Hill.

"Having just received new information, it is with great sadness that I must now convey that one of our undergraduate students has perished in the plane crash tragedy in Iran. That tragedy, which has touched so many of our higher education institutions in Canada, has now affected Queen’s directly. We offer our condolences to Amir's family and friends and to all the members of our community mourning loved ones and colleagues,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

Flags on campus have been lowered to commemorate all of the lives lost.

The university is also reaching out directly to students from Iran to let them know of the support and services available on campus, and many of these students have been meeting at the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) to find fellowship and support.

The campus community is urged to reach out in support to anyone they may know who has been impacted by this terrible event.

Students in need of support are encouraged to contact QUIC at 613-533-2604, Faith and Spiritual Life  at 613-533-2186, or Student Wellness Services at 613-533-2506. Empower Me provides 24/7 confidential counselling by phone and online, and a post-secondary student helpline called Good2Talk is also available for 24/7 confidential support at 1-866-925-5454.

This statement will be updated as further information is made available.

Women in Computing conference comes full circle

The Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing brings together leaders in research, education, and industry as well as students for inspiration and engagement.

  • CAN-CWiC Wendy Powley
    Wendy Powley, Assistant Professor at the Queen's School of Computing, speaks during the Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing (CAN-CWiC). (Photo by Doug Martin/Queen's School of Computing)
  • Aspirations in Computing awards
    The Aspirations in Computing awards recognized high school students from across Canada who are interested in computing. The awards were given out at CAN-CWiC for the first time. (Photo by Doug Martin/Queen's School of Computing)
  • CAN-CWiC crowd
    More than 750 participants from across Canada attended CAN-CWiC, which was hosted at the International Centre in Mississauga for the first time. (Photo by Doug Martin/Queen's School of Computing)
  • Participants laughing while attending an event
    CAN-CWIC offers a number of presentations, talks, and workshops that provide opportunities to connect with colleagues and peers from across Canada. (Photo by Doug Martin/Queen's School of Computing)
  • Participants smiling while attending an event
    CAN-CWiC is an opportunity for students and young professionals to meet their peers and hear from those who are already working in the technology field. (Photo by Doug Martin/Queen's School of Computing)

The drive to bring women in technology together and to inspire and engage the next generation is only getting stronger, bigger and better.

The Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing (CAN-CWiC) – which began as an Ontario-only event in 2010 – attracted 750 participants from across the country in early November and brought together leaders in research, education, and industry as well as students. To meet the demands of the increased attendance and travel needs, the conference was hosted at the International Centre in Mississauga for the first time.

The Queen’s School of Computing played a key role in creating the original event and Assistant Professor Wendy Powley continues to be the general chair of the organizing committee. Over the years, she has seen not only amazing growth but a strengthening of the conference’s roots with many attendees coming back to contribute once they have established themselves professionally.

“The really cool thing about the celebration now is that we are seeing it come full circle,” she says. “So many of the people who were presenting at the event – we had five parallel sessions running at the same time – were people who attended the conference in the past as students.”

Queen’s alumni still play a prominent role as well, not only presenting and giving back to the conference but also bringing their current companies on board as they search for diverse, employable talent.

The event is also an opportunity for students and young professionals to meet their peers and hear from those who are already working in the technology field. One key topic brought up during the conference was “impostor syndrome,” where one doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. It was the focus of a panel discussion that included three Queen's alumnae - Morgan Klein-MacNeil, (Comm’11), Dr. Kelly Lyons (PHD '94), and Dr. Amber Simpson (PHD '10), all who attended the first conference.  By bringing it to the forefront at the conference, attendees come to realize that they are not alone, that they are not an impostor.

“The first time I ever heard about imposter syndrome was when I attended this conference in 2010 as a fourth-year student,” says Klein-MacNeil, now the AVP, Air Canada Partnership and Loyalty Program Technology at TD Bank. “I remember that panel very vividly – there was a woman speaking who had a PhD and was just incredibly technical and brilliant. Hearing her speak was just the biggest relief for me. It was so reassuring to know that this is a normal feeling, and even people who are super smart, confident, and collected are going through the same thing. I still share that story with many women I mentor.”

Another goal of the conference, Powley points out, is to keep Canadian talent here by bringing industry leaders and students together at various events, including the dinner, where they can build connections and share information.

“We had 750 women in this room for the dinner, many of them looking for jobs, many of them wanting to stay in Canada,” Powley says.  “Through the conference the attendees find out that success doesn't have to mean going to Silicon Valley. There are excellent opportunities here in Canada and excellent companies to work for.”

New at this year’s conference was a forum specifically for graduate students and an inclusive teaching workshop for faculty members and high school teachers.

Another new initiative, in collaboration with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) in the U.S., was the Aspirations in Computing awards, which recognize high school students and provide valuable encouragement at a stage in their lives when they may need it.

The students first had to apply and submit a short essay about why they are interested in computing and what they want to do in the future.

A small recognition perhaps, but the result can be significant.

“Reaching out and offering a few words of encouragement to a girl makes a huge difference and the hope is that if they are recognized for contributions in computing and future goals they will continue on to study computing,” Powley says, adding that 29 girls from across Canada were recognized at the event. “The hope is that this will help promote young students considering going into computing, that it provides the nudge, the confidence to follow this path.”

Inspiration and engagement – and that’s important because women still are underrepresented at most computing programs as well as in the workplace.

“Companies are searching for talented developers and they have realized that a diverse workforce is more productive and produces better solutions" Powley points out. “Given the gender imbalance in computing, it is important that we reach out to encourage more young women to enter the field and support and encourage those who are currently in our programs.

To learn more about CAN-CWiC, visit the website.

Find out more about the Queen’s School of Computing.

Clean energy revolution

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada project funding advances research into replacing inefficient batteries.

Four years ago, Queen’s University researcher Gregory Jerkiewicz and his team of Canadian and international collaborators received a competitive $4 million Discovery Frontiers grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Funding is presented to only one project every two years and the broadly defined research subject is different each time.

The entire research team visited Queen's University just before Christmas to wrap up the project.

Fast forward to 2020 and the Engineered Nickel Catalysts for Electrochemical Clean Energy (Ni Electro Can) has generated research results that could revolutionize clean energy technology through the use of nickel, an abundant transition metal in the Earth’s crust, in materials such as fuel cells.

“Batteries, which are heavy and have a limited life span, will soon be replaced by fuel cells (in electric cars for example), which are currently very expensive,” says Dr. Jerkiewicz (Chemistry), the project leader and scientific director. “The problem is, the currently available fuel cells employ platinum nanoparticles and there isn’t enough platinum on earth to convert all batteries to fuel cells. Nickel solves that problem and allows us to create cost-effective and efficient alkaline fuel cells.”

Two other thrusts of the research included alkaline water electrolysis for hydrogen generation and electrochemical transformation of glycerol into value-added products.

International Leadership

Featuring 14 Canadian researchers from seven universities (University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, INRS Université de Recherche, University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, McMaster University and Queen’s University), nine international researchers from seven countries (Brazil, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Norway and the United States), and several industry partners (eg. Ballard Power Systems, CNEM Corp., Hydrogenics, Nissan Motor Company, Perkin Elmer), the project has also allowed Canada to emerge as a world-class leader in the area of nickel materials, nickel electrochemistry, and electrocatalysis, and open new research areas internationally.

Five research groups from Queen’s were involved in the project including the Beauchemin Group, Daymond Group, Evans Group, Mosey Group, and Jerkiewicz Group.

Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Kirsty Duncan visited Queen's University for the official announcement.

Project Outcomes

The project saw several research outcomes and successes. A few highlights, include:

  • Strengthening Canada’s leadership role in the area of novel materials science and engineering for clean and renewable electrochemical energy systems
  • Enabling innovative research on electrochemical transformation of glycerol, a by-product of biodiesel production
  • Disseminating newly created knowledge and transferring it to industrial partners in order to maximize the impact of discoveries, breakthroughs and inventions

The Ni Electro Can project had several other tangible results including training 135 highly qualified persons, generating well over 90 scientific papers with more still to come, creating 40 international and national internships, developing an additional 24 research projects garnering an additional $4.8 million in funding, obtaining six patents and 275 conference presentations.

“From the outset, the Ni Electro Can team set out to address challenges associated with declining reserves of non-renewable energy sources and environmental pollution, says Kent Novakowski, Acting Vice-Principal (Research). “From the outcomes, clear headway was made in research and knowledge transfer in these areas. It’s what is possible when we combine significant support from the government of Canada with leading minds in Canada and internationally.”

In terms of what’s next, the team is currently working on their final report to be submitted to the NSERC and exploring various national and international research programs that would allow them to explore new research horizons.

Three professors emeriti appointed to Order of Canada

Governor General recognizes Peter Harrison, Brian Osborne, and Duncan Sinclair for their contributions to the nation

Three professors emeriti are among the latest appointees to the Order of Canada.

Governor General Julie Payette recently announced 120 appointments to the Order of Canada, including Peter Harrison (School of Policy Studies), Brian Osborne (Geography and Planning), and Duncan Sinclair (Physiology, School of Policy Studies).

“The Order of Canada is one of our nation’s highest honours, recognizing outstanding achievement and dedication to the community and to Canada,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “Dr. Harrison, Dr. Sinclair, and Dr. Osborne have made significant contributions not just to Queen’s but to the broader community throughout their distinguished careers. I congratulate them both on this well-deserved recognition.”

Duncan Sinclair
Duncan Sinclair

Dr. Sinclair is being recognized for his “contributions to the Canadian health care system as a teacher, university administrator and advisor, and for his leadership in health care reform in Ontario.” With the appointment he joins his son, Gord Sinclair of The Tragically Hip, in the Order of Canada.

“I am, of course, very pleased and deeply honoured to be appointed to the Order of Canada,” Dr. Sinclair says. “It is humbling to be considered worthy of inclusion among such a group of distinguished and accomplished people, many of them friends and acquaintances of long-standing, and one being my son.”

At Queen’s Dr. Sinclair has held a number of administrative positions including Dean of Medicine and Vice-Principal (Health Sciences) – the first non-medical doctor to serve in these positions in Canada – as well as Vice-Principal (Institutional Relations), Vice-Principal (Services), and Dean of Arts and Science.

Away from the university, he headed the governance subcommittee of the Steering Committee for Review of the Public Hospitals Act in Ontario and was a member of the National Forum on Health. He was the founding chair and acting CEO of Canada Health Infoway/Inforoute Santé du Canada – an organization designed to foster the development of Canada’s health information management. In 2015 he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Brian Osborne
Brian Osborne

Dr. Osborne is being recognized for his “contributions to historical geography and for his distinguished research on Kingston’s geographic heritage.”

“When I received the call from the office of the Governor General a month ago, I was positively shocked and overwhelmed by my inclusion in this prestigious array of award winners,” he says.

It was exciting news, but he wasn’t able to share it until the official announcement. That provided time for reflection of his decades as a professor in the classrooms of Queen’s, as well as communicating his research in historical geography and interactions with the local community.

“Then, on Dec. 28, the whole world was informed of the appointment of new members to the Order of Canada and I gained a new perspective. Firstly, I feel gratitude to the Governor General for awarding me the honour. Secondly, I am thankful for the motivation to reflect on its meaning to me personally.”

Dr. Osborne’s research areas include Indigenous history, settlement history, cultural landscapes, and the role of the culture of communications in the development of a Canadian sense of place. He has published extensively on the Kingston area, including Kingston: Building on the Past (1988), co-written with Donald Swainson, and was subsequently reworked into Kingston: Building on the Past for the Future (2011). Other recent volumes are The Rock and the Sword: A History of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Kingston (2004), and Landscapes and Inscapes: Drawn to History with Brush of Serendipity, with Shirley Gibson Langille.

Dr. Osborne has served as a consultant for the National Capital Commission, Heritage Canada, Parks Canada, Canada Post, and the National Film Board. He is Past President of the Ontario Historical Society, Past President of the Kingston Historical Society, and has served on the boards of several heritage organizations.

Peter Harrison

Dr. Harrison is being recognized for his “dedication to Canada’s stewardship of the Arctic Ocean and to the enhancement of its role in Arctic and northern issues.”

“Being named a Member of the Order of Canada is an extraordinary privilege and honour.  It is totally unexpected, and came as a complete surprise,” he says. “I am particularly thrilled with the citation which notes my dedication to Canada's stewardship of the Arctic Ocean and to the enhancement of its role in Arctic and northern issues.  This has always been a passion of mine, and it is enormously satisfying that my efforts in this regard have been recognized in such an extraordinary way.”

Dr. Harrison arrived at Queen’s as the federal Skelton-Clark Fellow in 2008 and also served as Stauffer-Dunning Chair and director of the School of Policy Studies (2009-2013).

During his nearly-30 year career in the Public Service of Canada, he was appointed to Assistant/Associate/Senior Associate Deputy Minister positions in a number of departments including: the Privy Council Office (PCO); the Department of Finance; Indian and Northern Affairs Canada; Revenue Canada; and Human Resources Development Canada. 

His research, writing, and public speaking have focused on the management of the oceans, with particular reference to the Arctic Ocean and Canada’s Northern regions and peoples.The appointments include five Companions (C.C.), 38 Officers (O.C.), and 77 Members (C.M.).

Other Order of Canada recipients with Queen’s connections include:

T. Robert Beamish (Sc’60, LLD’11), Director, The Woodbridge Group
“For his leadership of and contributions to industry and for his philanthropic support for causes related to education and health care.”

Peter Kendall (Artsci’89), Executive Director, The Schad Foundation
“For his steadfast commitment to conserving and protecting Canada’s biodiversity for future generations.”

• Debra Pepler (PHE’73, Ed’74, DSc’16), Distinguished Research Professor, Psychology, York University, and PREVNet Co-Founder
“For her innovative, community-based research on social issues involving children and youth, which changed the way psychologists study bullying.”

Jennifer Tory (Artsci’77), Retired Chief Administrative Officer, RBC
“For her commitment to advancing women and minorities in the banking industry and for her extensive community work.” 

The recipients will receive their insignia at a ceremony in Rideau Hall at a later date.

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada, is one of the country’s highest civilian honours, and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Manhattan’s rainforest of sound

MoMA features audio-visual art installation co-designed by Queen’s composer.

Rainforest V (Variation I) at the MoMA in New York City.
View of the Rainforest V (Variation I) installation at the MoMA in New York City. (Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp, MoMA)

Inside the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, a suspended jungle of everyday items has become the setting for audiences to experience the nature of sound in new ways, thanks in part to Queen’s composer/musicologist Matt Rogalsky. Entitled Rainforest V (Variation I), the exhibit is the latest evolution of late music pioneer David Tudor’s famed Rainforest series, which uses found objects to transform sounds by acting as natural filters.

“Tudor’s Rainforest series is not intended to evoke literal rainforest soundscapes,” says Rogalsky, a continuing adjunct associate professor in the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s. “The title was gleaned by Tudor from choreographer Merce Cunningham’s 1968 dance RainForest, for which he was commissioned to make the first piece under that name. But the sense of being surrounded by many sources all chirping, humming, and buzzing  what Tudor called an ‘electronic ecology’  is certainly familiar to anyone who has experienced a real rainforest.”

Before his death in 1996, Tudor had realized many versions of the artwork since creating the original Rainforest in 1968. Rainforest IV was created and performed with the help of a number of younger artists under the ensemble name Composers Inside Electronics (CIE). Performances of Rainforest IV would last multiple hours, during which performers performed sound through suspended objects while visitors walked amidst them to experience spatial and textural effects of bending and morphing audio.

With Rainforest V (Variation I), Rogalsky, who was invited to consider himself a member of CIE in the early 2000s, collaborated with Tudor’s long-time sound artist colleagues John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein to design a version of the work that would play on its own, so gallery-goers could enjoy the piece as an extended exhibition.

Explore a 360-degree video of the MoMA's Rainforest V (Variation I) exhibit.

Comprised of metal barrels, wooden boxes, cans, jars, lampshades, computer parts, fiberglass tubes, and more, the exhibition uses software to transmit sounds specially designed to best resonate with each object – creating a shifting, interactive landscape for audiences to explore. This version, created in 2009 for an exhibition in Mexico City and acquired by MoMA in 2012, was put on display on Oct. 21, 2019 and runs until Jan. 5, 2020.

“The acquisition and exhibition of this piece by MoMA is another very satisfying outcome of my research on Tudor and the Rainforest series,” says Rogalsky, who connected with Tudor in the early 1990s while conducting his master’s research, and went on to earn a PhD investigating the history of the piece. “The artistry of David Tudor and CIE has been a major influence on my own pursuits as a musicologist and sound artist, and it is a privilege to carry on and build upon the legacy of his work. It makes me very happy that Tudor’s legacy is also now represented in the MoMA collection.”

The New York Times profiled the work earlier this fall and you can learn more about it and about David Tudor on the MoMA website. Listen to a selection of the exhibit's audio below (headphones recommended):


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