School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Grad Chat bannerGraduate studies logoCFRC logo

What is Grad Chat?

A 30 minute radio show featuring one to two graduate students each week.  This is an opportunity for our grad students to showcase their research to the Queen's and Kingston community and how it affects us.  From time to time we will also interview a post-doc or an alum or interview grad students in relation to something topical for the day.

Grad Chat is a collaboration between the School of Graduate Studies and CFRC 101.9FM

How To Sign Up

Just print off and fill in the "Interviewee Form" (70KB).  Return it to Colette in the SGS office at 

Actual interviews are done on Mondays between 10:00am and 12:00pm each week in the CFRC recording rooms.  A schedule will be organised with those who have signed up already.

Opportunities of Grad Chat

  • For grad students to showcase their research to a bigger audience
  • For grad students to practice talking to the media
  • For Queen’s and Kingston to hear about graduate research on campus
  • As a recruitment tool via the podcasts made which will be posted on our website and program websites.
  • For our alumni to talk about what they researched and where they are now to show grad degree employability

Summer2018 Podcasts

May 15th 2018

Charlotte Blattner & Lauren Van Patter

Dr Charlotte Blattner, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Law & Philosophy supervised by Prof Will Kymlicka and Lauren Van Patter, doctoral student supervised by Dr Alice Hovorka

Topic: Animal Labour - Ethical, legal and political perspectives on Recognising Animals' Work

Overview: Lauren and Charlotte, both specialized on questions revolving around our manifold interactions with animals, and are in the process of drafting a research ethics protocol that seeks to give guidance to researchers doing non-invasive research with animals. Their aim is to address the gap between research ethics boards, who focus only on research with human participants, and animal care committees, who take an instrumental view of animals as disposable objects of research

Loading the player...

NB: For the rest of the summer we will be re-broadcasting some past shows

Winter 2018 Podcasts

May 1st, 2018

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams, MSc in Kinesiology & Health Studies under the supervision of Dr Kyra Pyke.

Topic: Exploring the impact of sugar (hyperglycemia) on artery function in men and women.

Overview: While it is known how hyperglycemia impacts artery function, there is minimal research looking at how to attenuate the negative influence of hyperglycemia in men and women. In particular, women have been an understudied population. The focus of my two years of research has been looking at how exercise is men and the menstrual cycle in women impact the vulnerability to hyperglycemia..

Loading the player...

April 24th, 2018

Obai Mohammed

Obai Mohammed, PhD in Civil Engineering, supervised by Dr Kevin Mumford.

Topic: The Effect of Hydrogen Gas Produced During nZVI Application

Overview: nZVI is a groundwater remediation technology used to clean up brownfields contaminated sites. However, once in contact with groundwater, nZVI solution can produce great amounts of H2 that can affect the application efficiency, the subsurface ecology and the subsurface soils characteristics.

Loading the player...

April 17th, 2018

Brian Cox

Part 2: Brian Cox, Master of Law, supervised by Dr Nicolas Lamp.

Topic: Attack on the Geneva Conventions? A Principled Review of the US Military Strike on the MSF Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Overview: The attack by the U.S. military in Kunduz, Afghanistan in October 2015 that resulted in the destruction of a trauma center operated by Médecins Sans Frontières, the death of 42 medical staff and patients, and injuries to dozens more civilians. The project is a case study of this single incident, the criticism that followed, and the military’s response to the incident.

Meghan O'Sullivan

Meghan O'Sullivan, Bachelor of Arts, with majors in Psychology and Religious Studies.

Topic: The effects of yoga as a complementary treatment of military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Overview: That yoga's psychophysical effects on the body can create a supportive treatment alongside trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TFCBT) can increase the effectiveness and adherence to traditional healing programs.

Loading the player...

April 10th, 2018

Brian Cox

Brian Cox, Master of Law, supervised by Dr Nicolas Lamp.

Topic: Attack on the Geneva Conventions? A Principled Review of the US Military Strike on the MSF Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Overview: The attack by the U.S. military in Kunduz, Afghanistan in October 2015 that resulted in the destruction of a trauma center operated by Médecins Sans Frontières, the death of 42 medical staff and patients, and injuries to dozens more civilians. The project is a case study of this single incident, the criticism that followed, and the military’s response to the incident.

Loading the player...

April 3rd, 2018 - Live

Gilian Thiel

Gillian Thiel, Msc in Geography under the supervision of Dr Melissa Lafreniere

Topic: Dissolved organic matter biodegradability in High Arctic ponds and permafrost soils

Overview: Climate change is amplified in the Arctic and it is intricately connected with the carbon cycle. Changes in temperature and precipitation alter the carbon balance in the Arctic, which may lead to more carbon emissions to the atmosphere through greenhouse gases (e.g. carbon dioxide and methane).

Dissolved organic matter is a mixture of organic molecules derived from the decomposition of plants, animals, and microorganisms. Dissolved organic matter constitutes an important part of the carbon cycle in the High Arctic because it contains a lot of carbon in its constituent molecules. The carbon in dissolved organic matter is easily accessible to microorganisms which consume it to obtain energy through the process of respiration. The respiration process releases carbon dioxide or methane as byproducts, thereby contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Loading the player...

March 27th, 2018

Lindsay Young

Lindsay Young, PhD in English Language & Literature under the supervision of Dr Shelley King.

Topic: Medium diaries, ghost fiction, and spirit biology in Victorian Literature.

Overview: In the 19th Century, Victorians were beginning to question the materiality of the soul. Mourning relics, seance objects, and other materials were leading them to theorize about the biological and chemical breakdown of the spirit, and the result was a number of new frameworks by which writers, scientists and believers were thinking about their own bodies as increasingly fluid objects with fantastical abilities. My project looks at the influence of these new ideas about materiality on popular literature, such as works by Dickens, the Brontes, and Wilde.

Loading the player...

March 20th, 2018

Jennifer Carroll

Jennifer Carroll, Masters of Nursing Science under the supervision of Dr Rosemary Wilson.

Topic: Cultural Humility and Transgender Clients: A study examining the relationship between critical reflection and attitudes of Nurse Practitioners (NPs).

Overview: My primary research question asks: Is there a relationship between NPs’ critical self-reflection and their attitudes towards transgender clients? .

Loading the player...

March 13th, 2018

Shawn Lamonthe

Shawn Lamonthe, PhD in Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, the Experimental Medicine stream, under the supervision of Dr. Shetuan Zhang.

Topic: Understanding the mechanisms of death from cardiovascular disease.

Overview: My research project focuses on the regulatory mechanisms of cardiac ion channel function under ischemic and hypoxic conditions that arise during cardiovascular disease.

Loading the player...

March 6th, 2018

Brittany McBeath & Sarah Kent

The BreakBook cover for The Break

Topic: Listen to Sarah Kent (English Language & Literature) and Brittany McBeath (Kinesiology & Health Studies) as they discuss with CJ the DJ, Queen’s Reads book for 2018 “The Break” by Katherena Vermette​

February 27th, 2018

Gemma Bullard

Gemma Bullard, PhD candidate, Civil Engineering supervised by Dr Andy Take and Dr Ryan Milligan.

Topic: Landslide generated impulse waves aka tsunamis

Overview: I am looking to predict the shape and size of a tsunami based on an estimation of the landslide properties such as the thickness and velocity upon impact.

Loading the player...

February 26th, 2018


Korey Pasch (Political Studies), Caitlin Miron (Chemistry), Anika Cloutier (Management), Andre Brault (Civil Engineering), Amy Stephenson (Aging & Health).

Topic: Disseminating research to a wider audience

Overview: As part of "Celebrating Graduate Studies" week, Grad Chat went live for a 1 hour show from the Biosciences Atrium. Listen in as CJ the DJ asks the graduate students "What does making research public mean to you?"

Loading the player...

February 20th, 2018

Laura Callender

Laura Callender, MSc candidate, Kinesiology & Health Studies, supervised by Dr Ian Janssen.

Topic: The Multivariate Movement Behaviour Signature Associated with Cardio-Metabolic Risk Factors in Children 

Overview: The way children spend their time over a 24-hour period has important implications for their health. Most characteristics of children’s movement behaviours, such as the intensity, type, and patterns, have only been examined in isolation rather than collectively. It is therefore unclear which characteristics of movement have the strongest association with cardio-metabolic health. This thesis research uses a novel statistical approach that allows multiple variables to be examined all at the same time in order to directly compare characteristics and thereby increase understanding of which characteristics of children’s movement behaviour are most important for their cardio-metabolic health.

Loading the player...

February 13th, 2018

Michael Tremblay

Michael Tremblay, PhD candidate, Philosophy, supervised by Dr Jon Miller.

Topic: Moral Education in Stoicism

Overview: I am studying the educational program of the Stoic, Epictetus, who taught students almost 2000 years ago how to become good people.  The emphasis is on how to transform ourselves to be the kind of people that are moral, not just to know what is moral or right.

Loading the player...

February 6th, 2018

Julie-Anne Staehli

Live with Julie-Anne Staehli, MSc candidate, Sport Psychology, supervised by Dr Jean Côté and Luc Martin.

Topics: A Blueprint for Student-Athlete Success: Understanding the Conditions Implemented by High Performance Coaches

Overview: The purpose of this study is to apply Hackman’s (2011, 2012) organizational psychology condition setting framework to the interuniversity sport setting to explore how high performance coaches spend time planning/implementing conditions to enable the successful execution of their programs.

The overarching objective is to acquire an understanding of the “blueprint” that high performance coaches put in place prior to the beginning of a season, and how they strive to satisfy these desired conditions throughout the season.

Loading the player...

January 30th, 2018

Isabel Luce

Isabel Luce, PhD candidate, Art History, supervised by Dr Janice Helland.

Topics: Picturing Domesticity: An Investigation of household objects in the Victorian home

Overview: The home has long been considered a refuge from the public sphere; a space where families lived, engaged in leisure activities, fostered intimate relationships, and hosted visitors. This was particularly true of the Victorian middle-class home, and its decoration was constructed strategically to project a family’s social status. Homemaking was a complex task conventionally taken up by the woman of the house who was expected to exercise careful refinement, moderation and good taste in her selections while avoiding accusations of ostentatiousness. My PhD project explores representations of the private sphere of the Victorian home in both Montreal and London, England as an imagined geography and as a discursive space.

Context and Meaning Conference
Date: 2nd & 3rd of February

Loading the player...

January 23th, 2018

Grad Students - Catrina, Nicole, Luissa

Live with Catrina Mavrigianakis, Natalie Brown and Luissa Vahedi.

Overview: Listen to three graduate students as they talk about their research and their involvement in Queen’s “Flip the Script”, the new Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) program for undergrads and graduate students.

For details on the program go to the facebook page or contact via email

flip the script logo

Loading the player...

January 16th,  2018

Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt, PhD candidate, English Language & Literature, supervised by Dr Chris Fanning.

Topics: Insomnia in Romantic culture and poetry 

Overview: During the Romantic period in Britain (~1780-1830), a series of scientific advancements facilitated an important shift in the way many disorders of the mind and body were conceptualized. My doctoral research addresses how this shift influenced the ways sleeplessness was theorized both in terms of its general taxonomy and at the level of the individual sufferer. 


Loading the player...

January 9th,  2018

Anika Cloutier

Anika Cloutier, PhD candidate, Management (Organisational Behaviour Stream), supervised by Dr Julian Barling.

Topics: Leadership, mental health, work-family spillover

Overview: I have two main streams of research, both centered on the topic of leadership. My first stream of research considers the perceptions and expectations people have of their leaders, and investigates whether these expectations are met. My second stream of research looks at antecedents to positive and negative leadership behaviours. 


Loading the player...

December 26th,  2017 & January 2nd 2018

CJ the DJ & Suyin the DJ Bear

CJ the DJ. gets quizzed by Suyin the DJ Bear!

Topics: The year of 2017 in Review or "It's a wrap"!

Overview: Want to know what we got up to in 2017? Then listen in and find out about the amazing research that was undertaken this year by our graduate students and post-docs.  This is a two part series!

Part 1

Part 1: Loading the player...

Part 2

Part 2: Loading the player...

December 19th,  2017

Jennifer Wigglesworth

Jennifer Wigglesworth, PhD candidate, Kinesiology & Health Studies (Sociocultural Stream), supervised by Dr Mary Louise Adams.

Topics: Discussing her experiences at the Lake Shift Writing Retreats in Summers 2016 and 2017

Overview: I wrote some journal entries from my experiences at the Lake Shift - the seminars; meeting the Dean at her cabin; the excellent spaces for writing (my favourite being the library); cabin life and meeting other grad students from across Ontario; enjoying the lake, stars, campfires, cycling trails, volleyball court, the Opinicon resort and bocce ball. It was a great space for me to clear my head and write my proposal (Summer 2016), and it is the place where I first opened my dissertation file to begin writing my Introduction and research motivations (Summer 2017).


Loading the player...

December 12th 2017

Eli Scheinman

Eli Scheinman, Masters candidate, Environmental Studies, supervised by Dr Marcus Taylor.

Topics: Biocultural diversity, agricultural knowledge and traditional seeds in south India.

Overview: My research explores the contribution of traditional seeds to sustainable livelihoods and environmental health in south India.  The region is suffering from an on-going epidemic of farmer suicides associated with their financial and knowledge indebtedness to governmental and commercial input suppliers, as well as a third consecutive year of drought.  Through fieldwork interviews from August 2017, my research unpacks the contested role of improved, hybrid and traditional seeds in sustainable development and food security programs.  Specifically, my research investigates how, in spite of pervasive networks of government subsidies and commercial marketing efforts, small-holder farmers have returned to growing traditional varieties of rice in search of self-respect, autonomy and improved livelihoods.  These findings demonstrate the critical value of biocultural diversity and the knowledge embedded therein for revitalizing agro-biodiversity and enhancing rural food security.

Loading the player...

December 5th 2017

Charlotte Blattner

Dr Charlotte Blattner, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Law supervised by Prof Will Kymlicka.

Research Topic: Animal Labour.

Overview: In my postdoctoral project, I study whether the lens of labour provides a more useful framework to think about our current interactions with animals and to envisage more just and more robust protections for animals. Animals doing care work, like dogs guiding the blind, wild animals performing in circuses, or horses working for the police or military are today viewed as “working animals”. Though farm animals likely have some of the most stressful working days of all animals, they are, by contrast, not recognized as labourers. A special focus of my work hence lies on studying whether the labour lens can be a useful tool to further human-animal relationships, specifically those with farm animals, the largest number of individuals currently exploited for our purposes. How, hence, can labour lead to a recognition of animals’ contribution to our shared society, and to their inclusion as full members of our political community? 

Loading the player...

November 28th 2017

Caitlin Miron

Caitlin Miron PhD candidate, Chemistry, supervised by Dr Anne Petitjean.

Topics: Small molecule recognition of unusual DNA architectures for applications in biological systems

Overview: Although DNA is best known for its classical double helix or duplex structure, it can also adopt other biologically relevant architectures. One such architecture, the guanine quadruplex, forms in specific regions of the genome associated with cancer development, metastasis, and immortality. The stabilization of quadruplex architectures at these sites by artificial small molecule binders has been shown to prevent the expression of genes and/or activity of enzymes which directly contribute to different aspects of cancer. In collaboration with Dr. Jean-Louis Mergny at the Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie in Bordeaux, France, we recently discovered a highly promising family of novel binders that strongly stabilize quadruplex DNA and that are specific to quadruplex over duplex DNA. My research now involves the synthesis of second- and third-generation binders as well as the modification of conventional biophysical techniques to better study their interactions with quadruplex DNA at the bench.

Loading the player...

November 21st 2017

Robyn Carruthers

Robyn Carruthers, PhD candidate, English Language & Literature, supervised by Dr  Asha Varadharajan and Dr Yaël Schlick.

Topics: Contemporary Mnemonic Travel Writing and the Production of Foreign Space


I propose that a particular subset of contemporary travel writing, which I term mnemonic travel writing, explicitly and self-reflexively engages with the ways in which the modalities of mobility and memory jointly and reciprocally articulate cultural relations. In so doing, they develop conceptions of relationality in a global order where the location of culture is being rethought amidst radically altered spatiotemporal contours. These mnemonic travel texts serve as a kind of memory work, instantiating relational imaginaries: they represent and embed the processes of memory as a form of knowledge not only of the past but of how the past is engaged in an animated spatialized interchange with the present.

My argument brings together the scholarly fields of travel writing and memory studies in the hope that they may productively speak to each other, and ultimately articulate new possible relations between selves and Others through what I refer to as the production of foreign space in relational terms. 

Loading the player...

November 14th 2017

Benjamin Tam

Benjamin Tam, MSc. candidate, Particle Astrophysics, supervised by Dr Mark Chen.

Topics: My research occurs at an intersection of physics, chemistry, and engineering as I help with development, commissioning, and operation of the SNO+ experiment.

Overview: Benjamin  talks about Queen's Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNOLAB) and the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC) .  

Loading the player...

November 7th, 2017

Erica Anderson

Erica Anderson, M.ASc candidate in Chemical Engineering (AppliedSustainability), supervised by Dr Brant Peppley.

Research Topic: Gaseous Waste to Energy for PEM fuel cells

Overview of Research: Improving the efficiency of the Ford Fumes to Fuel (FTF) Project in order to help them produce hydrogen from gaseous waste produced in automotive finishing. This involves heterogeneous catalysis work and low-temperature steam reforming. .


Loading the player...

October 31st, 2017

Amy Stephenson

Amy Stephenson, MSc online program in Aging and Health.

The Program: Based around the geriatric population and specific issues they face

Overview of project: I am undertaking a scoping review to assess the effectiveness of post fall rehabilitation and tertiary prevention programs. I feel this is of importance as the impacts of falling to an individual and the healthcare system are dramatic. The majority of research and policies focus on primary fall prevention.  I found there to be a gap in the prevention and rehabilitation strategies in overlooking individuals who have experienced falls.


Loading the player...

October 24th, 2017

Chris Trimmer

Chris Trimmer- Neuroscience, supervised by Dr Farooq Naeem.

Research: The development and testing of a musical Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT-Music) group therapy intervention for individuals with symptoms of serious mental illness

Overview: This Research project looks at testing CBT-Music in a community mental health setting with individuals with symptoms of psychosis, depression and anxiety using a randomized control trial and a pre/post testing protocol. The main outcome of interest is feasibility and the effect on self-report of disability and symptomatology. Presently, my PhD research extends throughout Southern Ontario and I am in the data acquisition phase of my PhD.


Loading the player...

October 17th, 2017 

Hannah Dies

Hannah Dies - Chemical Engineering, supervised by Dr Aristides Docoslis & Dr Carols Escobedo.

Research: SThe development of a surface-enhanced Raman scattering-based chemical sensor using AC electric fields

Overview: My PhD has involved a novel method to build metallic nanostructures for surface-enhanced Raman scattering, a highly sensitive detection method for (bio)chemical sensing. I have mainly been working on a method to do this using a colloidal suspension of nanoparticles, which are organized into nanostructures using an AC electric field. These nanostructures have a very interesting “dendritic” structure, which I’ve found to be quite sensitive and useful for the detection of a variety of chemical analytes (including illicit drugs, pesticides, and toxic food additives).


Loading the player...

October 3rd & 10th, 2017

Korey Pasch

Korey Pasch - Political Studies, supervised by Dr Susanne Soederberg.

Research: Securitization of Hazards and the Governance of Risk: The Emergence and Expansion of Insurance Linked Securities and Catastrophe Bonds

Overview: My research looks principally at the changes that have occurred within the United States, and specifically the states of California and Florida to address disaster risk. Both states are exposed to different kinds of disaster risk, earthquake and hurricane respectively, and in the aftermath of two incredibly damaging events in the early to mid 1990s have lead efforts to improve the financing and transfer of disaster risk.

October 10th, 2017

Loading the player...

October 3rd, 2017

Loading the player...

September 26th, 2017

Nicolle Domnik

Nicolle Domnik- Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow in Medicine, supervised by Dr Denis O'Donnell.

Research: Impact of Sleep on Lung Function in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Effect of inhaled bronchodilator treatment on symptom severity

Overview: “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive disease of the lungs with debilitating impact on individuals’ health and quality of life. Combining emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and strongly correlated with smoking/smoke exposure and advancing age, COPD is the 4-5th leading cause of mortality in Canada, accounting for significant morbidity (affects 800,000 individuals annually). COPD patients with advanced stages of disease experience significant airflow limitation, which severely limits basic daily activities of living, such as bathing, walking short distances, or even food preparation. This is largely due to crippling symptoms of breathlessness or air hunger (“dyspnea”), which are often worst first thing in the morning. The basis for these symptoms is poorly understood, and the mechanisms behind morning dyspnea are unknown; however, current pharmacologic therapies are not able to prevent this severe morning dyspnea from occurring. My project consists of two parts. The first will, for the first time, elucidate differences in nocturnal lung function between healthy controls and patients with COPD by thoroughly characterizing their mechanics of breathing before, during, and after sleep. The second will test the effectiveness of a new, twice-daily bronchodilator (‘puffer’) dosing approach in comparison with the current gold-standard of therapy, the foundation of which consists of a daily long-acting bronchodilator. Specifically, I will examine whether a second, evening dose of bronchodilator improves lung function during sleep and, by extension, relieves severe morning dyspnea. Given our ageing Canadian population, the burden of COPD on patients, their families, and the health care system will grow. A better understanding of how COPD impacts on nocturnal lung function, alongside validation of a promising approach to treating morning dyspnea, would provide crucial insight into managing this incapacitating condition.”

To volunteer to help with the study, email Nicolle at

Loading the player...

September 19th, 2017

Interviewee - Emma Peacock

Emma Peacock - Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow in English Literature, supervised by Dr Shelley King.

Research: Romanticism and the University

Overview: What forms our ideas and ideals of a university? A lot of students, professors, voters, and taxpayers have watched movies and read novels set in universities, but not a lot of people have read scholarly histories of universities. I think it’s important to think about the institution that we all work in and love (or have a love/hate relationship with!), and to know what has shaped our expectations of what a university is like and what it’s for.

In the early nineteenth century, universities in the English-speaking world were beginning to undergo a huge transformation, and the literary texts and polemical articles in literary magazines that came out of that were breathtaking. In fact, we’re often still quoting from them today, whether we know it or not!

Loading the player...

September 12th, 2017

Grad Chat logo

CJ the DJ reports back from this years Dissertation on the Lake.

Overview: LIke the Lake Shift, but this event is just for Queen's graduate students. Listen to what it means to them to have the opportunity to concentrate on writing without other distractions.

Loading the player...

September 5th, 2017

Grad Chat logo

CJ the DJ reports back from the School of Graduate Studies Welcome & Resource Fair for new graduate students.

Overview: During the Welcome event, several new graduate students will be interviewed. Listen to what their first impressions are and what they came to Queen's to study.

Loading the player...