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Archives 2016

In the winter of 2016, CFRC approached the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) to see if there was interest in doing a show on graduate study research and of course the SGS said yes!  the rest is Grad Chat history.  On behalf of our students and the SGS, to CFRC a big thank you.

Fall 2016

December 2016

December 27th, 2016

Interviewee - Colette Steer

CJ the DJ does a wrap up of 2016

Overview: This show is the last for 2016, so CJ the DJ will be doing a bit of a wrap up of 2016! What went on in grad studies and a few bits from past shows

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December 20th, 2016

Interviewee - Celina Shirazipour

Celina Shirazipour- Health Promotion, Kinesiology & Health Studies, supervised by Dr Amy Latimer-Cheung

Research Topic: "Quality physical activity participation for military Veterans with a physical disability"

Overview: Physical activity has become a prominent method for promoting the physical and psychosocial recovery of military Veterans following an injury resulting in disability. Research has often focused on the outcomes of military Veterans’ physical activity participation; however, as programs continue to be developed, and participation continues to be encouraged, it is important that participation itself be examined. Specifically, we must consider whether Veterans with a physical disability are having quality physical activity experiences not just whether they are participating. My research seeks to fill this gap by exploring the physical activity participation experiences of military Veterans with a physical disability: what elements constitute a quality experience, how can programs create quality experiences, and what role do quality elements play in achieving program outcomes?

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December 13th, 2016

Interviewee - Titilope Adebola

Titilope Adebola- Civil Engineering, supervised by Drs Ian Moore & Neil Hoult

Research Topic: "Service life evaluation of a cured in place polymer composite liner for rehabilitation of cast iron pressure pipes"

Overview: Titi's research is focused on investigating the long-term durability of materials used to repair water pipes as part of a larger project investigating pipe deterioration and repair. This will be achieved by investigating the long-term properties of a Cast-In-Place polymer composite liner system used in the rehabilitation of cast iron water pipes.

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December 6th, 2016

Interviewee - Anastasiya Boika

Anastasiya Boika- History, supervised by Dr Ana Siljak

Research Topic: "Urban and exurban green space in late Imperial Russia"

Overview: Anastasiya looks primarily at how, as a result of industrialization in the late nineteenth century, green space was used to ameliorate issues of pollution, overcrowding and poor sanitation. Ana considers how international movements such as the garden city movement were brought in to combat these issues in the Russian context, as well as how domestic solutions, such as the dacha movement, were used to the same ends. Within that context, Ana also considers how international movements were altered to fit different social, political and economic contexts upon transgressing national borders.

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November 2016

November 29th, 2016

Interviewee - Taylor Currie

Taylor Currie - Cultural Studies, supervised by Drs. Jeffrey Brison (History) & Blaine Allan (Film)

Research Topic: "Better Living and Better Citizens … Through Chemistry: DuPont Public Relations Campaigns and the Crafting of American Citizenship during the Twentieth Century "

Overview: In 1935, after hesitation on behalf of DuPont executives, the company conceded to the suggestions of advertising agency, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (BBDO), and launched a public relations campaign based on the newly-minted corporate slogan, “Better Things for Better Living … Through Chemistry.” Contrary to dominant historiography regarding the reaction of big business to the rise of public relations, DuPont executives were not enthusiastic supporters of the blossoming field. As a result, DuPont continued to reluctantly implement public relations innovations in its campaign, indicating a persistent distrust of the profession. I argue that, while DuPont-sponsored media appropriated the dominant free enterprise language of the era, its campaign relied more heavily on an existing company culture. DuPont consistently utilized a conservative vocabulary of history, scientific innovation, and tradition, ultimately crafting a company-specific image of ideal American citizenship. I propose a comprehensive study of DuPont’s “Better Living” campaign during the twentieth-century in order to identify why and how DuPont sought to refashion the nation in its own self-image.

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November 22nd, 2016

Interviewee - Reza Nosrati

Reza Nosrati- Post-Doctoral Fellow in Chemical Engineering, supervised by Professor Carlos Escobedo

Research Topic: "Microfluidics, assisted reproduction, biomedical microdevices, microswimmers, biophysics, public health, Organ-on-a-chip"

Overview: The global burden of infertility is high, affecting more than 70 million couples worldwide. In North America, one in six couples experiences infertility, a 2-fold increase since 1992. Male and female infertility contribute equally, each accounting for about 45% of the cases, with the remaining 10% of cases unknown. Main causes of male infertility include low sperm count, poor vitality, low motility, and DNA damage. Semen analysis and sperm selection are cornerstones of male infertility diagnosis and treatment. However, current clinical methods are expensive, inefficient, and prone to operator-error, resulting in sub-optimal pregnancy outcomes and ultimately the health of offspring. My research focus on applications of microfluidics to develop simple yet functional approaches to overcome male infertility.

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November 15th, 2016

Interviewee - Kelly Brennan

Kelly Brennan- Epidemiology, supervised by Drs. Stephen Hall & Paul Peng

Research Topic: "Follow-up Care for Head & Neck Cancer Patients"

Overview: Follow-up care aims to provide surveillance with early detection of recurring cancers and to address treatment complications and other health issues in survivorship. It is assumed that follow-up care fulfills these aims, however little evidence supports routine surveillance detecting curable disease early enough to improve survival. Cancer survivors are a diverse patient population, suggesting that a single follow-up regimen may not meet all patients’ follow-up needs. Little is known about what effective follow-up care should include for head and neck cancer patients in a Canadian setting. This master’s thesis work identified subgroups of patients with specific needs and practices patterns that will be useful for enhancing follow-up care in the future.

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November 8th, 2016

Interviewee - Stephanie Gauvin

Stephanie Gauvin- PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology, supervised by Dr. Caroline Pukall

Research Topic: "How do individuals in diverse relationships navigate sexual issues in their relationships?"

Overview: Couples usually have general sexual routines or scripts that they prefer to engage in, but what happens when sexual preferences/activities go ‘off script’? Sexual issues, such as differences in sexual preferences, penetration difficulties, sexual pain, or low desire are not uncommon in sexual exchanges, and the presence of sexual issues may be associated with lower sexual satisfaction or sexual distress. Theory in the sex therapy literature suggest that some couples are able to navigate sexual issues to maintain high levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction by being flexible in their sexual scripts. My thesis aimed to empirically examine if/how flexibility in sexual scripts is actually related to improved sexual well-being.

Interviewee - Shyra Baberstock

Shyra Baberstock - Masters Candidate in Geography & Planning, supervised by Dr. Mark Rosenberg

Research Topic: "A new way forward: reconciliation through First Nations Innovation"

Overview: Part 2 of the interview with Shyra discusses her opportunity to represent Queen's at the Matariki Network program, held at the University of Otago, in New Zealand.

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November 1st, 2016

Interviewee - Shyra Baberstock

Shyra Baberstock - Masters Candidate in Geography & Planning, supervised by Dr. Mark Rosenberg

Research Topic: "A new way forward: reconciliation through First Nations Innovation"

Overview: As an Indigenous scholar and entrepreneur, I am motivated by the concept of improving the lives of Indigenous peoples through Social Innovation and entrepreneurship. I hypothesize that when Indigenous entrepreneurs use Social Innovation to create unique business models that incorporate the concepts of decolonization and reconciliation, societal transformation will occur (e.g. greater understanding and respect for Indigenous culture through educational services/products).

Queen's Truth & Reconciliation Commission Task Force

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October 2016

October 25th, 2016

Interviewee - GReg King

Greg King - Post-Doctoral Fellow in Geography, supervised by Dr. Ryan Danby

Research Topic: "Forest Response to Disturbance and Implications for Habitat"

Overview: My research focuses on investigating how the dynamics and structure of forests change following disturbance events both discrete (i.e. a forest fire) or continuous (i.e. climatic change).

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October 18th, 2016

Interviewee - Katie-Marie McNeil

Katie-Marie McNeil - Masters Candidate in Education, supervised by Dr. Theodore Christou

Research Topic: "Education at the Prison for Women"

Overview: Katie-Marie's research traces the development of educational programs at P4W from its opening in 1934 to its decommission and closure in 2000.

NB: Further research revealed that, in at least one instance, prisoners were sent from Canada to Australia as punishment. See Carter, John C. "One Way Ticket to a Penal Colony: North American Prisoners in Van Diemen's Land." Ontario History, 101 no. 2 (2009): 188-221

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October 11th & 18th 2016

Interviewee - NIcole Pacas

Nicole Pacas- PhD Candidate in English Language & Literature, supervised by Dr. Glenn Willmott and Dr Jane Tolmie

Research Topic: "Wonder Woman comics from the WWII period"

Overview: I’m calling my research a “cultural intervention” of Wonder Woman; Wonder Woman is often looked at and celebrated as a feminist icon, but is she really? My research critiques the representation of Wonder Woman’s physical body, her clothed body, and her emotional body, keeping in mind her creator’s bold statements that “not even girls want to be girls” if they have no hero to emulate (William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman because he believed he knew what kind of hero young girls needed).

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October 4th, 2016

Interviewee - Nausheen Sadiq

Nausheen Sadiq- PhD Candidate in Chemistry, supervised by Dr. Diane Beauchemin

Research Topic: "Multi-elemental risk assessment of various types of rice using ICP-MS "

Overview: Various types of rice have been studied by exposing the samples to artificial saliva, gastric juice and intestinal juice to determine how much of both toxic and essential elements will leach into our bodies and from there into our blood. This is done to determine how safe the food we eat is and whether the government needs to implement safety regulations.

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September 2016

September 27th, 2016

Interviewee - Emily Murphy

Emily Murphy - PhD Candidate in English Language & Literature, supervised by Dr. Glenn Willmott

Research Topic: "Mad Modernisms: Gendered Mental Illness and Modernist Collaborative Forms"

Overview: My research focuses on discourses of mental illness and gender in the modernist literary period (1900-1940) across different modes of publicness, including celebrity culture, public intellectualism, and activism.

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September 20th, 2016

Interviewee - Ana Ruiz Aguirre

Ana Ruiz Aguiree - PhD candidate in Cultural Studies, supervised by Drs. Lynda Jessup & Catherine Krull

Research Topic: The multilateral diplomatic role of visual art exhibitions in the context of the U.S. - Cuba conflict.

Overview: My research examines how Cuban visual art exhibitions displayed in Canada and Mexico influenced negotiations of the U.S. - Cuba conflict during the last twenty years. During this period, the export of Cuban cultural production to North America served Cuban diplomatic and economic objectives, as one of the very few platforms which allowed the Cuban government to directly reach North American audiences. In the U.S., the possibility to display and sell Cuban artwork is a recent development; the commercialization of Cuban art was not legalized until 1990, and the exhibition of Cuban visual art from the island remains highly politicized.

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September 13th, 2016

Interviewee - Hadiseh Bolkhari

Hadiseh Bolkhari - Post-Doctoral Fellow in Civil Engineering, supervised by Dr. Leon Boegman

Research Topic: Wave uprush modeling along CRCA shoreline

Overview: Conservation Ontario is a nonprofit organization that includes the network of 36 Conservation Authorities. Conservation Authorities are community-based watershed management agencies dedicated to conserving, restoring and managing Ontario's natural resources. The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority has jurisdiction over 3,500 sq. km of land, from Greater Nappanee in the west to Brockville in the east. In all, there are 11 watersheds in jurisdiction. The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) reviews shoreline development proposals, and provides guidance and advice to the landowners, and the relevant municipalities, on setbacks from hazards, mitigation for hazards, etc. This includes setbacks and mitigation for natural hazards such as wave uprush. However, prediction of wave uprush is not trivial. This project will examine the accuracy of existing Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) wave uprush methodology, which is based on analytical calculations, at select locations, using the Shore Protection Manual (SPM) and Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM) developed by the USACE (1984, 2006). We propose extending and enhancing the SPM/CEM methodology using the computational SWASH model to numerically simulate two-dimensional planform wave uprush through the CRCA jurisdiction. SWASH will be forced with waves and storm surge output, respectively, from an existing SWAN and DELFT3D model application to the Kingston Basin (McCombs et al 2014a). The models will be validated against data from geo-referenced cameras and RBR-TWR wave loggers deployed at a field site of interest to CRCA. Mode simulations with 100-year storm characteristics will be computed and applied to develop wave uprush conditions for land use management at Frontenac Island sites of interest.

Interviewee - AJ Boulay

AJ Boulay - Computing Science, Laurentian University

An interview at the “Lake Shift”, a thesis writing retreat for graduate students from Ontario Universities

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September 6th, 2016

Host-CJ the DJ

Host - CJ the DJ for Grad Chat

LIVE! As part of the Welcome & Resource Fair for new graduate students, CFRC will be interviewing some of our new graduate students. Later in the day, CJ the DJ will host a live show from the studios of CFRC to talk about resources on campus and other events to introduce new grad students to Queen’s and Kingston. Along with the mornings interviews, it is set to be a beauty. Don’t forget to tune in.

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Spring/Summer 2016

August 2016

August 30th, 2016

Interviewee - Shuhiba Mohammad

Shuhiba Mohammad - MSc in Experimental Medicine (DBMS), supervised by Dr. Anne Croy

Research Topic: Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection in pregnancy

Overview: Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, or Salmonella food poisoning, causes severe maternal and neonatal health complications when mothers are infected during pregnancy. Salmonella has been found to replicate preferentially in placental tissues and cause massive inflammation and placental damage. The mechanisms by which Salmonella mediates this damage remain largely unknown. We use mice to model Salmonella infection during pregnancy to determine how infection progresses so that we may be able to find suitable interventions.

Interviewee - Jessica Whitehead

Jessica Whitehead - Communication and Culture, York University

An interview at the “Lake Shift”, a thesis writing retreat for graduate students from Ontario Universities

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August 23rd 2016

Interviewee - Jean-Paul Martin, Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Jean-Paul Martin - Mechanical & Materials Engineering, supervised by Dr Qingguo Li

Research Topic: Generating electricity while you walk using an energy harvesting backpack

Overview: Our lab develops biomechanical energy harvesters, that is, devices that use the motion of your body as you go about your day, to generate electricity for portable electronic devices. The intent is to provide a renewable energy source to those who work in areas without access to the power grid: be it backpackers, field scientists, disaster relief workers, powered prosthetics, or use in the military. The bulk of the research effort is generating electricity from movement in a meaningful way, so that the user wearing the backpack doesn’t have to exert any additional energy to use your product. .

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August 16th 2016

Interviewee - Biology field researchers

Amanda Tracey, Catherine Dale & Sarah Wallace: Biology field researchers

Dispatches from the Field

Overview: After attending a conference workshop about social media and blogging in 2014, the blog “Dispatches from the Field” was born. The general public never actually experience fieldwork, and those stories, which are often the core part of the experience as a researcher, never even make it into scientific papers. So, the biologists launched the blog at the QUBS open house in June 2014. Since then they have written one post a week, and have collected lots of guest posts from all around the world.

View their blog

Email if you want to be a guest blogger

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August 9th 2016

Interviewee - Patty Argyrides (English)

Patty Argyrides: PhD student in English Literature and Language under the supervision of Dr Glenn Willmott

Research Topic: Modernism

Overview: Patty’s dissertation explores the link between literature and dance in the Modernist period, with a special focus on ballet. Her interest is in the performativity of language and gesture in modern narrative, especially in the works of James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, H.D., and Gertrude Stein. The project asks what the difference is between texts that dance and texts about dancing. The context for this research is not only cross-disciplinary studies in the arts, but also the wealth of existing discussion of the creative and artistic responses to modernity that are manifested and represented through the body.

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August 2nd 2016

Interviewee - Lisa Carver (Sociology)

Lisa Carver: PhD student in Sociology under the supervision of Drs Rob Beamish and Susan Phillips

Successful aging with illness

Overview: For my dissertation I am considering determinants of successful aging among those traditionally ignored by successful aging research: individuals aging with illness. Using a mixed method research design that embraces the voices of participants, interviews were conducted in person and online to ascertain self-reported mental and physical health, successful aging, income adequacy and gender. Scales assessing participant’s resilience, quality of life, successful aging and gerotranscendence were also administered. The presence of and constructs associated with successful aging among those with illness were explored.

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July 2016

July 26th 2016

Interviewee - Jeremy Walsh (Kinesiology & Health Studies)

Jeremy Walsh: PhD student in Kinesiology & Health Studies (Exercise Physiology) under the supervision of Dr Michael Tschakovsky

Examination of how exercise affects cognitive function at high altitude

Overview: At sea level, an environment with ample oxygen, performing a 20-minute session of moderate exercise leads to improved brain function (cognitive function). Low oxygen environments like high altitude (hypoxia) impair cognitive function and can lead to poor decision-making and a host of other issues. However, performing a single bout of exercise in a simulated hypoxic environment can restore and in some cases improve cognitive function. What remained to be explored was a) whether cognitive function was impaired over a 12-day period on a high altitude trek, and b) whether a single session of exercise performed at high altitude has an impact on cognitive function. A trip to Mt.Everest basecamp proved to be very helpful.

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July 19th 2016

Interviewee - Nicole Slipp (English)

Nicole Slipp: PhD student in English under the supervision of Dr Scott Strake and Dr Jane Tolmie

Research Topic: Medieval Literature

Overview: My dissertation considers the relationships between sexual practices depicted in Middle English texts and practices currently referred to as BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism). It explores how some medieval texts’ depictions of sexual exchanges of power can be unpacked via contemporary BDSM practices, revealing similarities and differences between medieval and contemporary queer sexual expression. Effectively, my work explores the medieval aesthetics of sexual power play. In many cases, kinky elements in medieval texts involve ways of relating to social power structures. BDSM has the ability to highlight power imbalances and a lack of consent that can form the basis of patriarchal, heteronormative relationships. Kink informed reading entails paying close attention to the particulars of fantasy, consent, violent or painful erotic content, and sexual power exchange in a text, with the understanding that the appearance of any of these elements may be deceiving.

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July 12th 2016

Interviewees - Education Students’ Mental Health Initiative

Part 2 - Special Edition - Education Students’ Mental Health Initiative (ESMHI)

Overview: Education students Glenda Christou, Jessica Chan, Newsha Ghafari and Kami Valkova, discuss this new initiative to support education students during their time at Queen’s. Born from a common concern to promote wellbeing as well as developing a sense of community in the Education building on west campus, this group highlight how a group of grad students can look beyond their research to help others. This is part 2 of the special series on graduate education.

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July 5th 2016

Interviewees - Glenda Christou

Glenda Christou: PhD student in Education under the supervision of Dr Derek Berg

Research Topic: Mental Health Literacy in Elementary Teachers

Overview: My research is on elementary teachers’ decision­making processes regarding mental health issues that arise in young children. I hope to understand how teachers recognize mental health problems and how they decide to support and/or begin a referral process for further support from other professionals.

Interviewees - Jessica Chan

Jessica Chan: PhD student in Education under the supervision of Dr Lesly Wade-Woolley (University of South Carolina) and Dr Don A. Klinger (Queen's University)

Research Topic: : ​Reading development in First and Second language learners (Chinese English language learners).

Overview: I’m interested in how first and second language cognitive and linguistic factors predict individual differences in reading among first and second language learners.

Interviewees - Kami Valkova

Kami Valkova: M.Ed student in Education under the supervision of Dr Benjamin Bolden

Research Topic: : ​Outdoor integrated education programs in secondary school.

Overview: I am interested in interviewing people 510 years after completing an outdoor based integrated program in high school. I hope to find out what/how they recall their experiences and what about the program they find has had a lasting impact on their lives since.

Interviewees - Newsha Ghafari

Newsha Ghafari: Masters student in Education under the supervision of Dr Derek Berg

Research Topic: The Social and Emotional Experience of Teachers Working with Exceptional Learners

Overview: My research is on the well­being and mental health of teachers working with students with exceptionalities in the general classroom, looking specifically at the constructs of compassion fatigue and burnout.

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June 2016

June 28th 2016 - Nicole Slipp (English) and Amarah Ebb-Stobbe (Kinesiology & Health Studies)

Interviewees - Nicole Slipp

Nicole Slipp: PhD student in English under the supervision of Dr Scott Strake and Dr Jane Tolmie

Research Topic: Medieval Literature

Overview: Nicole’s dissertation considers the relationships between sexual practices depicted in Middle English texts and practices currently referred to as BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism). It explores how some medieval texts’ depictions of sexual exchanges of power can be unpacked via contemporary BDSM practices, revealing similarities and differences between medieval and contemporary queer sexual expression. Effectively, my work explores the medieval aesthetics of sexual power play. In many cases, kinky elements in medieval texts involve ways of relating to social power structures.

BDSM has the ability to highlight power imbalances and a lack of consent that can form the basis of patriarchal, heteronormative relationships. Kink informed reading entails paying close attention to the particulars of fantasy, consent, violent or painful erotic content, and sexual power exchange in a text, with the understanding that the appearance of any of these elements may be deceiving.

Interviewees - Amarah Ebb-Stobbe

Amarah Ebb-Stobbe: MSc student in Kinesiology & Health Studies (Biomechanics) under the supervision of Dr Pat Costigan

Research Topic: Amarah is investigating the contribution of “angular” power to the jump height of the countermovement vertical jump in no-arm, one-arm, and two-arm swing patterns common to biomechanical evaluation and sport performance testing.

Overview: In many sports, jumping is a common skill – and what matters most often is jumping high (ie: blocking a hit in volleyball, making a rebound in basketball, etc.) It is known that jumping with a symmetrical two-arm swing alters vertical jump height, however, what is not known is how single-arm swings impact height and how the power and angular velocity generated by the lower limbs in these jump conditions impacts the height the jumper achieves.

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June 21st 2016 - Gillian Mackey (Chemistry) and Sarah Barnes (Kinesiology & Health Studies)

Interviewees - Gillian Mackey
Gillian Mackey: PhD student in Chemistry under the supervision of Dr Stephen Brown
Research Topic: Developing modified siloxane polymer materials for environmental sensor applications
Overview :With increasing human populations and demands on resources, it is more important than ever to monitor our environment for pollution. Currently, most environmental monitoring is done in the lab, meaning a sample must be collected from a site, transported to a lab, and analyzed by a trained technician. It would be ideal to develop devices that can instead carry out environmental analysis in the field – these devices are called environmental sensors. In my project, we aim to modify siloxane polymers in order to produce materials with useful properties for environmental sensing. We can incorporate different chemical components, which change the light transmitting properties of the material, and attach proteins and antibodies to the surfaces of the polymers. We have applied these materials to the detection of bacteria in water and volatile hydrocarbons in air.
Interviewees - Sarah Barnes
Sarah Barnes: PhD student in Kinesiology & Health Studies under the supervision of Dr Mary Louise Adams
Research Topic: Historical and contemporary understandings of sleep, sport and human performance. 
Overview : In both scientific and elite sporting circles, sleep is positioned as the “new frontier” of human high performance (Samuels, 2009). Since 2011, the Canadian Olympic Committee has funded sleep research and screened its athletes for sleep disorders. Professional sports teams routinely consult sleep science companies. Athletes who wish to maximise their “recovery” increasingly rely on wearable sleep tracking technologies. My dissertation explores how sleep management has come to be seen as a significant ‘natural’ performance-enhancing strategy in the lives of elite athletes.

The project is motivated by concerns about how science, technology, and sport instrumentalize sleep. Even at rest, athletes’ bodies are subject to measurement and evaluation and are expected to perform well; their lives are intensely managed to maximize productivity and efficiency. Though high performance sport is a realm of deliberate and extreme physical practices, its prominence means that it helps shape popular notions of how bodies might be managed and how far human might push the limits of physical possibility

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June 14th 2016 - Chloe Hudson and Laura Lambe (Psychology)

Interviewees - Chloe Hudson and Laura Lambe

Queen's Clinical Psychology Program

Overview: Featuring doctoral student Chloe Hudson (under the supervision of Dr Kate Harkness) and master's student, Laura Lambe (under the supervision of Dr Wendy Craig). Discussing their joint paper on “Peer Defending in School Bullying”.

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June 7th 2016 - Special edition on the Neuroscience Outreach Programs

Interviewees - Neuroscience Outreach

Queen's Neuroscience Outreach Program

Overview: A chat with Angela Luedke and Julia Morris on the student run initiatives that began back in 2005.  These programs educate and inform local communities about the research being done at the Centre for Neuroscience Studies. Programs whose focus is on issues such as mental health, ageing and physical rehabilitation. Programs such as the Adoloscent & Child Psychiatry Program, Brain Awareness Day, Brain Badge, Brain Bee, Brain Reach, CESAP, Public Lectures, Science Rendezvous, SEEDS, Seniors Courses, Social Club

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May 2016

May 31st 2016 - Jeff MacCormack (Education)

Interviewees - Jeffrey MacCormack

Jeffrey MacCormack: PhD student in Education under the supervision of Dr John Freeman

Research Topic: Using evidence-based programming to develop play-based programming to support the social competence of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

Overview: This study extends the findings of previous research (e.g., LeGoff, 2004) demonstrating that, even when it is more effortful for them, adolescents with ASD can socialize successfully during Structured Play. When participating in Structured Play, the boys with ASD in the current study made more initiations and were more engaged than during unstructured play and conversation. Structured Play may improve social behaviours because participating in shared goals meant that the youth had to make, and respond to, social bids, a skill crucial to the development of social competence interventions (e.g., Barakova, Bairacharya, Willemsen, Lourens, & Huskens, 2014; MacCormack, Matheson, & Hutchinson, 2015). Also, Structured Play activities are well suited for social skills interventions because the structure of the game play can be designed to mimic social rules (e.g., Baker, Koegel, & Koegel, 1998; Wainer, Ferrari, Dautenhahn, & Robins, 2010).

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May 24th 2016 - Manoj Dias-Abey (Law) and Prabeen Joshi (Civil Engineering)

Interviewees - Manoj Dias-Abey

Manoj Dias-Abey: PhD student in Law under the supervision of Dr Kevin Banks

Research Topic: Can civil society organizations help improve the working conditions of temporary migrant farmworkers in North America (Canada and USA).

Overview: This research explores whether civil society organizations (CSOs) can contribute to more effectively regulating the working conditions of temporary migrant farmworkers in North America. This dissertation unfolds in five parts. The first part of the dissertation sets out the background context. The context includes the political economy of agriculture and temporary migrant labour more broadly. It also includes the political economy of the legal regulations that govern immigration and work relations. The second part of the research builds an analytical model for studying the operation of CSOs active in working with the migrant farmworker population. The purpose of the analytical framework is to make sense of real-world examples by providing categories for analysis and a means to get at the channels of influence that CSOs utilize to achieve their aims. To this end, the model incorporates the insights from three significant bodies of literature—regulatory studies, labour studies, and economic sociology. The third part of the dissertation suggests some key strategic issues that CSOs should consider when intervening to assist migrant farmworkers, and also proposes a series of hypotheses about how CSOs can participate in the regulatory process. The fourth part probes and extends these hypotheses by empirically investigating the operation of three CSOs that are currently active in assisting migrant farm workers in North America: the Agricultural Workers Alliance (Canada), Global Workers’ Justice Alliance (USA), and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (USA). The fifth and final part draws together lessons from the empirical work and concluded that CSOs can fill gaps left by the waning power of actors, such as trade unions and labour inspectorates, as well as act in ways that these traditional actors can not.

Interviewees - Prabeen Joshi

Prabeen Joshi: PhD student in Civil Engineering under the supervision of Drs Kerry Rowe and Richard Brachman

Research Topic: Performance of geo-synthetic based liners in municipal solid waste landfills and mine tailings storage facilities.

Overview :The research dealt with potential leakage of wastewater that is supposed to be contained in the waste storage facilities. The focus of the study was leakages through holes that may be caused in the geo-synthetic liners during construction or during operation. These geo-synthetic liners are 1-2.5 mm (yes mm) thick. It was concluded that the use of geo-synthetic liners in storage facilities could significantly reduce the leakage into the environment despite of having few holes.

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May 17th 2016 - Zubair Hossain (Civil Engineering) and Caroline Wallace (Neuroscience)

Interviewees - Zubair Hossain

Zubair Hossain: M.A.Sc. student in Civil Engineering under the supervision of Dr Kevin Mumford

Research Topic: Long term effects of oil spills in Canadian Rivers

Overview: My research is focused on understanding the dissolution of trapped oil to water flowing through the pore spaces in river beds. This is a part of an interdisciplinary research which investigates the potential impact of sediment contamination resulting from oil spills in Canadian rivers in which fish reproduce by depositing eggs in gravel dominated beds. I am performing laboratory experiments to study the mass transfer behaviour by creating the state of oil (diluted bitumen or 'dilbit') entrapment in river gravels within a small flow-through column in Civil Engineering lab at Queen's University.

Interviewees - Caroline Wallace

Caroline Wallace: MSc student in Neuroscience under the supervision of Dr Roumen Miley

Research Topic: The effects of probiotics on depression

Overview: My research involves taking a multidisciplinary approach to alleviating the symptoms of depression. Combining the study of mental illness and nutrition, I am assessing the effects of a combination of 2 probiotic strains on the depressive symptoms of moderately depressed individuals who are treatment-naïve. To do this, I am running an 8-week open-label pilot study with 10 participants and will be subjectively measuring their mood, anxiety and cognition, their sleep objectively using a polysomnogram, and collecting and analyzing blood samples for inflammatory markers, tryptophan levels, and serotonin levels to look at potential underlying mechanism of any changes in the outcome measures. I plan on fast-tracking into the PhD program in the fall and continuing on this research using this pilot data to plan a double-blind randomized control trial.

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May 10th 2016 - Part 2 of Art Conservation and Midori Ogasawara (Sociology)

Emily Cloutier, Vincent Dion, Anne-Marie Guerin

Art Conservation Students: Emily Cloutier, Vincent Dion, Anne-Marie Guerin

Overview: Part 2 of our Art Conservation feature. Emily, Vincent and Anne-Marie join us again to discuss their projects like conserving a pastel painting!

Midori Ogasawara

Midori Ogasawara: PhD student in Sociology under the supervision of Professor David Lyon

Research Topic Identification (ID) system

Overview: I research on the colonial origin of ID techniques in the Japanese context. Japan occupied Manchuria in Northeast China from the 1930s, and issued the fingerprinted ID cards to the local Chinese. Such techniques had never been practiced in mainland Japan. The purposes of the Manchurian ID system were: to sort out the population into the “desirable” and “undesirable”, use the “desirable” as cheap labour, and watch over the “undesirable” resistance. Thus, identification requires personal data, and classifies the people into different categories, based on the data. These techniques have widespread under today’s conflicting world under the neoliberal economic structure, with the use of digital technologies, and contributed to reproducing inequalities in race/ethic, gender, and class.

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May 3rd, 2016 - Art Conservation Special

Emily Cloutier, Vincent Dion, Anne-Marie Guerin

Art Conservation Students: Emily Cloutier, Vincent Dion, Anne-Marie Guerin

Overview: Queen's has the only Art Conservation program in Canada. In this show, three Master of Art Conservation students talk about the program, their projects and their summer internships. From iron gall ink analysis, to Japanese dolls to conserving a pastel, these are just some of the projects our students are working on. They also go to conferences and at times travel to places like Italy, Alaska and more.

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Winter 2016

April 2016

April 25th 2016 - Amanda Timmers (Psychology) and Anastasia Shavrova (Biology)

Interviewee - Amanda Timmers

Amanda Timmers: Clinical Psychology (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Meredith Chivers 

Research Topic:Sexual psychophysiology – examining sexual arousal patterns in men and women.

Overview of research: Over one third of women are estimated to be suffering from at least one sexual problem, with arousal concerns being among women’s primary sexual complaints.  Traditional models of sexual arousal used to inform treatments for female sexual dysfunction, however, have primarily been based on data describing men’s sexuality, despite emerging research that has found important gender differences in men and women’s sexual arousal patterns.  Factors that are important determinants for men’s sexual responses (e.g., sexual orientation) have generally not been found to clearly correspond to women’s sexual arousal patterns.  My research aims to understand these gender differences in sexual responding and develop gender-specific models of sexual response by identifying factors that are important determinants in women’s sexual response processes.

Interviewee - Anastasia Shavrova

Anastasia Shavrova: Biology  (MSc Candidate) supervised by Dr Adam Chippindale

Research Topic:Trade-offs in reproduction and life history variation in fast and slow developing populations of fruit flies.

Overview of research:Using a long term evolutionary experiment I am investigating the trait differences that arise due to fast and slow development. Specifically I am looking at the accessory glands – a gland in insects that aids sperm in fertilization – whether they have changed with the different selection regimes.

Podcast - April 25th 2016 (MP3)

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April 18th 2016 - Ian Cuthbertson (Cultural Studies)

Interviewee - Ian Cuthbertson

Ian Cuthbertson: Cultural Studies (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr James Miller

Research Topic:Modernity, Disenchantment, and Magic in Montréal

Overview of research: I look at the ways dominant discourse surrounding modernity as secular and disenchanted works to conceal the presence of certain kinds of supra-rational beliefs and behaviours in modern, secular, urban contexts (i.e. Montreal). Specifically, I’m interested in lucky and protective objects and the ways these objects are categorized (and often ignored) both by scholars and by individuals who possess and use them.

Podcast - April 18th 2016 (MP3)

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April 11th 2016 - Trevor Phillips (English Language & Literature) and Mike Borghese (Kinesiology & Health Studies)

Interviewee - Trevor Phillips

Trevor Phillips: English Language & Literatures  (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Sam McKegney

Research Topic:Indigenous Literature and Sport

Overview of research: I’m studying the constitution of Indigenous masculinities through embodied discursive athletic acts in contemporary North American Literature. More simply, I study the confluence of Indigenous literature, sport, and Indigenous masculinities: Indigenous literature written by Indigenous men in North America since 1945, sports like hockey, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, football, rodeo, and track and field, and the spectrum of  Indigenous gender and sexuality theory.

In particular, I devote a majority of my research to the collision of Canadian attitudes of ideal manliness mobilized in hockey discourse with those same attitudes of Indigenous masculinities in hockey discourses written by Aboriginal men. I also look at the same move in other sports across North America. 

Interviewee - Mike Borghese

Mike Borghese: Kinesiology & Health Studies (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Ian Janssen

Research Topic:Children's Outdoor Active Play

Overview of research:Throughout the past 3 decades we have observed a decline in children’s physical activity levels. It's thought that this decline is largely due to a lack of outdoor active play - simply put, children are not playing outside as much as they used to. Not surprisingly, the availability of electronic devices ("screen time") is thought to play a role in this decline. However, outdoor active play in children is notoriously difficult to measure because it’s a behaviour that’s unorganized, unsupervised, and sporadic in nature.  Our lab is investigating novel techniques to measure this behaviour using a combination of accelerometry (physical activity monitors), GPS, GIS and some self-reported information. Through this work we will obtain an estimate of just how much – or how little – children are playing outside today, which will inform surveillance and monitoring of this behaviour, as well as public policy which aims to get children moving again.

Podcast - April 11th 2016 (MP3)

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March 2016

March 28th 2016 - Stephen Smith (History) and Peter Gilbert (Chemical Engineering)

Interviewee - Stephen Smith.

Stephen Smith: History (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Jeffrey McNairn

Research Topic:How do newspapers and voluntary organizations, relate to organizing revolutionary military violence

Overview of research: My specialization is in voluntary organizing, violence, and the press in the nineteenth-century Lower and Upper Canada-United States borderland. I focus on the volunteer militias, secret societies, and political associations that emerged around the 1837-8 Rebellion in Lower and Upper Canada and the subsequent border troubles.

Similar to other societies, these groups adopted the form and rhetoric of deliberative voluntary associations and acted as a nursery for learning the skills of citizenship. However, unlike other voluntary associations, militaristic violence was central to how these societies pursued their objectives in the public sphere.

The expansion of political violence from ‘mob’ violence—through liberal forms of voluntarism— into new forms of organized political violence involved using deliberative and violent tactics together. It also involved the press. Contemporaries on both sides of the border turned to the public sphere to organize, justify, or even decry opponents’ violent acts.

Interviewee - Peter Gilbert

Peter Gilbert: Chemical Engineering (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Jeffrey Giacomin

Research Topic:Molecular origins of polymer rheology (Why do solutions of long-chain molecules flow differently than other liquids?)

Overview of research: The lab is interested in investigating the relationship between the molecules in a flowing polymeric liquid and the macroscopic properties of that liquid. In other words, we want to know why and in what way long-chain molecules (like polymers) flow differently than a typical fluid like water. Our theoretical approach requires us to develop an understanding of first principle models for molecular motions in flowing fluids. Once we identify the source of polymer behavior from theory, we can use a few experiments to check if our theoretical analysis is correct. These include light-scattering or flow visualization techniques using a state-of-the-art rheometer platform being installed in the chemical engineering department this spring.

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March 14th 2016 - Susan Belyea (Kinesiology & Health Studies) and Nathalie Ouellette (Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy)

Interviewee - Susan Belyea.

Susan Belyea: Kinesiology & Health Studies  (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Elaine Power

Research Topic:What difference does the state make?  Experiences of food insecurity in Canada and Cuba

Overview of research: Most countries formally recognize the UN Right to Food.  Despite this, the lack of secure access to healthy food remains a persistent problem for people living in poverty in most countries in the world. Policies and programs put in place to deal with hunger and food insecurity are generally inadequate, and little progress has been made in reaching international or national targets for the reduction of hunger and food insecurity. By exploring food policy in Havana, Cuba and Kingston, Canada, and by interviewing people living with a degree of food insecurity in each site, my research will shed some light on why the world has progressed so slowly in tackling food insecurity. What are the relative roles of the state, the market (both formal and informal) and the charitable sector in fulfilling the right to food?  How is this affected by culture, history and geography? What can the knowledge and expertise of people who struggle everyday to navigate food procurement in their cities add to our understanding of food insecurity? 

Interviewee - Nathalie Ouellette

Nathalie Ouellette: Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Stéphane Courteau

Research Topic:The Dynamics and Scaling Relations of Virgo Cluster Galaxies

Overview of research:Using the motion, brightness and colour of stars of galaxies found inside our richest neighbouring group of galaxies, the Virgo Cluster, I map out both baryonic (normal) and dark matter, and study how the interplay between these two and their environment drives galaxy formation and evolution.

Podcast - March 14th 2016 (MP3)

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March 7th 2016 - Post-Doctoral Research with Dr Scott Thompson (Sociology) and Dr Mohamed Hefney (Biomedical Computing)

Interviewee - Scott Thompson.

Dr Scott Thompson: Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow (Sociology), Supervised by Dr David Lyon

Research Topic:Surveillance & Classification

Overview of research: The focus of my research is on the relationship between policy, classification, governance and surveillance technologies, with a specific emphasis on the capacity of governing systems to (re)produce social inequalities and relationships of cumulative disadvantage within Indigenous populations. My work speaks to current theoretical debates within the criminology, policing and governance literatures regarding the role of classification and surveillance in identity performance – in particular in how they relate to Aboriginal identity and society.

I rely on a mixed methods approach, drawing primarily on government documents accessed at Library and Archives Canada or gained through Access to Information and Privacy Act (ATIP) or Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests. Where possible, I work to supplement these data with statistical analyses and interview data as a means of determining the degree to which the goals and governing rationalities of particular policies correspond with observable social effects.

My current work addresses how the socio-legal government classification of “Indian” has enabled the governance of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and has worked to mediate identity and cultural performances of members of these communities. In short, it investigates how a diverse group of peoples and cultures are made to be “Indians,” through classification, policy and technologies of governance, and how this contributes to the development of negative cultural understandings and stereotypes about Aboriginal people, Indigenous beliefs and knowledge systems in Canada.

Interviewee - Mohamed Hefny

Dr Mohamed Hefny: Post-Doctoral Fellow (Biomedical Computing), Supervised by Dr Randy Ellis

Research Topic:Shape Models for Computational Anatomy.

Overview of research: Shape is the geometrical description of an object. For diagnosis, a medical doctor may distinguish between a diseased and healthy bone or organ by its shape; an intelligent machine needs a mathematical model to make a similar distinction. Defining such mathematical model is difficult because organ shapes differ based on many non-disease factors, such as age, sex, and race. One way that model can be described is by applying statistics to a population of shapes. A statistically derived shape model is named an “atlas”.

Anatomical atlases are most often derived from shapes measured from a widely variable population, and can establish which variations in shape relate to which factors. A new patient can be compared to the atlas to look for disease-related shape changes amidst the expected healthy variation of shape. Atlases can be used in classification of samples for diagnosis, and in localization of features for surgery.

Podcast - March 7th 2016 (MP3)

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February 2016

February 29th 2016 - Evelyn Popiel (Biology) and Eruani Zainudden (Management)

Interviewee - Evelyn Popiel

Evelyn Popiel: Biology (MSc Candidate) supervised by Dr Ian Chin-Sang

Research Topic:Axon guidance in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Overview of research: My research focuses on understanding how the nervous system develops properly, using a model organism called C.Elegans. I am working to uncover what genes and cells are responsible for the correct positioning of mechanosensory neurons.

Interviewee - Eruani Zainudden

Eruani Zainudden: Management (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Sandy Staples

Research Topic:Information System Workarounds in Organisations: defining, measuring and understanding why they occur.

Overview of research: I study Information System (IS) workarounds,which occur when IS users choose to deviate from the intended system design and/or standard procedures. My study is built around three key research activities. First, I developed a conceptual definition of workarounds and a taxonomy of workaround behaviors. Second, I developed the survey instrument to measure workarounds. And third, I examine why workarounds occur . My observation is that current studies have focused more on individual characteristics (micro-level) in predicting why workarounds occur. In my work, I'm focusing on institutional-based factors (macro-level) . In addition, I try to make my work more granular by examining specific workaround actions taken by users. My goal is to increase our overall understanding of workarounds. I believe that this will lead to better recommendations to executives on how to manage workarounds in organizations.

Podcast - February 29th 2016 (MP3)

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February 22nd 2016 - Cassandra Kuyvenhoven (Environmental Studies) and Christa Boychuk (Rehabilitation Science)

Interviewee - Cassandra Keyvenhoven

Cassandra Kuyvenhoven: Environmental Studies (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Myra Hird

Research Topic:The long-‐distance transportation of municipal solid waste (MSW) in Ontario, with an emphasis on waste originating in Kingston.

Overview of research: Canada is one of the highest producers of waste per capita in the world. In Canada, 34 million tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) is handled by the waste management (WM) industry every year. With many Canadian landfills reaching their approved capacity, Canadian cities are searching for innovative solutions to manage increasing quantities of waste. Although members of the public are most familiar, and primarily concerned, with waste diversion (recycling and disposal issues) the transportation of waste and recyclables is an environmentally significant and understudied part of the Canadian waste stream. As waste disposal becomes increasingly privatized and regionalized, trash is moving over long distances and across [provincial] lines as never before. The further or more complex the transportation route, the higher the probability that there will be negative impacts on human and environmental health and safety.

Interviewee - Christa Boychuk

Christa Boychuk: Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Rosemary Lysaght

Research Topic:Career Decision Making Processes of Individuals with First Episode Psychosis

Overview of research: The first episode of psychosis often emerges during adolescence or early adulthood, at a time in life when individuals are achieving important educational and career milestones, which can become derailed, as a result of the development of significant impairments. 

Unfortunately, the career decision making processes of individuals with first episode psychosis have not been previously investigated. This knowledge would provide a contextual understanding of the career decisions of individuals following their first episode of psychosis and enable vocational rehabilitation services to be more targeted and instrumental in empowering individuals. Thus, this study delineated the career decision making processed of individuals following a first episode of psychosis, and determined the aspects that influenced it. 

Podcast - February 22nd 2016 (MP3)

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February 15th 2016 - Brandon Rodrigues (Sociology) and Terry Soleas (Education)

Interviewee - Brandon Rodrigues

Brandon Rodrigues: Sociology (MA Candidate) supervised by Dr David Murakami-Wood

Research Topic:Public Perception of UAVs in a Populated Areas

Overview of research: The popularity of UAVs/Drones is on the rise and has been under a lot of discussion in the media recently. As private industries start to capitalize on their use it has become important to understand how the public will react to UAVs once they are flown in populated areas. This research seeks to gain a better understanding of how the public views UAVs

Interviewee - Terry Soleas

Terry Soleas: Education (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr John Freeman

Research Topic:What enables someone an innovator?

Overview of research: This research is about understanding the experience that students with LD have as they are reading different types of text. In Ontario, we expect that students can read narrative (stories), expository (informational), and graphic (visual and verbal information) texts by the time they leave school. While we have limited research about how students with LD engage with narrative and expository text while reading, no research to date has examined this with graphic text. I aim to examine how cognitive functioning, including executive functions and working memory, influence how students build comprehension as they work through three types of text before answering comprehension questions. Cognitive functioning will be assessed through various tasks, and the comprehension-building process will be assessed using a think-aloud protocol to capture the strategies students use while reading. 

Podcast - February 15th 2016 (MP3)

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February 8th 2016 - Live Show - grad student volunteers at CFRC

Interviewee - Prince Michael Amegbor

Prince Michael Amegbor: Human Geography(PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Mark Rosenberg

Research Topic:Changing Phase of Indigenous Health Care System in Contemporary Ghana:Implications on Accessibility andUtilization

Overview of research: Indigenous medicine has been acknowledged by major stakeholders as a key  health care resource for many in the developing world, including Ghana. Over 60 to 80 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa are deemed to use this resource in meeting their daily health care needs. Nevertheless, this health care system has undergone tremendous transformations over the last three decades. These transformations include institutionalization of the practice and commercialization of its services. My study seeks to explore how these transformations are impacting access and usage of this vital health care resource in Ghana, as well as, the geographic nature of the transformation. 

Interviewee - Raynold Wonder Alorse

Raynold Wonder Alorse: Political Studies (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Andrew Grant

Research Topic:International Business and Human Rights: A Study of Canadian Multinational Mining Firms in South Africa and Ghana.

Overview of research: This project examines the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Canadian transnational mining firms (Kinross, Nevsun Resources, and Golden Star Resources) and two African countries in order to assess the resiliency of human rights and global CSR initiatives in local communities. More specifically, the project will investigate how the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) influence the behaviours of corporate and state actors, and will compare and contrast the rhetoric and practices of on-the-ground CSR in South Africa and Ghana. The UNGP rests on three principles: the state’s duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties such as firms; business responsibility to respect human rights; and greater access by victims to effective remedies (Ruggie,2011) while the EITI takes a “multi-stakeholder” approach to transparency, involving three distinct sectors—government, civil society groups, and corporations in the extractive industries (Friedman, 2001). Considering that there is less literature on the operations of Canadian mining firms in both countries, my project will create knowledge in this area, improve the traditional scholarly discourse on CSR and human rights obligations, broaden the policy dialogue on sustainable development, and help us understand how norm dynamics influence international ‘soft’ law, natural resource governance, and social justice. The findings of my research may have far-reaching implications for attracting transnational mining investments, balancing the needs of citizens and environmental concerns, and most importantly, the international image of Canada on the world stage. 

Podcast - February 8th 2016 Live (MP3)

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February 1st 2016 - Allen Champagne (Neuroscience) and Tara Diesbourg (Kinesiology & Health Studies

Interviewee - Allen Champagne

Allen Champagne: Neuroscience  (MSc Candidate) supervised by Dr DJ Cook

Research Topic: The use of diffusion tensor imaging and cutting edge robotics (KINARM) as biomarkers during both acute and recovery phases following sport-related concussions in varsity athletes.

Overview of research: Concussive injuries may alter the integrity of the connections in the brain, specifically in what is known as the white matter. Such dynamic changes in the microstructural integrity of the white matter can be examined quantitatively using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which maps the diffusion process of water molecules in biological tissues. The aim of this project is to use tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and tractography to study abnormal patterns of diffusion in white matter tracts responsible for cognitive and sensorimotor functions following sport-related concussions. Data collected from concussed varsity athletes scanned at four time points post-injury (72 hours, 10 days, 3 months and 1 year) will be compared to matching non-concussed non-injured varsity athletes (age, sport, position). Imaging findings are expected to be further correlated with sensorimotor metrics, such as balance, proprioceptive accuracy and reaction time, collected in all subjects using the KINARM exoskeleton robot. Altogether, this project will explore the degree of neuroanatomical and motor change following mTBI and gather insights about the predictability of structural alterations, in the white matter, based motor skills variability.

Interviewee - Tara Diesbourg

Tara Diesbourg: Kinesiology(PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Geneviève Dumas

Research Topic:Effect of chronological and biological age on spine stiffness and the impact this might have on workplace safety.

Overview of research: “I feel stiff”, “I can’t move that way anymore”, “I’m not as young as I used to be”…  These are all comments that become more and more commonplace as we age; but are they true?  The purpose of my research project is threefold: 1) To determine whether there is actually a change in spine/trunk stiffness as we age, 2) To determine whether this change in stiffness is mitigated by fitness level or “Biological age”, and 3) To determine whether the change in stiffness associated with age has an effect on low-back health in the workplace.

For the purposes of this study, age will be defined in two ways: Chronologically (based on Birthdate), and 2 Biologically (based on overall health – “Fitness Age”).  The purpose for the dual definitions of aging is to isolate whether a change in stiffness would simply be caused by the age of our tissues, or if our health influences these properties (i.e. an 60 year old woman with the fitness level of a 40 year old woman – Is her stiffness more in-line with her younger counterparts, or with her 60 year old peers?).  Fitness tests to examine muscle strength, power, endurance, reaction time, balance, cardiovascular health, flexibility and hand-eye coordination will be combined with lifestyle questionnaires to estimate the actual age of each subject.  Then, using two novel devices designed to help estimate the stiffness of the spine and its surrounding tissues, I will examine whether aging causes increased joint stiffness, particularly in the spine.  The results from this study will help to identify exercises, activities, and lifestyle factors that could predict/control low-back stiffness, allowing us to work longer and healthier by reducing the risk for work-related low-back injuries. It will also help to identify ways in which we can maintain “younger”, healthier backs as we age; possibly decreasing the occurrence of statements such as: “I feel stiff”, “I can’t move that way anymore”, and “I’m not as young as I used to be”.

If you are interested in participating in this study, and if you are 20-25, 40-45, or 60-65 years of age with a full or part-time sedentary (primarily seated) job, please contact Tara Diesbourg at or 613-533-6000 x79019 for more information. 

Podcast - February 1st 2016 (MP3)

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January 2016

January 25th 2016 - Sara Pavan (Political Studies) and Ian Matheson (Education)

Interviewee - Sara Pavan

Sara Pavan: Political Studies (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Keith Banting (Political Studies) and Dr Fiona Kay (Sociology)

Research Topic: Immigrant integration policies; Canada and the United States; Immigrant organizations; Immigrants’ political participation; Social networks of immigrants 

Overview of research: Sara's work explores how contextual factors as well as characteristics of different immigrant groups influence the process of political integration, and how these factors moderate the resources that are necessary for immigrants to become politically active in their countries of immigration. 

Interviewee - Ian Matheson

Ian Matheson: Education (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Derek Berg

Research Topic:Examining how students with learning disabilities build comprehension while reading different types of text

Overview of research: This research is about understanding the experience that students with LD have as they are reading different types of text. In Ontario, we expect that students can read narrative (stories), expository (informational), and graphic (visual and verbal information) texts by the time they leave school. While we have limited research about how students with LD engage with narrative and expository text while reading, no research to date has examined this with graphic text. I aim to examine how cognitive functioning, including executive functions and working memory, influence how students build comprehension as they work through three types of text before answering comprehension questions. Cognitive functioning will be assessed through various tasks, and the comprehension-building process will be assessed using a think-aloud protocol to capture the strategies students use while reading. 

Podcast - January 25th 2016 (MP3)

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January 18th 2016 - Jessica Lougheed (Psychology) and Rylend Mulder (Microbiology & Immunology)

Interviewee - Rebecca Lougheed

Jessica Lougheed: Developmental Psychology (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Tom Hollenstein

Research Topic: How adolescents develop the ability to regulate (or manage) their emotions in social contexts, particularly within mother-daughter relationships

Overview of research: As part of typical development, most adolescents experience increased fluctuations and intensity in their emotional lives. Typically-developing adolescents are also at increased risk for developing mental health issues. The ability to regulate (or manage) emotions is important to adolescent well-being. Children and adolescents develop the ability to regulate emotions through interactions with primary caregivers. Adolescence presents challenges to both adolescents and parents in terms of adjusting to the changing emotion dynamics within their relationship, and yet, most research has focused on general patterns of parent-adolescent interactions rather than real time (moment-to-moment) dynamics. The focus of my research is on the real-time emotion dynamics of mother-daughter relationships, and how they relate to adolescent well-being. 

Interviewee - Rylend Mulder

Rylend Mulder: Microbiology & Immunology (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Basta

Research Topic:Analysis of macrophage activation status on antiviral immune responses

Overview of research: The spleen is the largest secondary immune organ in the body and functions to filter the blood of aging red blood cells and foreign materials such as invading viruses. Specialized cells within the spleen called macrophages are strategically positioned to rapidly detect, process, and initiate innate and adaptive immune responses to blood born viruses. However, the study of these macrophages is a resource intensive process which poses a barrier to answering questions regarding their biology. Recently our lab devised a method to generate spleen macrophages in large quantities that allows for the study of these cells in vitro. My work focuses on further characterizing the behavior of the cells and how they respond to viral infections to instigate immune reactions. By understanding how macrophages behave during viral infections, one can theoretically optimize their performance in a vaccination setting.  

Podcast - January 18th 2016 (MP3)

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January 11th 2016 - Saba Farbodkia (Neuroscience) and Oluwatobiloba Moody (Law)

Interviewee - Saba Farbodkia

Saba Farbodkia: Neuroscience (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Martin Paré

Research Topic: What decision making at the level of single cells or neuronal pairs can tell us about decision making in neural populations.

Overview of research: I look at the activity of individual or pairs of neurons, when the subject is showing a specific behavior. I try to predict what the subject’s behavior would be, based on what I observe in the neural activity. In other words, I try to “decode” the neurons’ activity with regard to that behavior. I, then, try to extend my understanding of individual neurons’ activities to the populations’ patterns of activity, by simulating populations of neurons that have features similar to the individual neurons that we have studied.

Interviewee - Oluwatobiloba Moody

Oluwatobiloba (Tobi) Moody: Law (PhD Candidate) supervised by Professor Bita Amani

Research Topic: Reinforcing the Nagoya Protocol through a Coherent Intellectual Property System: Effective Protection for Traditional Knowledge associated with Genetic Resources in Biodiverse States 

Overview of research: The issue of biopiracy relates to the unauthorized and uncompensated use of the genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.  To address this, the international community has agreed on a new international regime – the access and benefit sharing regime – , contained within the Nagoya Protocol, which is expected to regulate the acquisition of genetic resources and the traditional knowledge associated with such resources. By this new arrangement, companies, researchers who are interested in using genetic resources or traditional knowledge are required to secure the prior informed consent of the host communities (or country) and establish mutually agreed terms for benefit sharing.  In essence, it is expected that benefits arising from use are shared with such communities from which the genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge were acquired. My research looks at the implementation of this instrument, from the perspective of developing biodiverse countries. It suggests that the effective implementation of this instrument, for such countries, is tied to the coherent amendment of the global intellectual property system, given the significant role that intellectual property has played in the furtherance of biopiracy. 

Podcast - January 11th 2016 (MP3)

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January 4th 2016 - Scott Lougheed (Environmental Studies) and Fallon Bowman (Classics)

Interviewee - Scott Lougheed

Scott Lougheed: Environmental Studies (PhD Candidate) supervised by Dr Myra Hird

Research Topic: Food recalls and food production waste

Overview of research: There are over 300 food recalls per year in Canada. Food is recalled when it potentially violates food safety regulations in order to prevent or contain possible harm to consumers. The type of violation can vary from minor labelling issues (e.g., the identification of potential allergins) to deadly pathogenic contamination (e.g., listeria, salmonella). Through interviews with experts, government, and industry stakeholders, the focus of my research is on how recalled food is handled after it is recalled, namely whether products are used for some other purpose, if the hazard is corrected, or if it is destroyed, as is commonly the case, and why these decisions are made. This decision-making process is far from straightforward, partly due to ambiguity over what constitutes a hazard, how certain we are of the presence or absence of a hazard, and whether correcting the hazard is technically possible. Through this work, I explore what “waste” and “wasting” mean and how some situations challenge how we might understand or conceptualize “wasting” as a wholly negative act. I also explore the emergence of the food recall as a phenomenon of modernity, and how its use as a technology of public health has evolved over time.

Interviewee - Fallon Bowman

Fallon Bowman: Classics (M.A. Candidate) supervised by Dr Fabio Colivicchi

Research Topic: Etruscan water management and its connection with religious ritual

Overview of research: While on Queen’s Etruscan dig in Cerveteri (Ancient Caere), Italy, we uncovered a well and cistern construction with a series of placed vases, which seemed to be deliberately positioned, during some form of a ritual. I will be exploring whether this practice was widespread across the Etruscan and Early Roman world, and trying to ascertain exactly what this practice meant to them. Was it a destruction ritual, and can we see other examples of this described in ancient literature? Was it to appease a water god? Or, was it a burial of some kind? There are so many questions!.

Podcast - January 4th 2016 (MP3)

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