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Two New Canada Research Chairs Created at Trent
May 5, 2007

Canada Research Council Awards Trent More Than $1.2 Million to Create Two New Research Chairs

Dr. Celine GueguenThe federal government announced that Trent University will receive $1,247,425 from the Canada Research Council and the Leaders Opportunity Fund of the Canada Foundation for Innovation to create two new Canada Research Chair positions in strategic research areas at the University.

Professors Céline Guéguen and Paul Wilson were among 98 new appointments announced May 23 by the Honourable Maxime Bernier, minister of industry and minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs program.

"This announcement is very exciting for Trent as it enhances our leading role in the fields of environmental science and forensic science," explained Professor Jim Parker, associate vice-president of research. "This funding not only enables the University to attract high-calibre researchers who are making significant contributions to key global issues, but creates exceptional learning opportunities for our students who will now access these experts within Trent’s intimate learning environment."

Dr. Paul WilsonBoth Profs. Guéguen and Wilson received "tier two" appointments through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council, which they were awarded based on acknowledgement from their peers as having the potential to lead in their respective fields. For each tier two chair, Trent University will receive $500,000 over five years. In addition, the Leading Opportunities Fund of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation will provide funds of $167,245 to Professor Guéguen and $80,000 to Professor Wilson to support additional infrastructure costs related to their research.

An expert in tracing environmental pollutants in Arctic regions, Professor Céline Guéguen was appointed a Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Sciences and Biogeochemistry. "It’s an honour to receive this appointment, and I look forward to working with the exceptional researchers here at Trent to improve our understanding of metal biogeochemical cycles in aquatic systems," said Prof. Guéguen.

Trent’s second Canada Research Chair announced today was Professor Paul Wilson whose appointment was in DNA Profiling, Forensics, and Functional Genomics. As a renowned wildlife DNA forensic scientist and conservation geneticist, Prof. Paul Wilson was excited by the potential to develop new applications for forensic science at Trent. "We have an impressive opportunity here to greatly improve the DNA profiling tools needed to protect endangered species, help species recover, and better manage natural resources," commented Prof. Wilson. Specifically through this new funding, Prof. Wilson’s research will support the characterization of DNA markers and databases for emerging applications in non-human forensic science, wildlife management and conservation genetics.

The Chairs program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top five countries for research and development and seeks to attract and retain world-class researchers. Chairholders advance the frontiers of knowledge in their fields, not only through their own work, but also by teaching and supervising students and coordinating the work of other researchers. Trent is already home to eight chairholders, who advance teaching and learning through their leading-edge explorations in diverse disciplines.