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Two New Canada Research Chairs Announced Today for Trent University


Canada Research Council Awards Trent More Than
$1.2 Million to Support Strategic Research Priorities in DNA Profiling and Aquatic Sciences

Wednesday, May 23, 2007, Peterborough

The federal government announced today 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 (pronounced GAI-gen) and Paul Wilson were among 98 new appointments announced today by the Honourable Maxime Bernier, minister of industry and minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs program.

“Today’s 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.”

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.

Prof. Guéguen is planning to establish a specialized biogeochemical laboratory at Trent to advance her work tracing metals in oceans, rivers and lakes in order to better predict the impact of these pollutants on the environment. Later this July, Prof. Guéguen will board the Canada Coast Guard icebreaker, the Louis St. Laurent, to take samples of Arctic waters near the Mackenzie River delta for her research.

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.

Both 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 Leaders Opportunity Fund of the Canada 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.

"Our newly released science and technology strategy - Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage - recognizes the importance of doing more to turn ideas into innovations that provide solutions to our environment, health and other important challenges, and to improve Canada's economic competitiveness," said Minister Bernier. "We are investing in promising researchers who turn ideas and innovations into practical and commercial applications for the benefit of all Canadians."

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.

Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro extended his congratulations to Trent University for its success with the Canada Research Council, noting this investment showcases the University’s national reputation for excellence in the forensic and environmental sciences.

Canada Research Chairs at Trent

Profs. Guéguen and Wilson join a distinguished group of eight other Canada Research Chairs at Trent. They include:

  • Professor Julian Aherne, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Engineering
  • Professor James Conolly, Canada Research Chair in Archaeological Studies
  • Professor Marrie Mumford, Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Arts and Literature
  • Professor Dennis Murray, Canada Research Chair in Terrestrial Ecology
  • Professor Bryan Palmer, Canada Research Chair in Canadian Studies
  • Professor Davide Panagia, Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies
  • Professor Jim Parker, Canada Research Chair in Emotion and Health
  • Professor Bradley White, Canada Research Chair in Conservation Genetics and Biodiversity


For further information, please contact:

Professor Jim Parker, associate vice-president of research, (705) 748-1011, ext. 7935
Professor Celine Guéguen, Chemistry Department, (705) 748-1011, ext. 7859
Professor Paul Wilson, Forensic Science program, (705) 748-1011, ext. 725