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Female Scientists Lead the Way as Trent University Receives $2.1 Million for Environmental Research, Equipment & Scholarships

Three female Trent professors receive some of the highest grants at the University as government announces 2019 NSERC funding

Three female Trent researchers studying issues in Environmental Science received some of the highest grants following an announcement that the University has been awarded federal funding of $1.8 million over five years, plus an additional $230,000 for scholarships, further enhancing Trent’s reputation as one of the top postsecondary environmental institutions in Canada.

Through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC) Discovery Grants, Dr. Cheryl McKenna Neuman received $215,000 over five years for her research into geophysical mechanisms governing particle transport by wind; Dr. Marguerite Xenopoulos was awarded $275,000 over five years for her research linking carbon to structure and function in aquatic ecosystems; and Dr. Janet Yee was awarded $250,000 for her research into gene expression Giardia lamblia, a parasitic disease.

“On behalf of Trent University, I am very pleased with the announcement of the 2019 NSERC competition funding, which will support innovative research projects concentrated on a range of environmental science priorities such as aquatic ecosystems, elemental ecology, environmental change on wildlife and others,” said Dr. Neil Emery, vice-president Research and Innovation. “I am especially pleased to see extraordinary research scientists Dr. Janet Yee, Dr. Maggie Xenopoulos and Dr. Cheryl McKenna Neuman leading the way for women in science.”

The funding is part of the May 21 announcement by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, minister of Science and Sport, who announced more than $588 million through the NSERC Discovery Grants program to support more than 4,850 researchers and students across the country.

Additional Trent University NSERC recipients are as follows:

Dr. Paul Frost – Biology: awarded a Discovery Grant worth $235,000 over five years for his research into elemental ecology: ecological stoichiometry, limiting nutrients, and lake food webs.

Dr. Barry Saville - Environmental and Life Sciences: awarded a Discovery Grant worth $235,000 for his research investigating control of Ustilago maydis teliospore formation, dormancy and germination.

Dr. Jeff Bowman - Environmental and Life Sciences: awarded a Discovery Grant worth $174,500 over five years for his research into the causes and consequences of hybridization in mammals.

Dr. Marco Pollanen – Mathematics: awarded a Discovery Grant worth $115,000 for his research into novel approaches to rich human-computer interaction with mathematical content.

Dr. Joseph Northrup - Environmental and Life Sciences: awarded a Discovery Grant worth $140,000 over five years for his research into integrating space-use, movement and demographic data to predict the consequences of environmental change on wildlife.

In addition to the Discovery Grants, Prof. Northrup also received a $12,500 Early Careers Researchers supplement grant, aimed at providing timely resources to support early career researchers as they establish their research programs.

To support researchers’ equipment costs, the University also received $219,009 in Research, Tools and Instruments (RTI) grants. Prof. Frost received an RTI grant worth $69,315 to support his ecological research. Biology professor Dr. Dennis Murray received an RTI grant worth $149,694 for his research that monitors Canadian lynx to reveal intricate predator/prey interactions and boreal ecosystem dynamics.

NSERC also awarded Trent University $230,000 in scholarships, including Canada Graduate Scholarships for Masters students, Postgraduate Scholarships for doctoral candidates and Canada Graduate Scholarships for Ph.D. students.

“Trent University remains the gold standard for preparing Canadians for the jobs of today and tomorrow while driving Canada to be even more competitive on the world stage,” said the Hon. Maryam Monsef ’03, Peterborough-Kawartha MP and Trent University alumna. “Our colleges and universities are at the forefront of excellence in science, research, and innovation. They are critical to developing our highly skilled, creative, and diverse workforce and to strengthening our economy. That is why, to date, our government has invested more than a combined $20 million into Trent University and Fleming College for infrastructure and research.”

The recently announced NSERC funding stems from the $4 billion for research committed in the 2018 federal budget, which will also support graduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships for students in the natural sciences and engineering. The investment is part of Canada's Science Vision, and the Government of Canada's commitment of more than $10 billion to science, which includes the largest-ever increase in funding for fundamental research.

Posted on May 22, 2019