Two Trent Professors Awarded $322,193 in Federal Funding for Research Labs, State-of-the-Art Equipment

March 13, 2019

CFI Funding to support Dr. James Conolly’s research in underwater archaeology and Dr. Karen Thompson’s research on soil health and sustainable agriculture

Soil and water

Two Trent University researchers are the recipients of $322,193 in federal funding as part of today’s Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announcement of more than $39 million for state-of-the-art research labs and equipment through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF).

Dr. James Conolly, Anthropology, will receive $158,414 to support infrastructure that will enhance and expand Trent’s research capacity in underwater archaeology, while Dr. Karen Thompson, School of the Environment, will receive $163,779 to support infrastructure for her research into developing better sustainable agricultural management.

“I am very pleased with the announcement today that Trent University will receive over $320,000 in federal funding through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund,” said Dr. Neil Emery, vice-president research and innovation at Trent University. “Major grants such as these demonstrate the government’s investment in Trent’s research infrastructure enabling innovative inquiry by outstanding researchers like Dr. Conolly and Dr. Thompson.”

Professor Conolly’s project is part of the new Maritime Archaeology Research Laboratory that will provide university researchers and graduate students access to world-class remote sensing instrumentation for researching underwater cultural heritage in the Great Lakes and surrounding regions of Ontario. Research projects enabled by this infrastructure investment include discovery and documentation of ancient landscapes inundated several thousand years ago, study of submerged forests and historic shipwrecks.

“This funding provides Trent with new world-class equipment that will enable my laboratory and our research partners – the Ontario Marine Heritage Committee and Discovery Harbour – to build on our study of maritime archaeology in the Great Lakes region,” says Prof. Conolly. “It extends our SSHRC-sponsored work on underwater cultural landscapes in the Kawarthas into new areas and extended depths. It will contribute to a greater understanding and awareness of the over 10,000 years of human interaction with the Great Lakes, ranging from identification of ancient hunting sites that are now deep underwater, to the documentation of shipwrecks of the nineteenth century.”

Professor Thompson’s research project is part of the Agricultural Soil Health Laboratory and focuses on improving soil health as a means to better protect Canada’s valuable natural resources while improving food security.

“I look forward to supervising interdisciplinary research projects utilizing the infrastructure provided via this funding, and am thrilled to be able to provide the tools for students to be trained in highly technical analyses with applications to multiple fields,” says Prof. Thompson.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, minister of Science and Sport, announced the JELF funding, which will support 251 researchers leading 186 projects at 43 universities across Canada. JELF aims to help universities attract and retain top talent from around the globe by providing researchers with the highly specialized infrastructure they require to be leaders in their field.

During today’s announcement, Minister Duncan also announced a funding boost for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) of $763 million over the next five years and $462 million per year starting in 2023-24.

This investment provides the CFI with long-term, stable funding, one of the key recommendations from the Fundamental Science Review, completed last year by an expert panel.

“The Canada Foundation for Innovation lays the cornerstone for the future by providing equipment that ensures the success of researchers from the very start of their careers,” says Roseann O’Reilly Runte, CFI President and CEO. “The John R. Evans Leaders Fund creates the conditions necessary for the extraordinary talents in Canada’s universities and hospitals to excel. With ongoing, permanent funding, the CFI will be able to continue to support their ambitions.”

About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

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